Fill your rooms with glorious home fragrance and make it last longer with top tips from Victoria Davies, scents buyer at John Lewis.
- Don’t save scented candles for special occasions because over time the fragrance becomes weaker. When storing them, find somewhere that’s an even temperature – not too hot or cold.
- To maximise your candle’s burn time, allow it to become molten across the entire surface before extinguishing the flame. This prevents ‘tunnelling’, which is a hollow in the surface of the candle that causes uneven burning.
- Instead of blowing out the flame, extinguish it with a candle snuffer to prevent the wick from smouldering and leaving a smoky scent. Alternatively, dip the wick into the wax to put the flame out and create a seal for next time. Then trim it to just below 1cm and to prevent sooting don’t allow any excess wick to fall back into the molten wax.
- A higher percentage of fragrance in a candle doesn’t necessarily mean the scent will be more powerful. Light fragrances such as gardenia will need more essential oil to give a noticeable aroma. Conversely, heavier scents, such as rose, don’t need as high a concentration.
- Adjust the number of reeds in your diffuser. For a heavily-scented diffuser or in a small room, use just four or five sticks. For lighter aromas and bigger rooms add more reeds until you get the right strength.
- Warmer rooms will diffuse faster. So if you want an instant hit of scent, place your diffuser on a covered radiator. Refresh the aroma by turning over the reeds.
- When you buy a refresher oil make sure you change the reeds, as the old ones will be clogged with the old oil.
- Look for candles and diffusers that use organic ingredients and pure essential oils to create beautiful scents with aromatherapeutic benefits.
There are pros and cons for all types of wax so one isn’t necessarily better than another.
- Paraffin wax The most common and oldest manmade type of candle wax, it offers an excellent scent throw. With a high melting point it has good stability as it burns but if burnt frequently you may notice black soot marks on the inside of a glass candleholder.
- Soy wax Soy is a vegetable and a renewable source, which burns cleanly with no toxins and little to no soot. Soy candles burn longer and cooler than their paraffin counterparts, and have an excellent scent throw. Wax spills can be cleaned up by simply using warm water and soap.
- Vegetable wax Similar in consistency and appearance to soy wax, this is made from extracted and purified wax from different plants. You’ll often see it mixed with other wax types for improved stability.
- Beeswax This is completely natural with its own unique scent and has a longer burn time than other types.