Hotel Candles


Hotel scents are known for creating a memorable and inviting ambiance. This is because fragrance has the ability to trigger emotions and influence how we feel. It’s no surprise then that hotels are tapping into a scent’s olfactory power and creating products like hotel candles and diffusers. With hundreds of fragrances to choose from, a hotel candle becomes a special way to communicate the brand narrative in a memorable way.

Hotels Deliver Extraordinary Experiences

Today’s international traveler is visiting cities like London, New York, Paris and Hong Kong. The decision to choose one hotel over another is based on several factors, but the result is always the same. A hotel that delivers extraordinary experiences will keep guests coming back for more.

Hotel Design

Brands are realizing the importance of design when it comes to creating a distinct hotel identity. An interior design firm is tasked with transforming a brand statement into a distinctive and functional hotel space. Selection of elements such as color, texture, furniture and amenities are key brand differentiators and contribute to a more luxurious guest experience.

For example, the Park Hyatt Toronto underwent renovations to restore its luster as an iconic Canadian destination. Design firm Studio Munge drew inspiration from Canada’s natural landscape, infusing these elements throughout the hotel design. The hotel also worked with a perfumer to create a custom scent that was diffused throughout the interiors.

Brand Engagement

The character of a hotel space is experienced as a series of emotional touchpoints that translates into brand engagement. By leveraging carefully selected music and scent, sensory programming reinforces the brand’s overall message. These intangible touches enhance brand engagement and can be designed to evoke a local sense of place.


Hotel Retail

Today’s guests are interested in exploring new and exciting retail experiences. Hotels that tap into this trend are curating unique shopping experiences, usually focused on fashion, wellness and personal care. A recent Forbes article titled “Why Hospitality Providers Are Entering Retail” states that “there’s no doubt retail will become a more prominent revenue stream for hospitality.”

SLS Hotels and The Ritz-Carlton have been developing a retail offering that is consistent with the brand narrative. Of the two, The Ritz-Carlton has been investing in a digital online store that offers a vast array of retail products, from hotel candles and reed diffusers to pillows, bed linens and gifts.

Hotel Candles and The Retail Experience

The allure of scented candles peaked high during the pandemic, as people spent more time in the comfort of their homes. Studies show that pleasant scents and a flickering candle can evoke feelings of relaxation and calm. This trend has sparked new interest from hotel brands looking to develop their own branded candles. Today, many 4 and 5 stars hotels include candles as part of their retail experience.

Online Retail

Hotels are investing in online retail programs that feature fragrance, spa skincare and lifestyle brands. As guest expectations continue to evolve, hotels are innovating and adapting in the digital world. Online retail provides that perfect environment to engage with new audiences and enhance loyalty

Hotel Gifting

A VIP experience is customized to a guest’s profile. This includes the perfect mix of rewards and gifting. Because hotel gifting fosters an emotional connection, it’s important to choose something that is unique and memorable. Gifting can also serve as a marketing platform for high profile guests that use social media to communicate with their followers.

Luxury candles that are part of a hotel’s retail strategy should be designed with brand engagement in mind.  By leveraging design and fragrance, hotel candles become part of the brand narrative in a memorable way.

Fragrance has the unique ability to evoke emotions and connect with an audience. This is because our sense of smell is most linked to memory and feelings. When a guest walks into a hotel and experiences their scent, they instantly link that scent to the hotel brand. It is this association that brands leverage when developing luxury hotel candles.

Selection Of a Candle Vendor

Creating an exceptional olfactory experience requires the ultimate in candle ingredients and aesthetics. The best candle vendors have acquired the expertise and technology to produce candles in a consistent and predictable manner. With hundreds of fragrance variations, the candle vendor can make recommendations based on market dynamics, brand experience, etc.

From scent creation to providing high-quality packaging, the best candle vendors produce a candle that communicates your brand in a memorable way.

Scent Selection

Scent selection is the single most important step in creating a hotel candle. There are an endless number of fragrance combinations, but what creates an exceptional olfactive experience is when a scent is aligned with your brand goals. Only a few candle vendors offer custom scent development services. This is because it requires the expertise of a perfumer – a skilled professional that has the knowledge and creativity to blend raw materials into beautiful fragrances.

Box Packaging

Whether it’s for hotel retail or gifting, packaging plays an important role in brand experience. Incorporating the hotel logo into the design elevates your brand identity. Some candle vendors offer an experienced package designer that is skilled at art and branding. The package designer is able to associate art design with your signature scent.

Vessel Design

A candle vessel is traditionally made with glass, but other options include ceramic and metal. Candle vessels have attention-grabbing details that play a central role in delivering the hotel aesthetic. Candle vendors offer a variety of design options ranging from materials, colors, printing, surface finishes, etc.

The 5 Best Hotel Candles

Creating a hotel candle is an exciting opportunity to push the boundaries of brand experience. Karl Winters identifies the top 5 hotel candles that can serve as inspiration for your own project:

1. Edition Hotel Candle

Edition hotel candles are an epitome of luxury. Designed with a matte black finish, the 7-ounce candle makes for a high end home decor gift. Ian Schrager was personally involved in scent selection, which is marketed as “a blend of black tea, bergamot, cedarwood, and pepper.” For those home fragrance aficionados, the Edition signature scent is also available as a 6.7 ounce reed diffuser

2. Hotel Costes Candle

The brown scented candle is in its own league with its distinct signature scent. The fragrance was masterfully designed by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti in 2001, under the artistic direction of Rami Mekdachi.

This brown candle was inspired by a piece of furniture from the Ming dynasty. With primary woody notes such as mahogany, incense and bitter orange skin, the scent represents the design interiors of Hotel Costes. 

3. 1 Hotel Candle

1 Hotel’s signature candle is an ivory candle which releases an aroma of earthy and woody fragrances with hints of eucalyptus and oakwood. It has an uplifting and refreshing feel of the outdoors. A simple white aesthetic further supports the zen concept of this hotel brand.

4. Ritz-Carlton Candle

The Ritz-Carlton has invested in an impressive online digital retail shop that offers a range of products that includes candles, diffusers, and room sprays. Luxury candles are available in scents like black orchid, green tea, jasmine and apple. The candle scents of 1927 and 50 Central Park were inspired by each of their respective locations.

5. Ritz-Paris Candle

The Ritz-Paris candle is a beautiful piece of art that is priced at 295 Euros. The white porcelain vessel with its decorative pattern presents a level of sophistication that is reminiscent of Parisian luxury. Scent notes are described as “an amber heart, with a touch of black peppercorn, and notes of jasmine and tonka beans.”