Aromatherapy with Candles: The Ultimate Guide

Aromatherapy - French Lavender Candle in a Glass Jar by Northumbrian Candleworks


Aromatherapy and candles have been popular for many years. But what is it that makes them so special? And why is everyone talking about them?

In this guide, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about aromatherapy candles. You'll find out how they’re made, and how they can help you sleep. And, importantly, how they can soothe your anxiety.

What is an aromatherapy candle?

An aromatherapy candle is just a regular candle that contains fragrances mixed in with the wax. These fragrances are either made of synthetic compounds or pure essential oils. As the candle burns, it releases beautiful scents into the air, delighting and soothing you.

Most candlemakers use well-known fragrances, like lavender, rosemary, and mimosa & mandarin. But in recent years, we’ve witnessed tremendous experimentation, with the number of options growing exponentially. Today, flavours encompass fruits, herbs, spices and natural flowers. And there are many fusions too.

How is an aromatherapy candle made?

Manufacturers produce aromatherapy candles in much the same way as regular candles, save for the addition of the fragrance.

Candlemakers usually start with a block of natural soy wax, slowly melted over a gentle heat. Then, they line up a series of moulds with pre-installed wicks, ready to receive the wax.

Before they pour it, they add the fragrance. Then, they mix it in vigorously, so it disperses evenly throughout the solution. They then dispense the mixture into the moulds or tins, leaving it to cool.

Aromatherapy candlemakers then leave their creations to “cure” for several weeks. This process allows time for fragrance particles to integrate with the wax, enhancing their aroma when they burn.

7 Benefits of aromatherapy candles

People are obsessed with aromatherapy candles. Here are seven aromatherapy candles benefits:

  • Reduce anxiety. There’s evidence to suggest that burning aromatherapy candles for anxiety reduces the condition. And, it helps people to unwind in the evenings. Specific aromatherapy candle scents may provide added, independent benefits.
  • Help with prayer and meditation. Pretty smells and relaxing aromas from aromatherapy candles for meditation may help with prayers and focus.
  • Celebrate special occasions. Scented candles are ideal for anyone who wants to celebrate a special occasion. You can get unique scents that complement holidays throughout the year.
  • Inject a little romance. Nothing is more romantic than lighting scented candles and then spending time with your significant other. It helps lift the mood and relax both of you.
  • Improve your decor. Aromatherapy candles are also beautiful objects in their own right, able to dramatically improve the appearance of your interiors.
  • Remember somebody. If somebody you love has passed away, aromatherapy candles can be a wonderful way to express your remembrance. They’re also an excellent gift for anybody who needs support during bereavement.
  • Express yourself. Aromatherapy candles are adaptable, making them a fabulous way to express yourself. Simply choose a scent that matches your personality and roll with it. Aromatherapy candles bath and body are ideal when you want a long soak.


Aromatherapy - French Lavender Reed Diffuser by Northumbrian Candleworks


Can aromatherapy candles help you with stress?

For centuries, people have been using scented candles to relieve stress and anxiety. But until recently, there was little scientific evidence to back up the various claims about its many benefits.

Then, in 2009, Kathi Keville and Mindy Green released Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art. The guide documented evidence that scented candles could reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. In it, they talked about how smells could remedy various psychological “imbalances,” like depression, mood disorders and irritation. And they presented scientific data on how candles could reduce stress. The pair backed up many of the historical claims about their efficacy.

But why is this the case? How can smelling aromatherapy candles for depression lead to such profound changes in mood?

Researchers believe it has to do with the interaction between our olfactory receptors (cell structures that let us smell) and the molecules in odours. Some smells seem to light up feel-good pathways in the brain, like music, at once improving mood.

Furthermore, scents may interact with the limbic system, the part of the brain that triggers the release of mood-stabilising neurotransmitters, including serotonin and endorphins. At mild doses, these smells could improve feelings of contentment while reducing the stress response, making aromatherapy candles helpful for headaches.

Do lavender candles help you sleep?

Lavender is one of the most important herbs for relaxation in nature’s pharmacopoeia. Evidence suggests it may assist sleep by altering brain wave patterns.

Lavender aromatherapy candles for sleep may also affect the ability to rest indirectly by reducing stress. Studies, for instance, have compared the effects of massage on stress reduction, with and without lavender all. Patients who received the lavender oil massage report feeling more content and less anxious afterwards. Parlours often use aromatherapy massage candles to soothe their clients.

Researchers have also tested lavender head to head against a leading anti-anxiety benzodiazepine medication called Ativan to see whether it offers similar effects. True enough, it did, and without any of the side effects associated with benzos.


Aromatherapy - French Lavender Candle in a Tin by Northumbrian Candleworks


What candles are good for anxiety?

So we know that aromatherapy candles are good for anxiety in general. But which flavours are the best?

  • Lavender. As discussed, lavender is a powerful anti-anxiety herb, performing nearly as well as some leading medications. Many lavender aromatherapy candles are now available.
  • Cinnamon. Experience suggests cinnamon-scented candles are also powerful tools in the fight against anxiety. Cinnamon comes in two forms: Cassia and Ceylon. Both may offer benefits.
  • Lemon. The citrusy, fresh scent of lemon can also help improve mood and cover up unpleasant smells in your environment.
  • Frankincense. Frankincense is a mellow, sweet smell that helps push back against anxiety and is often used in aromatherapy candles for stress relief.
  • Vanilla. Research suggests that vanilla helps stimulate feelings of joy and increases happiness levels.
  • Sandalwood. Some people find the delicate aroma of sandalwood calms the body and soothes the mind.


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Safety concerns

There are currently various safety concerns surrounding aromatherapy candles. Mostly, though, you can avoid these by choosing the suitable type of candles from reputable vendors. We use natural ingredients where we can in our products.

Please also note fire can be a hazard. Just remember to use aromatherapy pillar candles safely in your home.

Are aromatherapy candles safe?

Whether your aromatherapy candles are safe depends heavily on the ingredients. Some manufacturers make candles using paraffin, a petroleum byproduct, which releases soot when burned. Airborne particulates given off can also lead to short-term problems including loss of breath, especially in people with asthma and COPD.

However, we use all-natural aromatherapy soy candles which come from the soy plant, not a petrol refinery. We also use completely natural wicks, designed to minimise amounts of particles entering the atmosphere.

Are aromatherapy candles safe for cats?

Scented candles made from paraffin wax aren’t safe for cats for the same reasons they aren’t for humans. Soot particles can enter the lungs and exacerbate diseases like asthma and heart disease.

The good news, though, is that you can again get around this problem by using soy wax candles, made from the oil that comes from the soy plant. Unlike paraffin wax, it contains a high percentage of stearic acid and triglycerides. It also has a much lower melting point.

Common sense, therefore, applies. If you’re burning candles, keep them out of reach of pets. And store them in a place where they can’t eat them.

Are aromatherapy candles safe in pregnancy?

Aromatherapy candles for pregnancy are generally considered safe. However, there are some caveats. If you are expecting a baby, you may want to reduce the amount of essential oil you use in the run-up to the pregnancy.

There is insufficient evidence to suggest that the gentle smells from scented candles have any adverse effects. Aromatherapy candles for labour may actually help with birth.

Are aromatherapy candles safe for dogs?

Whether aromatherapy candles are safe for dogs again depends on their ingredients. Dog experts recommend that pet owners avoid paraffin wax for the same reasons as cats since it creates soot that harms the lungs.

you should also make sure that your aromatherapy candles do not contain lead wicks. can affect a dog central nervous system and create problems with jaw coordination.

There are plenty of scented candles out there that are NOT toxic to dogs. Aromatherapy candles for dogs are made of natural substances, including beeswax, natural soy and vegetable-based waxes. Scents should, ideally, come from essential oils, derived directly from the original plants.

What scents make you happy?

So, there you have it: the ultimate guide to aromatherapy with candles. Now you know everything you need to know about these fascinating products. And, you know how to find the best aromatherapy candles in the UK. Plus, how they can literally melt away the stress.

What scents make you happy, though? Are you the sort of person who likes something spicy, like clove or cinnamon? Or are you the type who prefers fruity fragrances, like mimosa and mandarin. We’re all different!


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