The Ultimate Guide to getting started with Scented Candles

Are you always overwhelmed by the number of scented candles out there? What size to get? The best scent to get? How to look after and maintain it?

Well, look no further. This is the ultimate guide to help you to buy the perfect candle and to help with its upkeep.

So, let's get straight to it!

The first hurdle to cross when purchasing a candle is choosing from the infinite aromas available.

1. Choosing the best Scent for you

Firstly, we’ll show you what you may need to consider to ensure that you get the perfect candle for desires and uses!

The location in your house where you wish to keep this fragranced flame will have a bearing on what scent is best for the room itself.

If you desire a candle to mask the musk of your Kitchen, then a citrus scent would be suitable to cut through unsavory smells and to restore its refreshing, calming atmosphere. Candles such as Mandarin and Tangerine would make a pleasant change to the traditional citrus scent of lemon.

Citrus scents are also best used in the bathroom to keep the smell clean. However, if you are looking to indulge in a hot bath, then maybe a fresh fruity scent is best to help create a relaxing ambiance.

Long lasting fragrances work best, such as apricot, peach or orange which offer a sweet alternative to traditional citrus scents.

Floral fragrances would be best used within the bedroom. This would offer a tranquil solution, making it easy to sleep and can offer a romantic setting for a quiet night in. Fragrances like lily or orchid will refresh and revitalise the bedroom, whereas rose will complement the glow of a candle in a romantic situation.


For more communal rooms, particularly the dining room or lounge, a sweet but warm note would create a comfy atmosphere.

If the room is petit, then a subtle vanilla or honey fragrance will be perfect. However, if it’s a larger room then stronger smells like caramel can be used. A slow burning candle would prevent the scent being too overpowering.

Looking for some time to reflect, concentrate or study? Then a delicate spice, for example sandalwood or a light cinnamon would be perfect!

Now that you have chosen the place in which you wish to keep the candle, you’ve got to take your pick from the huge number of different types of candles! We hope the next sections will help you narrow down this search.

 2. Choosing the best size/type for you.

Believe it or not, depending on how long you wish to use your candle for will determine what type of candle you purchase.

Here are the different varieties of candles out there:

Votive candles are traditionally used for religious purposes and are usually cylindrical or square. These are typically exhibited in protective vessels. This allows them to come across very decorative and ornamental within a home. In addition, Votive candles are perfect for offering subtle doses of light to anywhere in need of an idyllic glow.

If you are looking for a romantic setting or a low impact glow, Tea Lights would be the candle of choice. Small and inexpensive, they offer an easy introduction into candle use. To maximise the luminosity, use multiple tea lights scattered on high and low surfaces.

Pillar candles are rigid enough to burn freestanding, perfect for decorative uses as they can be displayed alone. The candles are commonly used during an evening of dining or even blackouts as they provide a long-lasting illumination.

Tapers are again very effective when having guests over for an evening of wining and dining. The tall, slender design of taper candles provide a traditional theme to a dinner table. These also excrete an air of sophistication and aesthetic ambience.


After finding the best candle for your requirements, the perfect perfume and the ideal size, the next step is to know how to look after your new favourite candle.

 3. How to safely light a candle and burn time for each type.

Safety first!

This might sound obvious, but it's extremely easy to burn a candle incorrectly or put yourself in unnecessary danger.

Before burning your chosen candle, always remove the label to allow it to burn without interruption.

Also, ensure your candles are kept out of reach of pets or children and never leave a lit candle unattended.

Remember, where you place your candle is very important when it comes to safety and caring for the candle. A hard, flat surface would be ideal to exhibit your new candle.

Keep it away from drafts, open windows or heat sources, such as radiators or fires. This ensures that you make the most of the candle life and ensures that you’re not endangering your home, yourself and others.

Read our guide to candle etiquette for everything you need to know

Burn time.

Burn time is critical to the care of your candle. Burning your candle for the optimal time will help with its upkeep and elongate its life.

The length of time you can burn your candle for will depend on what candle you have (for example a taper, votive etc).

Tea lights are designed to burn all at once ideally, but they should at least be used for 2-hour lighting sessions. They should always be burnt in the cups provided. If you wish to ensure the tealight is stable, then you can always put the tealight in an additional holder for decorative uses and safety.

Votive candles must be burnt in heat resistant containers, as wax can pool out when the candle is burning. Votives must be burnt for at least 1 hour each time to avoid tunneling. To ensure the perfect upkeep of your candle, keep the wick 1⁄4 inches long and keep it trimmed after its burnt. Once the candle has burnt to around 1⁄4 inch tall, allow it to burn out naturally.

If you selected a Taper as your candle of choice, you must securely attach it to a taper holder. These can be burnt for as long as you wish. Perfect for a candle lit dinner. If you want to extinguish, use a snuffer for minimal smoke.

Pillar candles should be burned on a pillar plate to avoid spillages and heat damage. The initial burn should be for several hours, in order to create a wide burn pool. After this, each burn should last around an hour long. To help fix tunneling, once the candle has warmed up gently push the wax walls in towards the flame.

Check out our guide for preventing tunnelling for more tips and tricks.

 4. Cleaning your candle once used.

If your candle has finally come to an end, then you may need to clean up the remnants of wax.

 How to clean wax from the holder

If you have Votive candle holders, you may notice that they look used and unclean if you do not clean the unwanted wax from them. Don’t bother buying a new candle holder, just clean and reuse the old ones.

One widely used method is using the freezer. Place the votive or other candle holder in the freezer for several hours, then use a knife to flip and scrape the remaining wax out of it. To get rid of tiny excess wax, simply clean it with water and soap. This freezing method will not work if the votive has a glued wick.

Another way to clean excess wax is by pouring boiling water into the contaminated container. Leave the water to melt the unwanted wax for 2-5 minutes, then strain the waxy water out of the container. Give the empty vessel a final clean with a paper towel until completely wax free.

For more tips and ideas for cleaning out candle holder and jars, read our piece on the best 5 ways to clean your Candle Jar.

How to clean wax off surfaces and/or furniture.

 If you happen to be a little clumsy when using your candle and find yourself with wax stains or spots on your furniture, then you may have some excess wax on your furniture. Here are a couple of tips to help you out of the situation.

Wax on wooden furniture, floors or other objects may seem like a nightmare to remove. However, just rubbing the affected lightly with your finger or a spoon will remove most of the excess wax. Make sure to do this with extreme care!

If there is still some wax left, get a have a hairdryer and direct the heat towards the excess wax to soften it. Once partly melted use a cloth to wipe away the soft wax.

Sometimes the wax stain may be a bit tougher, so here’s a more rigorous method to help you remove even the toughest wax stains, especially if the stains are on carpet.

The first thing to do during this carpet conundrum is to wait until the wax is dry. Scrape off the dried wax with a butter knife or something similar. With the remaining wax, you will need a damp cloth over the affected area, and then apply a heated iron over the wet cloth for 10 seconds.

This should allow the unwanted wax to stick the cloth and depart from the carpet.

The final step to remove the tiny hard to clean wax, is by using normal carpet cleaner. Spray or apply carpet cleaner to the affected area and scrub it into the stain. Once settled, dab with a dry towel and then let the carpet air-dry. This step may need repeating if the wax is still partially visible.

And there you have it. Your Ultimate guide to getting started with Scented Candles.

You’re now a candle expert! You know what scent to buy, what size to buy. Even how to look after your personal perfumed flame.

Now sit back. Relax. And allow your senses to unwind and explore your new-found Candle.


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