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Picking Out a Scented Candle

Updated on June 10, 2013

My ex-husband loved scented candles as much as I do. In fact, it was usually me dragging him away from the candle aisle when we went shopping.

What I have discovered is that we liked some of the same scents, but we were always initially drawn to very different scents.

He enjoyed the more masculine woodsy smells like fir, pine, sandalwood, and other musky, manly scents. I'm always drawn to citrus, sweeter and fruity smells like orange, berry and pineapple.

We discovered that we could agree on smells like Woodwick's Currant and Woodwick Cinnamon candles. Don't you just love how Woodwick candles give you that extra dimension to candle enjoyment by incorporating the crackling sound of the wood wick? Woodwick candles utilize a wood wick that crackles like a fireplace when you burn it which tends to add to the coziness.

My Favorite is WoodWick Candles
My Favorite is WoodWick Candles

Tips for Choosing a Scented Candle

Having purchased a number of candles, I have a few tips for buying scented candles, or candles in general, that I'd like to share with you.

  • You really do get what you pay for. Cheap candles generally produce cheap results. Sometimes a cheap candle will work if you don't really intend to burn it and only want to display it.
  • The scent of a candle comes from the essential oil. If you run your fingertip over the surface of the candle it should be greasy, not waxy, if you're expecting the candle to produce a nice fragrance. For this reason, the most highly scented candles will always be in a jar or container. They will be too oily to stand alone as a pillar candle.
  • All candles are not created equal. Some simply burn nicer than others.
  • Make sure the wick is in the center of the candle. I am bad about forgetting to check this. If the wick is off-center the candle will not burn properly. Many times the candles found on the clearance racks will have off-center wicks. You can still use these candles on a candle warmer if you end up forgetting like I do.
  • Pay attention to the shape of the jar. Have you ever had a candle that seems to just burn straight down through the middle leaving a wall of wax along the side all of the way around? That's because the jar it is in doesn't allow it to heat evenly. Experiment with brands. All is not lost if you end up with a candle like this. Assuming the candle is in a jar or metal container, you can then place it on a candle warmer and continue to enjoy the fragrance that way long after the wick is gone. If it's not in a container that can take the heat you can try to break up the pieces and put them in a container that is. My experience has been if they're not in a good container, the pieces probably aren't worth salvaging anyway.
  • Pillar candles may be good for looks but they aren't much for fragrance.
  • Monitor the wick height as you burn the candle and trim as needed. Too much wick and the candle will smoke. Too little and the wick will be smothered by the pool of wax.

Candle Warmer

Candle warmers are nice to use when you have remnants of candles or want to experiment with mixing scents. Or, as mentioned above, when you have an off-center wick that doesn't allow the candle to burn properly.

You can also buy highly scented melts that contain no wicks and place them in proper votive cups for heating on the candle warmers. Make sure whatever container you use can withstand being on the heating element of the candle warmer.

Caution When Using Candles and Candle Warmers

Caution should always be used when using candles and candle warmers. Some tips include:

  • Candles and candle burners should be monitored regularly to make sure everything is ok. Glass can have hairline cracks or imperfections that can worsen when heated. You don't want to leave it unattended only to find it has broken and hot wax has run everywhere, or worse yet, started a fire.
  • Never ever leave candles or candle warmers burning while you are asleep or away from home.
  • If you have pets or children, you have to be doubly cautious. Make sure candles and cords to the burners are well out of reach of children and pets. Pets can easily knock things over.
  • Always know how many candles or burners you have going and make sure you've accounted for them all when you're turning them off or blowing them out.

Comments

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    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks John! It does make a house nice to walk into when it's filled with a lovely fragrance!

    • profile image

      John Peterson 

      8 years ago

      Great post KCC. I am the hubby in our house and I love scented candles. I just like walking into the house with a lovely smell in the background. My favourite is Baby Powder from Busy Bee Candles. One large jar fills the whole house with Johnson's scent. It lasts ages and burns down evenly. I think they are soy wax. My wife found them on the net as she is even more fond of scented candles than me!

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      I agree oceansnsunsets!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 

      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello KCC, I enjoyed reading your informative blog, and would tend to agree with you on many points. What I love most about candles, is their fragrance, so if they do not smell good, and make my house smell good, then I am not as happy as otherwise.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks Make Your Own! I've wanted to try that. I may have to do that! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Make Your Own Scented Candles 

      8 years ago

      It's very easy to make your own scented candles or aromatherapy candles. After melting the right type of wax you simply add a tiny bit of fragrance to the mix and pour the candle. Simple, very fulfilling and creative hobby for everyone to enjoy. Great gift idea as well.

      Smell you later...

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Oh no, you won't be disappointed with the Woodwick. I have one now that I'm waiting to fire up nearer to Christmas. It's the "Currants" one. It smells soooooo good! Last Christmas I had one of the Cinnamon Sugar ones in the swirl jar. Lovely stuff.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      I simply love candles, they relax me and make me happy. You are exactly right that you get what you pay for. I've been tempted to try the Woodwick brand, however, I did not want to buy one and be disappointed. :( Thanks KCC for sharing your knowledge. Great Hub!

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for stopping by Kindred Scents! Thanks for adding your link. I'll have to check it out.

    • profile image

      Kindred Scents 

      8 years ago

      I love scented candles! It is true about the oily top...

      I make candles myself and will be selling them in December. Check out the blog http://www.kindredscets.com

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      LOL....I went through a phase where I adored lighthouses. I think Woodwicks far outdo Yankee Candles. But, I do like them too.

      I'm glad I got you interested in Santa again. I do believe, I do believe. :)

    • sidney_bristow profile image

      sidney_bristow 

      8 years ago

      I forgot to say that above all this year I feel very Santaholic thanks to you! LOL

    • sidney_bristow profile image

      sidney_bristow 

      8 years ago

      Lanternholic!I have tons around my house. Lighthouseholic!I have only wonderful pictures of those in my bedroom. Candleholic! They make the home smell so good and feel so cozy. Absolutely Yankee Candles! can't beat those! A little expensive but they last forever and smell sooooo good. Roses of Cliff walk, my favorite.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Awwwww, I've heard of others that candles give them a migraine. I'm really glad we don't have that problem, Ethel.

      I remember that you love candles, Habee. I think I could consider my husband a candleholic too.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      I'm a candleholic! My fave is Yankee Candle. I wrote a hub about them! Wood Wicks are nice, too. I like the way they sound.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I like these but hubby is not keen. They tend to give him a migraine. Good hub

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      It helps, for sure.

    • mistywild profile image

      mistywild 

      8 years ago from Houston, TX (Proud Texan)

      ya, yankee candles cost an arm and a leg but they smell sooo good. I wish I knew someone who made candles that was nearby!

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks Mistywild. I'm lucky to have a few local people who make candles and sell them at a local craft mall. They are really oily and smell heavenly. They are rather inexpensive compared to WoodWick or Yankee.

    • mistywild profile image

      mistywild 

      8 years ago from Houston, TX (Proud Texan)

      wonderful hub KCC, I loves me some candles :D, my husband could care less about them though, so I guess he likes what I like?? Who knows. Thanks for sharing all this info, who knew candles could be so complicated, haha....no more dollar store candles for me j/k. I love Yankee Candles, especially Jasmine Midnight, smells like heaven :D

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      I agree. He loves smells of all kinds like lotions, perfumes, colognes, flowers, food, cleaning products, and shampoo. He often stops me when I've been outside for a bit. He loves the smell of fresh air that lingers briefly in your hair and clothes after being outside.

    • profile image

      Justine76 

      8 years ago

      :)

      I love my Vail candle from Bath and body works. You are lucky to have a hubby who likes candles.

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