Candles & home fragrance buying guide

Home fragrance can add real personality to your interior, evoking memories and creating a welcoming atmosphere. When you’re choosing a gift or selecting a fragrance for yourself, take a little time to think about where and who you’re buying for – we hope our guide will help you make your choice.

Candle composition

Candle image


The wax composition of candles has an effect on burn time and on scent, and it affects the price too.

Paraffin wax

The most common and oldest man-made type of candle wax, it offers a really good scent throw. With a high melting point it has a good stability as it burns, but if burnt frequently you may notice black soot marks on the inside of a glass candle holder.

Soy wax

Soy is a vegetable and a renewable source; it burns cleanly with no toxins and little to no soot. Soy candles burn longer and cooler than their paraffin counterparts, and have an excellent scent throw. Wax spills can be cleaned up by simply using warm water and soap.

Vegetable wax

Similar in consistency and appearance to soy wax, it’s made from extracted and purified wax from different plants. You’ll see it often mixed with other wax types for improved stability.

Beeswax

Beeswax is completely natural with its own unique scent. It releases negative ions into the air, which purifies it, and it has an extended burn time compared to other types.

Ways to add fragrance

Candles

Candles

Candles create instant warmth and atmosphere, and our fragranced selection come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can fragrance your room as and when you want to, but make sure you don’t leave a lit candle unattended.

Diffusers



Diffusers

Consisting of reed sticks and an oil and alcohol solution, diffusers deliver a constant fragrance that’s perfect for greeting you when you come home. They’re ideal for the summer months as they produce no heat but warmth helps increase the fragrance intensity; just keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Room Sprays


Room sprays

Room sprays deliver an instant hit of fragrance; think of them as perfume for the home. Use Herve Gambs spray to scent your artificial floral arrangements.

Ultrasonic and electronic air fresheners


Ultrasonic and electronic air fresheners

These are completely safe, use no heat, and act as a humidifier to add moisture to the air while circulating fragrance


Oil burners

Oil burners make a great decorative statement and mean you can use different fragrances on different days to suit your mood. Add citronella for use outside to deter bugs.

Choosing a scent

Choose from these 8 simple fragrance families:

Floral fragrances can be split into two types; heavy (like rose and lavender) or light (such as gardenia, jasmine and lilac)

Think of fresh washing and clean linen for this spring-like scent

Wooded fragrances consist of dense sandalwood, cedar, moss and patchouli

A distinctive natural scent with leaf, grass and herby aromas. Ingredients may include bay leaf, wheat grass, bamboo and green tea

The zesty and distinct aroma of oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes and bergamot can be found in citrus fragrances

A collection of rich and peppery fragrances, including cinnamon, ginger, saffron, clove and nutmeg

Sweet, juicy and rich fruit fragrances form the base, with ingredients such as fig, blackcurrant, peach and raspberry

Mouth-watering fragrances that have a delectable foodie aroma, such as vanilla and frangipani

Scents for moods, seasons and locations

Mood


Smell is one of the most powerful triggers for our memory, as particular scents can take us back to childhood or a happy point in life. Certain ingredients and aromas can help us if we’re feeling anxious, stressed, or in need of relaxation or a burst of energy.

Calming Mood

Calming

Aromas containing extracts of lavender, sage, bamboo, vanilla and tea are great for promoting a comforting, calming and relaxing environment; perfect if you want to unwind after a hard day’s work


Relaxing

Fragrances containing extracts ofylang-ylang, patchouli, sage, bergamot and camomile are great for soothing, relaxing and restorative environments; great for creating a feeling ofwell-being before getting into bed





Invigorating

Scents containing extracts of orange, lemon, grapefruit, mint and moss are great for uplifting your mood; ideal if you want to enhance your concentration, or need extra energy in the morning




Romantic

Aromas containing extracts of tuberose, chocolate, jasmine, amber and patchouli are great for creating a romantic and intimate atmosphere.

Season


You can update your home based on your current season. Reflect the arrival of spring with fresh and green tones, such as linen and lemongrass. In the summer months, you can keep those fresh notes but switch to citrus fruits, like grapefruit, and add light floral tones for a bright atmosphere.

Autumn is a time for the more fruity fragrances, such as the deep scent of fig, and spicy aromas like ginger. Winter is the perfect time for sweet and spicy scents, bringing cinnamon and frangipani into the home. Heavy floral scents can also keep your room warm and homely. 

Location


The room you’re looking to fragrance may play a part in your selection. We wouldn’t recommend a strong fragrance in a room where you spend a lot of time, or in a dining room; but if you place a strongly-scented diffuser in the hallway it will send fragrance throughout your home, leaving a lighter aroma in every room.

Bathrooms benefit from ozonic aromas, with clean and fresh tones. Light floral fragrances are perfect for the bedroom, while the kitchen should use green and herby scents that don’t conflict with your cooking. Using a woody aroma such as sandalwood in a living room will encourage a homely, yet clean feeling.  

Fragrance development

Scents develop in 3 stages, which is why there’s such a combination of ingredients as different aromas will be released at different times.

 

The initial scent that that’s perceived immediately – they’re light and radiant

Sitting at the centre, it’s the core of the fragrance and is detectable after the top notes have developed.

The depth and richness to the fragrance, it’s what lingers longer in the air and is last to develop. This is where the bolder notes come into play.

Top tips

Candles image

 

Making your fragrance last

To maximise your candle’s burn time, always allow it to become molten across the entire surface before extinguishing the flame. This prevents what we call “tunnelling”. After burning, trim your candle’s wick to just below 1cm, and to prevent sooting, don’t allow the excess wick to fall back into the molten wax.

Instead of blowing out your candle, snuff it to prevent the wick from smouldering and leaving a smoky scent.

For a diffuser, make sure you use the correct number of reeds, dependent on your room and fragrance. For a heavily-scented diffuser, or in a small room such as a bathroom, use around 5 sticks. For lighter aromas and bigger rooms use reeds accordingly, add and subtract until you get the right strength.

Warmer rooms will diffuse faster, so if you want to get an instant hit of scent, place your diffuser on top of a covered radiator. Refresh your fragrance quickly by turning over the reeds.

 

Fragrance percentage

Diffusers and candles usually carry a fragrance percentage, but the higher the percentage doesn’t necessarily mean the stronger the scent or the better the candle. Light fragrances, such as gardenia, will need more of the essential oil to give a constant scent. Heavier scents, like rose, don’t need as high a concentration.

 

Care info

Don’t save candles for special occasions, as over time the fragrance becomes weaker and can sweat out. When storing them, don’t leave them in too warm or too cold a place, and clean dust off with a baby wipe.

When you buy a refresher oil, make sure you change your reeds, as old ones will be clogged with the oil from your last diffuser.

Remember that you do become accustomed to a scent, so if you think you can’t smell the fragrance anymore, go into another room and return after a couple of minutes.