Scentual Speak: Just What IS Your Favorite?

Scent is the main reason we buy a certain candle.  Makes sense, scent is very personal. Personally, my sniffer is seasonal. Holiday and freshly baked cookie scents in fall and winter; bright, crisp citrus and very light florals for spring and summer.  While doing a little scentsual research, I was not surprised to find the top-selling scent of most candlistas is … vanilla.

Vanilla scents evoke a warm, cozy feeling.  And a notable scent can stir up the deepest memories.  Aromatherapy gurus agree that citrus and mints are energizing, lavender is calming, basil has properties that support concentration, and jasmine can be an aphrodisiac.  My own bit of unscientific research tells me that people are strongly opinionated about what wafts around their homes. As well they should be. I need to know these things. That’s my business. Method to madness ….

With a sniff, sniff here and a sniff, sniff there … my new “endeavor” puts my olfactory sense into overdrive. After evaluating all sorts of activities that produce money, I’m rolling out a new business.

When I told Austin Ann about it, she laughed so hard. “You’ve had so many jobs, you remind me of that nursery rhyme … “…a butcher, a baker””; now I’m a candlestick maker smeller/seller.    My new situation rocks with the lights on; I can be creative and outsource production. When I was a real estate agent (don’t ask), I would put a tray of slice-and-bake cookies in the oven before an open house. That smell was a home aphrodisiac. Now I have a candle for that! One interesting tidbit about choosing candle scents and/or perfume: have coffee beans on hand when doing so. Take a whiff of the coffee beans in between each sniff; this clears the olfactory palette for the next option.

There are many cool aspects to this venture . I’m so lucky to work with an incredible candle maker (local), actually apply my marketing plan, design labels, packaging, and sell the product. And I know this product because I’ve burned these candles for two years.The fragrance combinations are limitless.  I like limitless.

Here’s where you come in – if you are a candle person.  I want to know what you like, scentually speaking. Do you have a favorite? Favorites?

Please, please tell me now … this is something I should know! (apologies to Duran Duran).



*Many thanks to Dizzy*

43 thoughts on “Scentual Speak: Just What IS Your Favorite?

  1. The warming scent of Cinnamon and Honey. Brandied Apple for the Christmas season and Fresh Rose in spring. I only use Yankee candles as these are the only ones I have found that actually scent the house with the perfume, not just the smell of a burning candle.

  2. Congrats on your new gig, Izzie…I’m not a “candle person” unless the electricity is out, so I don’t have anything to contribute to your research unfortunately…


  3. Eucalyptus sends me into a swoon. And I’ve read that scent memory is stronger than visual or auditory.

    • It is swoonish, isn’t it, Life? It’s properties are those of healing and purification. Makes sense. I have heard the same about scent memory. Love learning new things. Have a great weekend.

  4. Strange, I don’t really like eating chocolate, but there’s a locally manufactured candle that is chocolate scented and I adore it.
    Let me know when you’re ready for the export market 🙂

  5. I tend to like floral scents that aren’t over powering but sort of crispy. I prefer scents like plumeria, orange blossoms, gardenias, lavender…etc. I do like cookie scents though I rather have the real cookie. Lol. Good luck with your new venture! Sounds fun!

    • Hey FT! I love orange blossoms – am working on a mix using orange blossoms at this moment. Am so excited, FT – my youngest will be in SF over school break and, because of YOU and your great blog, she will be dining at your recommendation. Thank you!

      • So sweet to say! Thanks…that should be lots of fun for her! Make sure she packs a jacket and a scarf that’s light but warm. We go through multi-seasons in one day, so even though it may be warm, it can turn cold quickly. As for your orange blossom mix, love that!

  6. I like anything beautiful, aromatic, sensual, alluring, flowery,……that will cover up the smell of hoarder. 🙂

    • Ok, Mr. Idiot Pants, I am on pain med and had to have a shoulder massage yesterday as a result of my paranoia re: hoarding. Have gotten rid of so much stuff – and scored about 2K in a week. So put that in your pipe and smoke it. Nevermind, it’s buried under a mountain of stuff by your computer. Ha! you hoarder.

  7. Being from New England, that fragrence would be bay berry.

  8. Izzie-My Mrs. Meyers plug-ins are filled with Basil oils right now and it seems to never get old, isn’t overwhelming and makes my house feel cozy. I also like seasonal scents if they smell real. love ya, mean it-

  9. Hmmm.. I dislike heavy artificial smells in candles. I prefer clean crisp scents. I have a vanilla/orange candle I like, I agree with your thoughts about vanilla . One with mango ginger is nice, but after awhile it gets too ‘sweet’. In winter I like an evergreen smell or one with a light hint of cinnamon.
    Does that help?

    • Me, too, Walker. I can’t stand nasty, strongly perfumed candles. As a matter of fact, have been working with candle-maker for a month to get the orange/vanilla exactly like that of a certain candle that is made by a company whose name begins with T. I like a green smell, too. Yes, you helped. Merci!

  10. I love clean scents like crisp linen, fresh rain, lemon and basil. I really don’t like the sweet smells like vanilla or cookies in a candle. The real thing, yes, but something about them does not translate into a candle for me. I like the evergreen scents, too.

    And now I have that song in my head!

  11. If you get your new venture to the UK, do let me know the name, I would love to give them a try, I am sure they will be amazing. Good luck!!!

  12. I, too, can be very seasonal in my scentual preferences. But…overall I like light, natural scents. Like linen or green tea or light fruity type aromas. Light, fresh and clean, I guess, is how I would describe it. Many times floral scents are too strong for me and I wouldn’t want it throughout my house. But, I could also tolerate scents like chocolate chip cookies, but then again, maybe I’d gain weight if I was always smelling them cause my hand would constantly be in the cookie jar. 😉

  13. Hey Jillsy! I don’t have a cookie jar so I’m safe. I love green tea; my perfume is white tea – I love any tea! Yes, fresh, clean, bright scents that don’t knock you over. Thanks for the input 🙂

  14. Vanilla! It will always be Vanilla! It is just a smell that warms the hole house and makes me hungry! 🙂

  15. We were at Greenwich market yesterday and I was checking out a stall selling floating candles. Loved the geranium ones and the rose ones especially … mmm. Look forward to you and your candles flying over to this side of the pond!
    Sunshine xx

    • Yum, geranium! Am working with candle maker on rose; she has one but I want something different. If the candles come, I come with them – I’ll bring them when we have that cocktail….

  16. Patchouli is my favourite scent. A close second is cinnamon.

  17. I don’t like vanilla scent either and tend to shy away from anything that smells like candy or food in general with a big exception being pumpkin spice for some reason that smells really good to me. My preference are the clean crisp scent in spring (orange blossom a major favorite) and linen type scents that remind me of soap or laundry. For winter evergreen smells rock. I also like natural earthy smells. And I agree about the yankee candles doing a good job at not smelling of candle wax. I have some from BBW and while the scent is great I do smell the waxy burning candle scent too much. I used to love Illuminations…but can’t find them anymore.

    • If you smell the wax, it’s a cheap candle – you may have paid a lot for it, but the maker used cheap, crap wax. I have several really clean scents – I love them, too! Hmmm … Illuminations … will check on that. Hang in there, girl – you are amazing.

  18. I like vanilla. And any other scent that reminds me of dessert. Right now I have a birthday cake candle, an apples and cinnamon candle, and a sugar cookie candle.

    My shampoo choices are currently candy corn or cookies and cream.

    • Thoughts, I do not think there is anything that doesn’t remind you of dessert which makes me laugh all the time. You better buy size XXXLLL for after your cruise because you are going to live under the dessert buffet. Just sayin’ – and you better enjoy every second of it!

  19. I’m with Livvy. Unless there’s a Duran Duran scented candle, maybe? Le rowr rowr.

  20. Funny thing — back in the day, I was once a real estate agent, too. I used to put cinnamon sticks in a pot of water on the stove to make the house smell good enough to buy. Anyway, I am anti candles that smell like food — they make me want to eat, non-stop. Except for coconut, vanilla and lime, those are my favorites during the warmer, sunnier months. For the rest of the year, I love the musky smells like sandalwood, frankincense, etc. Good luck! And let us know when you’re doing the mail-order thing.

    • Geez, wasn’t that the WORST job ever? Hopefully you had a better time of it than I did. All I did was cry. Ridic. So funny we were smelling up places so they would sell. Thanks for the good wishes. I ship all over. 🙂

  21. I love it darling! My favorite scent is VANILLA… Oh man, I have to tell you a funny story about a candle, but am at internship…needed distractions…uhm…I will blog about it tmrw instead 🙂

    I almost ended up selling candles on my blog!!!

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