My ideal night includes a hot bath, a cup of tea, a relaxing playlist, and one of the best aromatherapy candles burning next to me. This bath ritual has been my tried and true method for switching from “busy day mode” to “chill night mode,” and my days just aren’t the same without it. I recently got back from vacation and while I tried to mimic this routine in the hotel, something just wasn’t the same. I couldn’t put my finger on why it wasn’t as peaceful until I got home and lit the candle next to my bath. Turns out, the aromatherapy aspect of my wind-down routine plays a huge role in my relaxation.
With this discovery in mind, I set out to learn more about this phenomenon and search for the best aromatherapy candles for all of my needs. I reached out to Kiana Shelton, LCSW with Mindpath Health to learn about the benefits of aromatherapy, the optimal scents for different results, and, of course, her recommendations for the best aromatherapy candles. Read on to see just how scented candles can affect the mind. Get ready to fill your cart.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
What are the benefits of aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy activates one of our five senses, smell. By activating the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that stores many of our memories and emotions, aromatherapy can be a beneficial way of tapping into various emotions.
What should we look for in aromatherapy candles?
When picking an aromatherapy candle, there is no one-scent-fits-all. This is an opportunity for you to tailor to any needs or desired results you may have. It’s also important to read the labels of your candles, as many candles today are made with a combination of carcinogenic ingredients hidden in addition to natural ones, so it can be tricky. It’s best to seek out coconut, soy or beeswax-based candles.
Which scents are optimal for aromatherapy? What does each scent target?
Improve relaxation: Chamomile, lavender, rose, vetiver and ylang ylang
Revitalize energy: Citrus, clary sage, ginger, lemon, orange, peppermint, and sandalwood
Decrease stress: Bergamot, lavender, rose and eucalyptus
What is your personal favorite aromatherapy candle?
HOAM Candle Co. is my go-to place for candles. My number one candle recommendation is called “Me Time.” This candle has notes of spiced citrus and vanilla tonka rounded out with cocoa butter, sandalwood, and cedarwood. Also, I believe there is power in names, and I love how the candle calls you to take some time for yourself as well. We all can benefit from a little aromatherapy “me time.”
Shop the Best Aromatherapy Candles, For Any Need
Best Aromatherapy Candles to Improve Relaxation
Chamomile Scented: NEOM Bedtime Hero Candle
The name doesn’t lie—this candle is a true bedtime hero. It’s hand-poured with natural wax, which contains no synthetic ingredients, paraffin, or chemical binders. The wax is blended with pure essential oils, giving this candle a 100% natural fragrance. While chamomile is the strongest aroma, it also contains ylang ylang and cedarwood.
Lavender Scented: Maison Louis Marie Antidris Lavender Candle
This clean-burning candle contains soothing notes of lavender, eucalyptus, amber stone, fennel, and vanilla. It is earthy and woody, making your home smell like your favorite spa. If fruitier candles aren’t your thing, try this Antidris Lavender Candle.
Lavender Scented: NEOM Perfect Night’s Sleep Scented Candle
Next time you feel a sleepless night coming on, light this candle and fill your bedroom with the aroma of English lavender, jasmine, and basil. Made with hand-poured, 100% natural wax, this candle will bring you one step closer to your Perfect Night’s Sleep.
Rose Scented: Diptyque Roses Scented Candle
This floral candle will transport you to a spring day surrounded by rose gardens. It has no synthetic fragrances, ensuring that the scent remains pure and true, and the candle stays safe to burn. The scent is fresh and relaxing, giving your whole body a sense of peace.
Rose Scented: BROWN GIRL JANE Warm Cashmere Perfumed Candle
This rose scented candle is both feminine and luxurious. It’s vegan, made from coconut and soy wax, and is designed to evoke a calming, romantic, fresh feeling. The fragrance story is all about summer nights surrounded by rosebuds and the perfect cool breeze.
Vetiver Scented: Aesop Aromatique Candle
Designed to smell like an ancient forest, this vegan candle is formulated with vetiver, cedar, and cypress. It’s woodsy, earthy, and ultra-relaxing, with a long-lasting fragrance thanks to the base of Paraffin and Rapeseed Oil.
Ylang Ylang Scented: Molton Brown Ylang Ylang Candle
This candle is perfect for pressing pause and winding down. The scent is described as “indulgent,” which is exactly how I like my relaxation time to feel. The top notes are ylang ylang, bergamot, and orange. It’s rich and peaceful, just like the purple color of the container.
Best Aromatherapy Candles To Improve or Revitalize Energy
Citrus Scented: Boy Smells Italian Kush
When I’m craving a taste of Italy, this candle does the trick. It has notes of limoncello, black pepper, basil, oregano, and cypress, truly transporting you to the perfect Italian day. All of Boy Smell’s candles are sustainably made and packaged, free of Sulfates and Phthalates, and use a blend of coconut and beeswax.
Citrus Scented: NEOM Happiness Scented Candle
NEOM’s mantra is “whatever your version of happiness… it starts with a state of mind,” and this candle will definitely put you in the right state of mind. It’s 100% natural and blends together white neroli, mimosa, and lemon to deliver a bright and revitalizing scent. Plus, it’s been expertly proven to increase positive feelings.
Clary Sage Scented: LAFCO Clary Sage Absolute Signature Candle
This candle is arguably the most beautiful on this list, as each vessel in LAFCO’s Absolute Collection is a one-of-a-kind piece of art. The scent blends clary sage with chamomile, red currant, a touch of spice, and cedarwood to create a warm, potent, and invigorating fragrance. It has a clean burning soy wax and a 90-hour burn time, after which the vessel can live on as a repurposed vase or glass.
Ginger Scented: AMASS Pseudo Citrine
This candle is sunny, bright, and bursting with notes of lemon, green tea, grapefruit, lavender, and my favorite, ginger. It’s a natural soy wax blend that is both cruelty-free and vegan, with a 100% cotton wick. According to AMASS, this candle will transport you to the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, with the warm sun and shimmering water ahead of you. Sniff for yourself to find out.
Peppermint Scented: LAFCO Mint Tisane Meditation Room Classic Candle
Imagine peppermint and spearmint tea with a healthy squeeze of lime and a sprig of basil. That’s essentially what this candle smells like. Notes of eucalyptus, sage, and ginger combine to make this candle the ultimate meditation tool, as it truly reenergizes your mind and your space. Plus, the green vessel is the perfect pop of color for any room.
Sandalwood Scented: Diptyque Santal (Sandalwood) Scented Candle
Diptyque’s Santal candle is both velvety and slightly spicy. The fragrance imagery is that of freshly cut sandalwood and fine sawdust laid out on the ground. The imagery alone seems to invigorate my mind and the scent most definitely revitalizes my energy.
Sandalwood Scented: APOTHEKE Signature Charcoal Candle
A combination of sandalwood and cedarwood, this clean burning candle has a broody vibe to it. The high-quality soy-wax blend and perfume-grade fragrance oils make this candle extra luxurious. This is what I would want my future husband’s office to smell like.
Best Aromatherapy Candles to Decrease Stress
Bergamot Scented: OUAI North Bondi Candle
The North Bondi Candle is said to have bottled the coastline of Sydney, Australia. Notes of lemon, violet, and bergamot give the candle a bright, revitalizing scent that will wake up all of your senses. It’s also made with a coconut and soy wax blend. For the OUAI haircare fans, this candle has the same scent as their Leave-In Conditioner and Wave Spray.
Bergamot Scented: Crate & Barrel Geranium + Bergamot Candle
This plant-based wax candle is made with an essential oil combination that will fill your space with an intoxicating, almost spicy floral fragrance. If you’re like me and had no idea what bergamot is, it’s an oily substance that comes from the rind of an orange-like fruit. Perfect for a kitchen space, this candle’s scent is fresh, clean, and enticing, with just the right amount of citrus.
Eucalyptus Scented: LAFCO Rosemary Eucalyptus
This eucalyptus candle is made from soy wax and is hand-poured into a hand-blown glass container, making it just as lovely on the eyes as it is on the nose. Plus, the glass can be repurposed after the 50-hour burn time expires. It’s designed to clear your mind and promote inspiration.
Eucalyptus Scented: AMASS The Art of Staying In, $48
For those nights when you just want to cozy up in your home and decompress, this candle will be your best friend. It blends notes of citrus, florals, and woods with eucalyptus to promote quiet and peace. AMASS adds a story to describe each of their candles, and this scent is described as a Sunday on the couch with a roaring fire and light rain… AKA, my perfect night in.
Editor’s note: See above for Lavender and Rose Scented candles that also decrease stress.