I have always wanted to write about candles. I have an almost unhealthy obsession with them. They sit on my book shelf, on my coffee table, underneath my flowerpots, literally in every corner of my house.

I LOVE candles, all types They light up my life, and they are delightful ‘creatures’ that brighten my day. Selecting aromas can be a test to many. As candle houses continue to bring out new scents, it can be confusing to the consumer. To pique our interest, some candle houses offer packaging that is unique and identical, while others can be reused as a cup, or offer some other functional feature. They all look adorable from the outside –  the big question is, which one to choose?

 Invigorating aromas are great for living areas, an office or home office. Often I love to display one with citrus, rosemary or minty scents in those spaces. These candles are welcoming and can help with concentration. To enhance the display, put a few tangerines and plums around the bottom of the candle cup.

For the kitchen, I personally like fruity or herbal scented candles: strawberry or pear are my favourite, simply because they go well with my dishwashing liquid. But when decorating a dining table or a tea party, it can be trickier than you realise – the aroma should go well with the food and beverages, without actually smelling like food. Citrusy candles are safe, or lemongrass is another option. If you can’t decide, go for an odour removing candle.

Fresh scents are perfect for the dressing table or a walk-in wardrobe. Clear the mind while stepping into those zones with scents like fig, cotton flower or sea breeze. The gorgeous fragrances often linger on the fingertips while you are selecting your outfit of the day, or when you wrap a silk scarf on the handle of your handbag – it can even transfer slightly to your lip while applying lipstick or balm. What a moment!

Relaxing notes are always top bath time picks – these include lavender, eucalyptus and frankincense. Did you know you they are also great to pair with wine? Sandalwood not only creates a soothing atmosphere for meditation sessions, it also complements fruity red wine perfectly.

What’s suitable for bedrooms or bedside tables? I can assume everyone straight away thinks of lavender. I also suggest vanilla, vetiver, neroli and chamomile for sweet dreams. It’s always nice to try and create your unique ‘smell’ in your bedroom. To impress your partner (or lover), why not consider a romantic scented candle? Compared to the price of a bunch of flowers, which can usually last only days, sometimes weeks, a 250ml candle offers a cost-effective alternative. These can have a burn time of more than 50 hours. Lighting up a candle in hourly intervals, or every few hours, will provide a scent that lasts far longer than a bouquet.

Rose and jasmine are classic scents – you can’t go wrong with these as a special gift. Peony, lily of the valley, freesia or osmanthus add extra scores because they are unique scents, not found in your common candle. Champagne notes are a new trend. These all work quite well if you plan to spend a weekend evening together or cook an intimate meal just for two.

Top tip – trim the wick, as you don’t want the soot and smoke or an ‘oversized’ flame to ruin your night. The smartest idea of picking candles I have ever heard is to go by seasons. It’s like enjoying fresh food for each season – simply pick what’s relevant for now.

Another good tip I picked up is to select a scent that reminds you the places you enjoy visiting. Before electricity, we had candles as necessity. Today, burning candles has become a thing of style. To me, it is still a necessity! We cannot buy happiness, but hey, we can always buy a candle.

This article appeared in the Winter issue of Retail Beauty.

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