1. Find Your Favorite Candles (And Stick to Them)
In my search for the perfect scent, I’ve done what most candle lovers do - smell so many they start to smell the same. But sampling all the fragrances before you commit is part of the fun anyway, right? Well if you’re like me, you eventually become overwhelmed, tap out, and leave empty-handed.
After smelling my fair share of candles (I’m talking hundreds), I found that knowing exactly what you’re looking for is the smartest move. If you already have a clear idea of what scents you’re after, your candle selection is automatically downsized. What’s more, once you find you have a favorite palette (floral, fruity, festive, etc.) it’s a lot easier to develop a rotation and stick to it.
2. Scented Candles are Seasonal
Like your favorite latte, most candles are seasonal and they’re only available for a limited time. Since you only have a few months to buy your favorites, it’s even more important to know what you want and where to look. My go-to stores for seasonal candles are William Sonoma and Bath & Body Works. Target also has a great candle selection, but some of their scents aren’t as fragrant when lit.
I love nature-inspired scents, so I have my favorite candles that I buy each season. Doing this saves me the trouble of looking for scents that aren’t available during certain times of year; I also have a new scent to look forward to every season.
3. Candle Quality Varies by Brand
It’s better to buy your candles at a store whose candle quality you’re already familiar with. While it would be nice to assume the scents you love smell the same no matter where you buy them, they don’t. As a matter of fact, finding a candle that’s identical to another brand’s (despite their name) is more difficult than finding the perfect scent in the first place.
Most brands have their own unique ingredients and mixtures, making each candle different from its competitors. Some candles are lighter while others are more fragrant depending on the amount of essence in them. When lit, some even smell completely different than when you first bought them. To avoid these scenarios, it’s a safer bet to stick to the candle store you love once you find it.
4. Some Candles are For Decor
Not all candles are for burning. As a matter of fact, I’ve accidentally purchased multiple unscented thinking they had some sort of fragrance. While not all candles are to be lit, you can still rely on them for adding a bit of decor to your space. I frequently purchase candles because of how they look and I have no intention of lighting them.
Also, beware of the citronella candle. I once made the silly mistake of buying a beautifully set candle in a vibrant yellow jar. I later found out it was citronella candle (for outdoor use only). Not knowing any better, I assumed outdoor candles wouldn’t be merchandised with indoor candles. Needless enough to say, I’ve been extra careful since.
5. If You Love a Candle, Buy it in Bulk
There have been countless times I’ve found a candle (shoes, too) and wished I bought two or three of them. As is the risk with shopping, there’s a chance you may never find it again. Some candles are limited runs, other are made to test the market. Whatever the reason, if you really do find a scent you love, I suggest buying more than one.
If you’re not comfortable buying in bulk, I suggest asking a sales associate if that candle is ever coming back. If the answer is no, then you know to empty the shelves.