This post may seem a bit obvious… but, people are always so shocked by how delightful my home smells… and it is SUCH an easy trick. I burn candles pretty much from the time I wake up until I go to bed (blowing them out when leaving the house of course.)
What most people don’t know is that you don’t need 10 candles burning to make your house smell yummy, actually just one will do (dependent on the size of home). We have an open concept kitchen and living room, and so I simply light the candle on the kitchen island and let the room fill with whatever delightful scent I’ve chosen. If guests are coming over, I usually like to light a candle in each bathroom and maybe add one to the coffee table, but that’s also for the aesthetic. When lighting multiple candles, make sure that the scents aren’t competing!
Now I’m pretty particular about the types of scents I burn and I think that makes all the difference in the mood of the home when entered by guests. To be honest, after a day or so of burning a particular candle, I can no longer smell it unless I leave the house for a while and return. But, your guests aren’t used to it so they’ll definitely notice. In perfume and candles, I like warm and/or musky smells (and usually they go well together)… so my go to candle “flavors” are: vanilla, cookies, tobacco, sage, linen, leather, nuts, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, Christmas tree, etc. Obviously I don’t burn holiday scents in the middle of Summer but I’m not a big fan of burning too sweet of smells like rose, gardenia, or most types of flowery scents because people either love or hate those and it can be a real turn off when they visit. Leave the flowery sweet scents for your bedroom or bathroom, and more universal scents for the common areas. There’s a lot of candles nowadays that smell a bit like men’s cologne, and I actually like those as well as long as they’re not too strong. A scent that is a bit challenging to find on its own, but that pairs well with vanilla, cookies, and other scents in the “baking” category is coconut. Typically coconut is combined with really bright scents like lime, pineapple, or a miscellaneous tropical flower… and while those may be good for a closed door bubble bath where you imagine yourself on a remote island, they’re not the best for an entire home. But, if you’re lucky enough to find a warm coconut smell (perhaps toasted coconut), definitely buy and try pairing with others.
The downside to burning candles is the toxic chemicals said to fill the air… and admittedly that’s something we all should be concerned with. As you should with your food, always read the labels. The days of lead based wicks are thankfully behind us, but the type of wax also matters… paraffin is a no no and releases all kinds of cancer-causing chemicals. Look for soy, bees, hemp oil, or coconut waxes; and cotton or paper wicks. Ideally, essential oils will be used to scent the candle as well. Because I burn candles so frequently (and like to try out different brands), I tend to focus on the type of wax and consider the other factors a bonus. Better quality candles will cost more, but it is worth it to create a safer environment in your home for you and your family.
Something wonderful about there being so many different candle companies is that they’re always trying to distinguish themselves… and that’s awesome for the consumer. Many companies use BEAUTIFUL containers to hold the candles and though they may come at a steeper price, what’s left behind long after the candle is gone is worth every penny. One of my absolute favorites is the company LAFCO… check out their website here. At around $65 each (for 15.5 oz) their candles aren’t cheap, but they are safe to burn in your home, they last, and the glass containers they’re in are gorgeous (and hand blown)! They also come in a beautiful sturdy box with a ribbon, so they’re the perfect hostess gift. My favorite LAFCO holidays scents are Tree and Golden Chestnut (though I’m not sure those scents will be available this year as I haven’t seen them on the website in a few weeks), and my favorite year round candle is called Library which is Sage & Walnut.
Burning candles creates the most inviting feeling for your guests (as long as you choose the right scents), and sets the mood for all of your occasions… not to mention, a little candlelight glow is always an added touch.
What’s your favorite candle scent? Comment below!