Welcome to the candle gallery guide

A few years ago I decided to turn my passion for candles into a business, and since then I have researched a lot, and I mean A LOT of different candles. If you’re new here, my name is Gayle and I am the owner, and candle addict behind the Candle Gallery. I’d like to think I know a thing or two about candles, and I’d like to share that with you, so here is my guide to using candles in your home.

Types of candle wax:

Let’s start at the beginning, the material that your candle is made from might not seem important, but it is! Many popular candle brands make their candles from paraffin wax,which can be traced back to petrol, there is an increasing concern about the small particles that these candles emit, and while there is more research to be done in that area… many people report finding soot on the ceilings or surfaces where these candles are used. So even if they aren’t bad for your health, they might be back for your decor. The advantage of paraffin wax is that it smells pretty strong, in the candle business we call this “throw” – this is how much scent the candle gives off, how much it scents your room.

The candles that I stock are made from soy wax, for the most part, some are a blend of soy and vegetable wax – each candle maker will find their own wax or blend of waxes that best suit their fragrances. But you can be assured that if you buy a candle from me, it won’t be a paraffin wax. I wrote a blog post on the topic of soy wax for more information.

Types of candles used in most homes:

Candles come in all shapes and sizes, some are very practical and will be used every day, some are for special occasions and some are rarely, or never lit. I am a big believer that candles should be used and enjoyed, I used to be guilty of buying a candle and keeping it for “good”, but what’s the point? Candle scents will deteriorate over time, so you would be best to buy, burn and enjoy!  Of course, there are candles that carry special significance such as for meditation or religious purposes. Many people make candles part of their routine, whether it is for clearing cooking smells from the kitchen or to create a little spa-like sanctuary in the bathroom.

How to use candles in your home

Candles can be used throughout the home and a lot of this will come down to personal taste, but here are a few ideas you might like to consider.

Flickering candle beside a pot plant

How to use candles in your bedroom:

It’s the end of a busy day, the children are in bed and the dog has been for a walk, now it is your time!

  • Choose a scent that has relaxing properties, it is well known that lavender can help with relaxation. I have done a bit of research into this and have a blog post about lavender that you can read.

  • Screen time and scrolling are not going to help you sleep, so why not put the phone away for a while and read a book or listen to some music. There are so many podcasts you could listen to as well, but I’m worried I might doze off and miss the best bits!

Scent suggestions for your bedroom

  •  I would recommend picking some of the classic relaxing scents such as rose, lavender (as mentioned above) and jasmine. There are so many soft, soothing foral scents you could choose from.

  • For a cosy, comforting scent you could consider vanilla, it is a nostalgic scents of home baking that many people find relaxing.

  • If you are feeling under the weather and in need of a boost, how about something like mint or citrus? If you have children who study in their bedrooms you could consider something like this to help them focus.

How to use candles in your bathroom

 

This depends on the vibe you are going for, some people light a lot of candles all over the bathroom before switching off the lights and soaking in the tub. This can create a beautifully relaxing atmosphere. You can mix a more expensive scented candle with cheaper pillar candles or tea-lights, then you aren’t using up all your luxurious candles. 
  • Light a candle to take you back, scent is so closely associated with memory. So a scented candle could bring you back to a time or a place that you enjoyed, or remind you of someone special.

  • This is your time, so enjoy it. I know we often save things for good, or for a rainy day, but candles and bath oils and all those treats won’t keep forever, so use them and enjoy them!

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bath lit by sunshine and surrounded by greenery

Scents for the bathroom

    • If you want to be reminded of the summer holidays you could pick something with notes of coconut or something that smells exotic.To add to the feeling of warmth, why not try something woody and spicy with cinnamon or clove.
    • If you are having a soak in the morning there are some uplifting scents you could try, like bay, rosemary or citrus. 
    • I love the sea, so anything that reminds me of the sea is a winner. Many candles contain plants that are found along the coasts such as woodsage. Ahhh, heaven!

How to use candles in the hallway

Our hallways are usually quite small places, but you want to set a welcoming tone for guests. So the hallway is not usually the right place for a really strong scent. Some of these scents will help you create a welcoming first impression;

  •  The hallway is the perfect location for a diffuser, that way you don’t have to remember to light a candle before your guests arrive, or worry about people calling unannounced. A diffuser will ensure that your home is ready to welcome guests at any time. 
  •  If you do want to go for a candle there are plenty to choose from, check out my recommendations below. 

Scents for the hallway

  • To create a lovely first impression it is a good idea to go for something that suits most people. You could try something woody like oak, cedarwood and sandalwood.
  • It is a good idea to switch your scents to suit the seasons, most diffusers last around 3 months and once it is finished it’s a good chance to reflect the weather outside.
  • In the lighter months you could consider something softer like pear and freesia, a classic rose or something spa-like with jasmine and patchouli.

How to use candles in your living room or lounge

In these spaces you should have something that isn’t too strong and that will appeal to lots of people. Some people really don’t like strong scents and we need to be aware of that. 

  • If it is just you and a loved one for a cosy night in, you can use candlelight to set the tone. Nothing is quite so flattering on the skin as candle light.
  • You can use candles as part of your winding down routine, if the working day is over and the dishes are done it is the perfect time for something soothing, to melt away the tensions of the day. I have some suggestions for you below. 
  • Buzzing about bees, beeswax is said to purify the air of the room. Beeswax has a slight sweet honey like scent, but is not too overpowering. Beeswax burns with a very bright, pure flame and is becoming increasingly popular. 
  • With most candles the time you need to burn them for is actually quite short, you should extinguish the candles once the molten wax reaches the sides, which could be as little as half an hour for most candles. 
Image of living room with teal sofa and pink accents

Scents for the living room and lounge

  • A little bit of vanilla can go a long way, it is both soothing and comforting, but it can become sickly sweet and even give people a headache. So stick to the 30 minute rule. 
  • Tough day? Then you could try cedarwood, sandalwood and rosewood.
  •  Something to suit everyone? You can’t go wrong with some of the classic combinations like blackberry and bay, or pear and freesia.
  •  Our taste in scents can change throughout the year, in winter something warm and spicy seems appropriate, but would feel out of place in June. 

How to use candles in your kitchen

The kitchen is another popular area for candles, whether you keep them until after the chores of the day are done or light one during the day is up to you! 

  • Fresh scents are great for a kitchen and will keep your kitchen smelling clean. It is a great way to get rid of any strong cooking smells. There are plenty of clean smells that are perfect for this, so keep an eye out for scents like linen, cotton, and clean laundry.  

  • So many of us have open plan kitchen/dining/living spaces – which is very sociable but not so good if you have been cooking something that smells strong for dinner. So lighting a candle is a great way to chase away any lingering scents.

  • I recommend only using non scented candles during the meal itself, nobody wants to be inhaling the smell of flowers while tucking into something savoury.

  • If you do have an open plan space then stick to the same scent throughout, rather than risking two or more scents jarring with each other.  

  • Be the host with the most, even if your guests are coming over for coffee and some biscuits out of a packet you could burn a candle that smells like home baking, and at least it will smell like you’ve been working hard!

Image of a kitchen,

Scents for the kitchen

  • Herbal scents are lovely in the kitchen such as rosemary and bay. 

  • Citrus scents are also very cleansing with lemon, grapefruit and lime being a great way to freshen the room. 

  • If you are selling your home, or have guests coming round then a coffee candle would make a lovely homely scent in the kitchen. 

  • Cinnamon and spice (in moderation) can be good for a kitchen area and can be relaxing and soothing without being too festive. 

  • If the cooking is over for the day, then choose your favourite scents with no concern of it clashing with the food. Fruity, floral anything goes!

How to use candles in the dining room

Candles look beautiful on the table and there are so many ways that you can dress a table. You could go for a full-on floral arrangement or just some simple greenery but whatever you choose, candles look lovely as part of that. 

 
  • My candle obsession is such that I don’t save candles for special occasions, I light one every day. It creates such a lovely atmosphere in the evenings. 

  • Keep the menu in mind, to ensure that your candles don’t clash with your food choice, I recommend unscented or lightly scented candles for during the meal. 

  • After the meal is over there are a lot of choices for you to consider, you could use a coffee scented candle as your guests are enjoying their coffee or a woody scent to soothe the soul as you linger over a glass of wine. 

  • Reflect the seasons, something warm and woody is perfect for winter while something lighter and more floral is great for spring and summer.

Image of dining room with teal chairs and brass lights

Scents for the dining room

  • Coffee and chocolate scents are a lovely way to finish off a meal with friends and family. 

  • Or you could go for lighter more citrus scents to cleanse the room after you have finished eating. Just remember to blow it out when the molten wax reaches the side, even if you plan to sit at the table for hours setting the world to rights.

Scent is such a personal thing, but by sticking with some of my recommendations above you should be able to create the perfect atmosphere for every room in your home. I have linked a few candles and diffusers below for you to take a look at.

 

If you share my passion for candles please sign up for my newsletter below, and get free (UK) delivery on your first order from the Candle Gallery.

 

Gayle

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