Candles, their lights and glows. Everything about a nice candle screams class, ambience, some peace. This is why they’re used as decoration in homes. They look nice! They provide good lighting too. There was a time when candles were used only because of the light they provide but now, most candles are valued for the scents they have.

Candles are major tools in aromatherapy. The burning over a period of time ensures a particular scent(if the candle is scented) fills the room for some time. This way, they help dispense aromas in an environment and this is the basis of aromatherapy. Candles that don’t smell can be a problem, especially when they were supposed to be scented candles. Now, what’s a scented candle without the scent? A mound of wax, that’s what it is.

There are a number of things that can be responsible for the inability of a candle to smell. From the environment where it’s kept when lighted to the manufacturing process, literally, anything can be the reason your candles are not smelling. Most things are useless if they cannot perform the duties for which they are created or bought, and the same goes for scented candles. Scented candles are created to scent and if they’re not doing that, it’s wrong. To understand why your candles are not smelling, you must first understand what makes them smell.



It’s definitely not just one thing that makes a candle smell. What really is responsible for the scent of a candle? The scent throw of a candle is its fragrance strength; how strongly it smells. It involves cold throw(how the candle smells when not lit) and hot throw(how the candle smells when lit). A good candle should have good cold and hot scent throws.

A bad or low-quality candle may have a good cold scent throw, convincing you to buy it. However, once you light it and realize its truth, it’s already too late to get a refund. So, the question is, what determines the scent throw of a candle?

  • Quality: Bad workmanship will always result in bad quality candles. Quality is almost always based on how much you’re spending on your candles. If you’re getting really cheap candles, best believe they’re being made from low-quality materials.
  • Type of Wax Used: Another determinant is the type of wax used in making the candle. Paraffin wax has the highest fragrance load. This means that it retains fragrances the most. It also ranks high on the hot and cold throw scales. This means it smells nice when lit and when not lit. Beeswax on the other hand already has a mild honey scent so, it doesn’t retain fragrances as well. It ranks medium on both scent throw scales.

What really makes your candles smell is the fragrances added. They may be natural like in the case of essential oils or chemical agents like chemical fragrances.



So, why are your candles not smelling? That’s the reason you’re reading this article, right? Let’s get to it then. The reason your candles aren’t smelling could be anything, really. We’ve already touched on some of them in the previous section. Low quality and the wax type used are manhole reasons. Others include:

  • Where It’s Placed: Burning a candle in a room with open windows will only give the scents escape routes. Not saying you should not ventilate your rooms but if a poor quality candle is being burned in a room with lots of air space, there really is no hope for its smelling.
  • Manufacturing Mistake: Adding chemical fragrances to beeswax is definitely a waste of time as its fragrance load and it won’t retain much. So, that might be the reason your candles aren’t smelling. Also, mistakes on the part of the manufacturers may cause the fragrance to be retained by only some parts of the candle and after those burn, your candle stops smelling.
  • How You Burn Your Candle: Using the wrong burning technique can cause a problem. Although this is not something that is taught when you bug a candle, you just might have to learn this on your own if you want your candles to smell right. Burning your candles properly will ensure that whatever fragrance present in them will be diffuse out of the candle and into the area properly.
  • How You Store Your Candle: Know it or not(well, now, you know it), there are correct temperatures for storing your candles. Storing candles at an incorrect temperature can affect the scent so, you’re advised to do the right thing. Store your candles in a dry place between 50-85°F helps improve the scent.
  • How Often You Use Your Candle: Some probably believe beeping a candle unused is an economic decision. It’s not wine. It doesn’t get better as it ages. Leaving a candle unused is bad even for good-quality candles. Think about the effect it has on the ones of bad quality.


This is easy to deduce from everything mentioned in the section just before this. Try placing your candle in a smaller room. If you’re a candle maker, do not use chemical fragrances in beeswax. Paraffin wax retains them better. For beeswax candles, try adding essential oils. Lavender oil has an amazing, calming scent so, you can try that. Ensure you add the essential oils to the wax pool.

The wax is still hot and in liquid form then so, it’s easy for everything to mix well. The proper way to burn your candles is to ensure the first burn lasts for at least four hours. If your candle comes with a lid, keep the lid. The lids help to keep the scent in when the candles are not in use. Also, use your candles regularly. Unused candles can only keep their scent for so long(really, it’s not so long) and why buy a candle if you won’t use it?

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