Which Candle Holds Scent Longest?

Michelle Radcliff
calming candles

Container candles made with high-quality wax and high-quality fragrance oils will hold scent for years when properly stored, burned and maintained. The following resources will point you in the right direction for finding high quality candles with strong, wonderful aromas but when it comes to a long-lasting scent, the way the candle burns makes all the difference.

Luxury Candle Recommendations

There's no denying the high price but if you want a fabulously decorated room to smell as good as it looks, a luxury candle can do that. Some of the best of the best come recommended by the fragrance experts at Candles Off Main and a handful of other popular lifestyle blogs and beauty editors obsessed in fragrant indulgences.

NEST Fragrances

Home fragrance expert David Adams (Candles Off Main) always recommends NEST candles to customers looking for fragrant candles, due to their variety and ability to pack a powerful punch. You'll find they have long-lasting scents, as attested by these reviewers:

  • Candlefind's Christina Rylan was impressed by the clean, even burning of the 2 ounce Ocean Mist & Sea Salt votive and the 8 ounce Holiday Candle by NEST. Both burned perfectly from start to finish, filling the room with scent and rating 9 on a 1-10 scale for scent strength.
  • Fragrance blogger Victoria Jent had a similar experience with the Moroccan Amber, described as "a spicy powdery scent with a cooling camphoric side." Jent reports an even burn with great throw and scent that lingers long after the candle is put out.

NEST Fragrances offers an 8.1 ounce classic candle (50-60 hours burn time) priced at $40 or a 2 ounce votive (20 hours burn time). For larger rooms, they offer a three wick, 21.2 ounce candle (80-100 hours burn time) for $64.

(MALIN + GOETZ)

Put some spirit in the air with a Dark Rum votive candle by (MALIN + GOETZ), one of PopSugar's 9 Scented Candles Interior Designers Always Buy. With a sumptuous blend of bergamot and plum top notes, rum and leather middle notes and base notes of Amber, patchouli and vanilla, it's a wonderful fragrance by itself or paired with a citrusy Mojito candle. Scent length and potency was a key factor for the recommendations of the (MALIN + GOETZ) candle for these bloggers, too:

  • When reviewed by UK beauty blogger, Adrienne of The Sunday Girl, the Dark Rum candle quickly won her over and became one of her most favorite scents. Impressed by the potency of the small, 2.35 ounce votive which she could smell in the room before it was even lit, Adrienne said she could still smell the scent of the candle from when she had burned it the previous night.
  • The scented votive also gained favor with popular UK beauty blogger, Kat Clark, who fancies herself sipping rum in front of an autumn log fire when the scent fills the room.

A 9 ounce Dark Rum Candle with 60 hours of burn time is priced at $54 at (MALIN + GOETZ) or $52 at Candle Delirium.

diptyque

diptyque is a luxury candle brand from Paris that has made its way onto the top scented candle lists of lifestyle blogs like Refinery 29, Popsugar's 10 Best and beauty blogs The RAEviewer and Elle.com. Not only do the candles feature sleek, graphic packaging and labels, they also have ultrachic names like Figuier (fig tree) or Feu de Boise (firewood).

According to xo Vain beauty editor, Anne-Marie Guarnieri, diptyque's Baise is one of her top five all-time favorite scents. Guarnieri also claims to have an 11-year-old Essence of John Gaglliano diptyque votive that still smells as "perfectly sexy sweaty" as it did when it was new (a blended scent of musk, leather, smoke and vanilla), convincing her that diptyque candles are worth every cent of their price.

Standard votives, 6.5 oz. in most scents cost $62 or a 2.4 oz. mini votive costs $32 at diptyque.

capri BLUE

Dedicated Candle Scoop blogger, Andrea Haskins, is totally hooked on capri BLUE's Volcano candle scent, a mix of tropical fruit and sugared citrus. Fragrance expert David Adams claims it knocks him out of the room and the candle became the signature scent for Anthropologie stores. Lauren Conrad is partial to another Anthropologie inspired scent called Mandarin Mango.

Julie from That's Normal fell in love with the candle brand (and shopping at Anthropologie) when she experienced Aloha Orchid, an exotic scent of freshly picked orchids entwined with Gardenia and Jasmine. Julie recommends a capri BLUE candle as a gift that doesn't suck, stating that the fragrance lingers long after the candle flame is extinguished.

A 19 ounce jar candle with 85 hours of burn time goes for $30 at capri BLUE or an 8.5 ounce printed travel tin with 40 hours of burn time costs $16.

Kai Skylight

Made from a proprietary blend of soy, palm and coconut wax, this small slice of luxury has an ever growing A-list following of celebrity devotees that includes Sharon Stone and Tommy Lee. Vanity Fair describes the Kai fragrance line as "a slice of heaven," with the essence of gardenia, jasmine, lily and white musk. Gaye Straza, a Malibu boutique owner who developed the scent line drew inspiration from her own personal heaven: Hawaii. The Kai Skylight votive is a featured pick at Refinery 29 and is a personal favorite of Lauren Conrad, who feels like she's on a tropical island when she lights one up.

Lifestyle and fashion trend reporter, Christina Martin, has an ongoing love affair with the Kai fragrance line and wasn't disappointed when she tried the Kai Skylight candle. "No wonder it's become a favorite among celebrities and editors," states Martin who describes it as a subtly scented, long-lasting, unforgettable candle with a delicate and understated fragrance that brings to mind the tropics or walking past a Gardenia tree.

The Kai Skylight 10 ounce votive with 60 hours of burn time costs $48 or the 3 ounce nightlight candle with 18 hours of burn time costs $26 at Beautyhabit.

Value Candle Brands

When a high dollar splurge won't work with your budget, the following candle brands can still come through with delightful scents in candles that burn slowly and evenly or leave a lasting fragrance in the air.

Yankee Candle

Although reviews are often mixed on even the best-selling scents, an in-depth profile appearing on Racked.com reveals Yankee Candle accounts for nearly half of all candle sales in the country. No other scented candle brand even comes close to matching that. TV personality, best-selling author and fashion designer, Lauren Conrad, recommends Yankee Candles as a good alternative to the pricier luxury candle brand, diptyque. Other recommendations for scent and burning time include:

  • Yankee Candle is known for having scents that smell remarkably authentic to the real deal - chocolate cake, caramel, sweet juicy apples. Christina Rylan from Candlefind was blown away by the savory scent of Salted Caramel, which smelled good enough to eat both before and after the candle was lit. The large 22 oz. jar burned super slow and clean with no wasted wax and lasted a long time. She rated it at a 5/5 for burn performance.
  • Candle blogger Kari Ann of The Yankee Candle Sisters likes to try out Yankee scents in the form of tarts in her wax warmer. She gave Magical Frosted Forest (a fresh, wintery pine scent) a grade of A, stating it filled her living room and bathroom for the entire day with a long lasting, medium strong scent. North Pole (cool mint with creamy vanilla) earned an A-, described as a medium strength scent that filled her living room for the entire evening.

You can find hundreds of Yankee Candle stores throughout the country or shop online at Yankee Candle.com. Prices range from wax tarts (up to 8 hours burn time) for around $2 to small jar candles (3.7 ounces with 20 to 30 burning hours) at around $25 to large jar candles (22 ounces with 110 to 150 burning hours) for around $28. Sales are frequent.

Kringle Candle

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree - a well-known saying that certainly applies to Kringle. Known for its ultra-fragrant candle line, the Kringle Candle Company was founded in 2009 by Michael James Kittredge III, the son of the former founder of Yankee Candles, Michael Kittredge. According to the Kringle Candle website, the company kept all the candles white to blend perfectly with any backdrop and to emit the brightest, purest light possible.

Recommendations for their scent length come from several bloggers and reviewers:

  • UK fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger, Lorraine Bramley of Online Mummy says Kringle Candle is one of her top two favorite brands. Bramley describes the candles as intensely fragrant (all of them) with a scent that lingers 3 to 5 hours after the candle is put out. They have an outstanding long and flawless burn time and look beautiful and bright when lit.
  • Stylist Kim Clark of Vanchic fell in love with the Kringle brand as soon as she took the first whiff. Clark claims the smell lingered for two days after she burned her candle and loves the collectible look of the apothecary style jars, which she recommends reusing after the candle is gone. Rating the candles with an A+, her top picks include Fresh Baked Bread (with notes of butter) and Tranquil Waters (with notes of florals, ozone, and amber with musk).
  • Shawn of Hearth and Soul Candle Reviews raves about the scent of Kringle's Blueberry Muffin in the 22 ounce two wick jar. Taken aback by his first cold sniff, the scent left him with the impression of Boo-berry cereal. But upon lighting the candle, the true blueberry scent burst forth with a 9 out of 10 for scent appeal and an equally strong throw he could smell throughout the home while even in the shower. With the candle half gone because he loves the scent so much, Shawn still rates the throw at 8 (very strong), describing a cake like bakery note intermingled with sweet, juicy blueberries.

Kringle a brick-and-mortar store in Bernardston, Massachusetts.

Tips For Long Lasting, Clean Burns and Better Scent Throw

peach candles

Wax has a memory and will burn the same way each time a candle is relit, so it is very important to create a proper burn memory the first time you light up the candle. Yankee Candle recommends burning a candle one hour for every inch in diameter, liquefying the entire surface of the top from edge to edge. This large burn pool allows the best distribution of fragrance.

If the flame is blown out before the surface liquefies around the entire edge, the candle will create a memory ring. Each time the candle is burned it will continue to tunnel, leaving a ring of unused, solidified wax around the edge. Smaller burn pools release less fragrance and the fragrance trapped in the non-melted wax never gets released.

Keep the Wick Trimmed

The size of the wick is critical in maintaining a proper burn pool. Keep the wick trimmed to 1/8 inch at all times. Use a special tool called a wick trimmer (many candle brands sell them), which is uniquely designed to sit flush on the candles surface and will cut the wick at the appropriate length.

Allow the wax surface of the candle to melt edge to edge every time you burn it. The fragrant wax pool will give you the biggest, boldest scent possible. It is not recommended to burn a candle longer than four hours at a time. Give the wax at least two hours to cool and trim the wick before relighting. When only ½ inch of wax remains at the bottom, it's time to retire the candle.

Hint: If you plan to repurpose the candle jar, use a hot-plate style candle warmer to melt the last half inch of wax in the candle -- get one last whiff before safely disposing the melted wax.

Selecting the Right Wax for Scent

According to The Flaming Candle.com, despite trial and error or using high quality fragrance oils, certain wax types just do not blend with some types of fragrance, as is the case with soy wax. Overall, candles made from paraffin wax provide a stronger scent throw than soy wax candles.

However, for those more sensitive to smell or who may just prefer to use more eco-friendly materials, a high quality scented soy candle might be a perfect fit. Many brands of luxury scented candles are made from soy wax or natural wax blends.

According to the National Candle Association, soy wax is not safer or healthier to burn in your home than paraffin wax. Both are equally suitable and safe for home use - paraffin is even approved by the USFDA for use in food and cosmetics. Scented candles do not release toxic chemicals and you can sort out facts from myths regarding candle safety at the NCA's FAQS page.

Storage Tips

Scented candles are sensitive to both light and temperature so if you plan on storing them for an extended time, choose a cool, dry place (between 50 and 85 degrees F) away from direct sunlight or intense artificial light. Keep the wax clean and dust-free inside glass or metal containers with snug fitting lids.

Enjoy the Aromatherapy

Scent is tied strongly to one's memory and emotions and can instantly lift the mood in a room. Finding a candle scent that takes you to your happy place or brings back the feeling of a beloved memory, place or person - that can be priceless. Get the most out of your scented candles by properly burning and maintaining them and enjoy a long lasting fragrance through to the candle's end.

Which Candle Holds Scent Longest?