It’s hump-day again and I am currently writing up my lesson plans for tutoring and reading over a script for later in the month. Being busy, it’s even more important to create an atmosphere that creates relaxation and a clear mind, ready for work.
A quick and easy way to change the mood in a room is through candles and lighting. I love candles. I have a big box in my kitchen full of scented and non-scented candles, as well as a couple ready to go in every room.
Here are my top places to buy candles as well as the scents I love.
DW Home candles – These candles come in various cute glass jars and have some great scents too. I currently have a winter berry smelling candle from them. You can buy them directly from their website or pick them up in local TK Maxx stores – which is how I discovered them. I bought mine for about £4 – £5 for a 255g candle but they retail on their store online roughly £8.50 for an 725g candle.
IKEA– IKEA’s candles have a great burn time and come in collections of scented and non-scented. Sometimes, no matter how much I like candles to have a scent, it can be nicer just to have the flicker of a candle rather than a heavy scent as well. Ranging in price from 50p – £7 these candles are great value for money. I highly recommend you give them a go. My favourites at the moment are their sweet vanilla tea lights, they’re just £1.35 for a pack of 30 and I have them in every room!
Yankee Candle for Asda – Asda have a range of Yankee Candles that are delicious in scent and also at great prices! I often used to walk in Yankee Candle shops as a teenager and buy their tester candles as they were affordable but never the bigger jars. Now, through Asda, they have an affordable range and still with that great quality. My go to scent at the moment is their sweet pea, and their 340g candle is only £8 at the moment and only usually £10!
Smells are like Marmite. You either love them or you hate them. Here’s my low down on scent groups and what I go for and what I try to avoid.
Fruity and Citrus – This can be a wide and varied category so what I tend to stick to are the rich, winter berry scents and the orange based scents. Whilst strawberry and other sweet scents can be lovely, I find they create a sickly sweet atmosphere that is far from relaxing! Winter berry scents on the other hand are great to create that cozy autumnal or winter vibe in your house, especially if it’s cold outside. They almost create a warmer feeling, as if a fire were on. Orange, on the other hand creates a fantastic zing in a room. Brightening the space up and helping you feel fresh and ready for spring!
Floral – Floral scents can become two different smells. The smell you may find in an elder ladies perfume or a welcoming summer garden. I would say for the majority of people the latter may be more of a goal than the first. For this I recommend staying clear of rose scents and sticking to smaller floral scents such as sweet pea and blossom based smells. Not to say there may be a fresh smelling rose scent out there but I find for the most part that scent comes out as being quite heavy and strong – like a grandmother’s perfume. You want to have a scent that makes you feel like you’re in a garden when you go floral!
Herbal – For the most part if I go scented I tend not to buy herbal candles. Not because I dislike them but because I like to use oil in an oil burner, as it carries this scent better. However, if you would rather a candle I would stick to chamomile and lavender smells. I find other herbal scents can come across artificial and quite musk-like.
Scents to avoid – People may disagree with me on this one but I try to avoid ‘fresh’ labelled candles and anything ‘masculine’. These smells, for me, create a strong cologne smell – like a teenage boy who has discovered Lynx for the first time. I include ‘fresh’ scents in this category because more often than not these scents are manufactured in such a way that they end up smelling more cologne-like as well. If you are after ‘fresh’ scents then I would explore the herbal and floral categories when you’re out and you may find an almost linen smell among those.
Food – If you want a sweet smell but not sickly then this is a great category. I find, especially with Yankee Candles and IKEA, this scent is not too overwhelming and gets you feeling in a great birthday party mood. Perhaps this is because of the food scents I go for… my favourite scents in this category are vanilla or any derivative of this, for example, vanilla frosting, vanilla cupcakes, Madagascan vanilla. I also enjoy cupcake and macaroon smells. These seem to smell less sickly than fruity, sweet candles because they fill the room with a rich, sweet smell rather than an intense more singular sweet smell – if that makes sense.
Unscented – So, I think it is important sometimes of an evening to just have the flicker of a candle on your coffee table, rather than a scent. It might be that you are just wanting to create a warm atmosphere or you have a lovely smelling bouquet already in the room. I would recommend having a few large unscented candles in your candle box (if you need one like moi) and having lovely coloured glasses you can sit them in. You can use clear glass but even if you stick to one colour, for example an large sea-glass green coloured vase, the light the candle will create inside will make it more of a feature and give the room a gorgeous new light. I have a small candle holder, that same sea-glass green, in the bathroom and when I light the candle inside it splashes a beautiful green light around the white tiles making it feel like I’m out bathing in the sea.
A little candle safety advice:
- Never leave candles unattended.
- Always burn candles in a suitable place (don’t stick them under something that will burn)!
- Find beautiful candle holders to help prevent wax spoiling any furniture.
- Always try to air rooms out if you know you’ve burned a candle in there recently and for some period of time. Especially with scented candles the room might need oxygenating.
- If you have little ones, babies or pets – keep candles out of the way of their little pawseys or fingers too.