Types of Scents For Candles

Home fragrance can instantly change the mood of a room, and a perfectly placed scent can transform a tired space into a room with a distinct personality. When it comes to choosing a home fragrance, there are many products such as candles, diffusers, and room sprays. With so many popular candle scents, how do you know which scent is best for you? An understanding of the scent categories will help identify the types of scents for candles, and how to choose the best candles for you.


Scents are known to evoke emotions and feelings in all of us. This is because our sense of smell is directly connected to emotional centers in our brain that control feelings and memories. Scientists have long studied the connection between scents and emotion (known as aromachology, which is different than aromatherapy). For example, lavender scents trigger feelings of calmness and relaxation, whereas grapefruit scent are energizing and make you feel more alert.

All scents have a meaning to every person who experiences them. With many types of scents for candles, you can start by asking yourself questions:

  • How do you want a scent to make you feel throughout the day?
  • Is there a specific feeling you want to elicit?
  • Do you want to associate a scent with a particular Season? A summer scent is more citrus and uplifting, whereas a fall scent is cozy and woody.
how fragrance affects emotions and feelings


Developed by perfume expert Michael Edwards, the fragrance wheel is a classification system that groups common scents into scent categories. If you’re making a “blind” candle purchase online, knowing where a scent is on the fragrance wheel will help guide you in the right direction. Even though scented candles are made from a blend of fragrance oils, the majority have a dominant aroma that can be identified. Its for this reason that different candle scents are divided into 4 main categories: floral, fresh, woody and oriental.

fragrance families are floral, fresh, woody oriental

Floral Scents

Florals are rich and varied, taking much of its inspiration from flowers. Considered a heart note on the olfactory pyramid, florals one of the most popular categories as many ingredients are derived from nature. It varies from a single rose petal, to a more elaborate abstraction from flowers such as magnolia, jasmine and tuberose. Floral candles can be described as mild and delicate, while others are more exotic and intense. Some of the most common spring candle scents are made with floral & fruity scents, making them one of the most diverse fragrance families.

floral scents used in candle making
Fruity scents part of the floral family
lavender scented candles are from the floral family

The Unique Quality of Floral Jasmine

This tiny white jasmine flower has long been used in perfumery. Jasmine scent is considered an aphrodisiac and conjures up images of a Mediterranean garden and soft summer breezes rich in coconut and orange blossom. A universal aroma (unlike a rose candle, which is predominantly feminine and soft), a jasmine candle brings a powerful and seductive scent to the home, elevating the mood, with its sexy, strong, yet fresh aroma.

jasmine oil has a unique aroma used in candle making

Fresh Scents

Splashes of bright citrus, grassy green notes and aquatic aromas makes this family a breath of freshly scented air. Citrus scents are fresh and loved by many – they feel bright, exuberant, and uplifting. The citrus aromas of mandarin, bergamot, orange zest and grapefruit tend to remind us of sunny Summer days. When this is mixed with aquatics, we are transported to the seaside and the smells of a cool ocean breeze.

fresh scents for candles includes aroma of water and sea breeze
grapefruit oi is a citrus scent which is part of the fresh family
bergamot oil is a citrus scent which is part of fresh family
Mouthwatering and refreshing, summer candle scents such as coconut and orange zest evoke-cold cocktails and walks in groves on hot languid days. Combined with herbs and floral extracts, you create vibrant scents that feel as restorative as an exotic holiday.

Woody Scents

This family takes their names from the source of the extracts – the heartwoods of trees and roots from around the world. Woody scents are rich and warm, earthy and slightly intense. Vetiver and sandalwood are well known, but the rising stars of this family are cedarwood, oud and patchouli. Woods have long been characterized as having a masculine edge, yet they are key for universal appeal. They can be given a twist by adding fruity or floral scents. The best fall scented candles are often heavily influenced by woody fragrances that are designed to be warm, spicey and intimate.

aroma of dried fruits and spices are part of the woody family
cedar scent is part of the woody family
woody scents are from trees and roots from around the world

What Is Oud Scent

Oud scent, long used in Asia and Middle East, has been growing in popularity in the Americas (Tom Ford perfume Oud Wood). Because it’s distilled from Agarwood from places like India and Bangladesh, it’s among the most expensive fragrance raw materials. While woody scents are known for their earthy qualities, oud provides a contrasting sweet scent that is described as velvety, musky and luxurious.

Oud is from agarwood and the scent is rich, warm and intense.

Oriental Scents

Exotic and sensual, this family’s signature is made of highly aromatic notes like vanilla, smoky incense and complex spices and resins such as amber. Vastly different ins tyle from florals, oriental scents are usually loved in the evening. Frankincense and Myrrh are gum resins derived from the sap of trees and are described as sweet, warm and woodsy. If you’re looking for Christmas scented candles other than the classic pine and sugary scents, then Frankincense and Myrrh are the best Christmas scents for you.

vanilla scented candles are part of the oriental family
Frankincense and myrrh are resins with aromas part of oriental family
amber scented candles are from the oriental family