How to Choose and Use Scented Candles Properly

Scented candles help you relax and create a romantic environment. It would seem that using them is easier than ever as you just set fire to the wick and that’s it. Still, that’s not all you need to know about scented candles and how to use them properly. Today I would like to share the secrets of how to use the aroma candle correctly so that you would get the best out of it.

How to Use Scented Candles Properly?

  • Cut the wick to 6-7 mm before each use.
  • Place the candle on a flat, solid surface, away from drafts, open windows and an air conditioner.
  • Wait until the wax melts evenly over the entire surface (1-2 hours). The more melted wax, the stronger and brighter the scent.
    If possible, wait until the wax surface is evenly melted before extinguishing the candle to avoid tunnel formation.
  •  Do not leave the candle unattended, especially in the presence of children and animals.

These are the top-4 tips on how to use scented candles properly that must be taken into account. Now let’s dive into this deeper since it is not that simple as it may seem.

How Do You Use Scented Candles? Ultimate Guide.

  • Try to choose candles made from natural wax — soy, bee, apricot, coconut because it does not harm your health and gives off the aroma better. Paraffin candles often smell great in a glass, however, once you light such a candle, the scent will disappoint you. It’s all about the properties of paraffin. Natural wax instantly and evenly fills the room with aroma.
    The best scented candles are made from mineral wax, which does not emit harmful substances when burned. Candles made of vegetable wax (palm oil, soy, carnauba, jojoba) burn well and do not leave fumes and soot on the glass, but they burn out faster and retain the aroma worse.
    Beeswax is an environmentally friendly material with a strong own odour, so candles made from such raw materials are difficult to scent and are expensive. Cheap Chinese candles are made of low-quality raw materials that release benzene and even carcinogenic substances.
  • Make sure that the wick is made of natural material such as cotton or wood. Often the wick of a candle has a metal base. It is important that it is not made of lead, but zinc. If you rub the metal on paper, it should not leave any marks. If it does, it is better to give preference to another brand next time.
  • Do not blow out the candles. If you blow out the candle and then light it again, you will not feel the true aroma, it will be mixed with the smell of a smouldering wick. Many candles have a cap that you can simply close the candle with: it will go out within 5 seconds. If there is no cap, you can use a special extinguisher or extinguisher that looks like a bell.
  • Trim the wick before each new use. It is especially important to cut off the blackened wick: it has already burned out. This is what causes the candle to smoke, the coals fall into the wax and the candle does not look like new anymore.
    Also, when you light a charred wick, you might smell the smoke, not your favourite scent. It is very easy to avoid this: just cut off the blackened wick before lighting the candle. You can even do this with regular nail scissors. And we recommend getting a special trimmer: it is very convenient for them to cut the candle wick in any glass.
  • Let the wax melt completely. When you have lit the candle, do not extinguish it until the top layer of wax is completely melted. This may take several hours. If you’re not willing to wait that long, it’s best not to light a candle at all.
    Why is this needed? If you do not allow the wax to completely melt, then a hole or a whole crater will form. The wick will sink lower and lower as if a tunnel is formed in the centre of the candle.
  • Ventilate the room before lighting the candle. This will give you a better scent experience.
  • Buy candles with multiple wicks. It is quite difficult to find time for the candle to melt. What to do? Get a candle with two or three wicks. The more flame, the more heat and the faster the candle will melt. Very wide single-wick candles should be avoided. The heat from one wick is clearly not enough to completely melt the entire candle.
  • Protect the candle flame from air currents. Try to do your best to keep the burning candle far enough away from fans, air conditioners, open windows, or places where large numbers of people pass by. Air currents can affect the candle flame, causing even more unsightly dark marks to appear on the walls of the glass candlestick.
  • Do not light several candles at the same time. Intense scent can lead to a headache. Even if you are using products based on natural wax and oils, the smell may be too strong.
  • Do not keep the candle lit for more than 3 hours. The wax will continue to melt, but the aroma will no longer be released during such a long burning. This is due to the fact that at very high temperatures, aroma oils cease to give off an aroma. They are just too overheated. Just put out the candle and let it cool. This usually takes 5-10 minutes. Once the wax has hardened, you can re-light the candle and enjoy the scent.
  • To prevent dust from collecting on the wax surface and the candle always looks perfect, it is important to store the candle correctly — cover the candle with a lid and it will always be like new.

Tips for Scented Candles

What Makes a Good Scented Candle? How to Choose a Scented Candle?

If you want to know how to choose a scented candle, you need to stick to the “pyramid rule”. First, you look at what the base is made of (the body of the candle), then you pay attention to the quality of the aroma, and finally, you also take into account the details — the wick, the cup, even the packaging.

  • Candle Base

The most important thing in the scented candle that makes it good is the base. It is enough to turn the candles with the label towards you and read the first line in the composition — about what the base is made of.

If it is paraffin wax, put the candle on the shelf and move on. Paraffin is a refined product, completely unnatural, and it also releases substances that are really harmful to the body, for example, phenol. By lighting such a candle, you actually invite harmful substances into your body, because they enter through the respiratory system.

Of course, there are candles made of very pure, food-grade paraffin, which do not emit obvious harmful substances when burning, but they are also not recommended to be burned for too long or to be kept indoors with such candles.

Natural wax is another story. Moreover, in recent years, candles are gaining popularity not from pure beeswax, but from plant analogues (soy, carnauba, coconut, jojoba, etc.) or their mixtures with beeswax. Since natural waxes are much more expensive than paraffin, candles made from them are also more expensive — and this is the case when the overpayment is worth it.

Firstly, candles made from natural wax do not emit any harmful substances. Secondly, such candles do not smoke when burning. Thirdly, they better “hold” the natural aroma and more gently “give” it during use. Fourth, they themselves often have a subtle, very delicate, cosy aroma.

  • The Quality and Composition of the Candle

What exactly was used to scent the candles? In cheap candles, synthetic fragrances and fragrances are used, which give a strong, pungent and completely unnatural smell.

A typical situation with cheap scented candles is when you take such a candle in your hands and it has a strong smell but when burning, the smell either disappears immediately or is not felt at all.

Quality candles are scented using natural essential oils that behave in a completely different way. They start giving aroma when burning gradually and gently, and in an unlit state, they smell naturally and lightly. The aroma is released when burning even at the very end when the candle burns out. The sensations from inhaling such a scent are also different: you really feel the promised pacification, relaxation and other emotions, since natural essential oils provide not only scent but also a therapeutic, emotional effect.

In the case of cheap fragrances, at best, you get a more or less pleasant smell that either disappears instantly or, conversely, gets into the surrounding textiles for many weeks.

What about the scent? Cheap paraffin scented candles use a mono-fragrance (vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, strawberry, etc.) or a crude combination of two unpretentious chemical smells.

In the production of high-quality natural candles with essential oils, specialists develop whole formulas and fragrance compositions. In such a composition, the aroma “sounds” harmoniously, softly, luxuriously and at the same time unobtrusively, it opens well and gently, gives refined, natural notes. Only the use of such candles will give your home the scent not of burning and cheap fragrances, but of something refined and cosy, natural.

  • Dyes

In cheap paraffin candles, you will find dubious dyes of poisonous colours that, when burned, emit substances that are not at all harmful to health. Quality candles are dyed with safe food dyes in a small concentration or not at all.

  • Container

High-quality candles will not be placed in plastic or fragile, cloudy glass. Good glass is important not only for aesthetics. During combustion, a poor-quality glass will overheat, and may even burst, which is simply dangerous.

  • The wick

A smooth correctly positioned wick without a zinc thread in the core is a sign of a quality candle, which was made properly. Such a wick will burn evenly and correctly.

  • Packaging

High-quality candles with natural essential oils are usually either closed with a lid or sold in a cardboard box to preserve the aroma. Cheap synthetic candles can often be seen wrapped in cellophane or in nothing at all.

  • Trend

Manufacturers of cheap candles bet on mass demand, so for decades they have been producing scented candles with proven simple scents like “Tropical Fruit” or “Vanilla”. Manufacturers of high-quality natural candles follow fashion trends, try to come up with interesting and relevant aromatic compositions, and in the classics, they are guided by the most natural options.

So, when buying, twist the candle in your hands, check its packaging and the quality of the cup, if any, then read the label and make sure that the candle contains natural wax and natural essential oils, and not “synthetics”. Also pay attention to the wick, the colour of the candle and its original design.

The most important thing in the production of candles, of course, is the quality and cost of the candle. The more expensive it is, the more delicate the fragrance itself will be. Most of the perfume houses that make upscale candles use the same raw materials as those used to make their perfumes. But these investments are fully justified: the feeling of comfort, cosiness and perfect mood are definitely worth the money.

How to Burn a Candle the RIGHT WAY Video Guide

Where Should You Not Put a Candle? Safety Rules.

There are some basic safety rules on where you should not put a candle that you need to follow:

  • Before use, free the candle from its packaging, remove plastic, other packaging materials and all kinds of decorative elements that may catch fire: nets, flowers, ribbons, etc.
  • Do not hold the candle in your hands, fix it in the candlestick in a strictly vertical position. A hemp candle (a candle of large diameter) may not be placed in the candlestick, but it must be installed on a metal base.
  • Do not tilt the candle, as it will start to burn out faster due to the paraffin dripping from one side and the quick exposure of the wick, and may also slip off the candlestick and fall.
  • The length of the wick should be no more than 1cm. If the candle smokes, extinguish it and trim the wick with scissors to 0.5-0.8 cm. If the wick hardly burns and smokes, trim it more often. If this does not help and the candle continues to smoke, extinguish it and do not use it further.
  • If you are lighting several candles, place them at least 10 cm apart from each other, as they are mutually heated and may deform.
  • Do not burn out the candles to the end, leaving a couple of centimetres to the candlestick, depending on its design and material, especially if it is plastic, glass, or ceramic candlestick. Plastics can catch fire or melt and break glass and ceramics.
  • Do not use candles in a draft, near open doors, windows, fans, air conditioners.
  • Do not leave candles unattended, especially in areas where children and animals may be. Do not let children play with candles.
  • You should place candles away from rapidly igniting objects: curtains, upholstered furniture, bedding, carpets, dry grass in nature.
  • During the New Year holidays, you should not hang candles on the tree and place them away from the green beauty.


I am passionate about making my home a better place and I want to share all my knowledge with you.

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