Updated August 14, 2018 by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

The 10 Best Scented Candles

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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. What's one of the quickest, easiest, and least expensive ways to create a warm and cozy atmosphere in any room of your home? Lighting a scented candle from our carefully chosen selection, of course. Each offers delightfully fragrant notes and subtle lighting that will help you set just about any mood you could wish for, from romantic to restful. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best scented candle on Amazon.

10. Old Factory Man Cave

9. Wax & Oils 3-pack

8. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Geranium

7. Aspen Bay Capri Blue Volcano

6. Bath & Body Works Stress Relief

5. Seracon Products Maple Syrup

4. Nest Fragrances Classic Grapefruit

3. Trapp Signature Home Collection

2. Chesapeake Bay Mind & Body

1. La Jolie Muse

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How To Choose a Scented Candle

The same goes for purchasing a peppermint- or a holly-scented candle for the holiday season, or purchasing a cinnamon-scented candle for Valentine's Day, and on and on.

On the surface, a scented candle can provide a pleasant aroma for your patio, office, or home. But a scented candle can also add to the ambiance of any environment, especially if that scent is a reflection of the decor, the time of year, or the mood.

A pumpkin-scented candle is perfect for October through November, for example — months when people welcome trick-or-treaters or Thanksgiving guests into their homes. The same goes for purchasing a peppermint- or a holly-scented candle for the holiday season, or purchasing a cinnamon-scented candle for Valentine's Day, and on and on.

Homeowners should think of a scented candle as being like a well-chosen fragrance. "Wood Fire" or "Sandalwood" might work well inside a mountain chalet, for instance, whereas "Ocean Breeze" or "Midnight Tide" might complement a tiny boathouse on the shore.

You may want to give some thought as to how long you plan on burning a specific scent. If you plan on burning one scent constantly, then you'll probably want to purchase several canisters of that scent in bulk. If you've found a scent you're happy with, make it a point to always buy that scent from the same manufacturer. Different manufacturers use different materials, and different materials can lead to different results.

Several Keys to Proper Candle Etiquette

You might be surprised to learn that keeping a scented candle lit during a dinner party is actually considered poor form. Every course of a formal dinner should be savored, and a scented candle can take away from the enjoyment of the food. It's best to wait until dessert for lighting any scented candles. This way, the candle can suggest a more relaxed — if not intimate — mood.

It's best to wait until dessert for lighting any scented candles.

A lot of people prefer to keep scented candles along an outdoor porch for summer evenings. This is actually inefficient in that a scented candle's aroma can — and probably will — get lost whenever burning in the open breeze. It's better to burn a Citronella candle when you're outdoors and to save your scented candles for burning during indoor occasions.

Over time, candle enthusiasts may discover that they can mix two or more scents to create a unique aroma. Casual candle users are warned against this, however, just as they are warned against burning two different scents in the same area at once. In addition, candle owners should never leave a burning candle unattended, and they should store any matches in a child-proof cabinet or drawer.

When it comes to using scented candles as a reflection of "mood," the proper etiquette is to choose a scent that mirrors the mood you would prefer to be in. The thinking is that a scented candle can have the same effect on a person's outlook as music, or changes in lighting, both of which have been proven to have a sustained impact on a person's well-being.

A Brief History of The Candle

The earliest candles were invented by the Chinese around 200 BCE. The Chinese made their candles out of whale fat. One can imagine the smell. Europeans were the first to craft their candles out of beeswax. Beeswax candles were considered an extravagance up and through the age of Ancient Rome. European churches were particularly fond of lighting candles that were made out of either beeswax or tallow (a form of mutton fat). Church elders equated fire with a divine being's presence on the earth.

For a time, a village candle-maker would travel door-to-door, using a family's preserved cooking fats to make a candle while in their home.

By the end of the Middle Ages, candle-making had become a common craft. For a time, a village candle-maker would travel door-to-door, using a family's preserved cooking fats to make a candle while in their home. By the end of the 13th century, candle-makers had begun using beeswax so they could charge more per item. They had also begun selling candles out of their own stores.

Beeswax candles continued to be an extravagance until the 1830s, at which point a British metalworker named Joseph Morgan invented a machine for mass-producing candles based on a preset mold. During the 1850s, a Scottish chemist named James Young invented a process for distilling paraffin wax, and this — combined with mass production — led to candles costing a great deal less.

Obviously, candle sales were hurt by the invention of the light bulb. Despite that, candles remain an extremely viable industry. Today, candle sales are largely relegated toward home decor, outdoor illumination, religious rites, and aromatic smells. There are considerable side markets for homemade candles and specialty candles, as well.

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Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated on August 14, 2018 by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.


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