Make a Scented Aromatherapy Candle in 30 Seconds

Legendary New York City department store Bergdorf Goodman offers 329 different options for candles, diffusers and home scents including a swell Fornasetti Candle ($175) whose “engaging container can be…reused or displayed as an object d’art”.  When you buy a Jo Malone Lavender & Lovage Bougee Parfumee for $65, the promised effect is pretty sensational (though a tad overwrought):

Sunday. A pause in the week. To relax in crisp, white sheets, airy with lavender. To unwind … and go wherever the mood takes you. Out to the garden. Into the greenhouse, twisting tomatoes fresh from the vine. Earthy, leafy and full of sunshine. A hearty lunch. A breezy walk. Then paradise. A plate of sweet almond macaroons with a pot of steaming tea. Vanilla-soft and coconut rich. Sleepy by the fire. Smoky incense curling into the air. No need to think. Easy … just like Sunday.

Crisp, white sheets. The comfort of lavender linen … clean and relaxing. Laced with the aniseed twist of garden lovage. Deepened with herbaceous rosemary and thyme. Calm and aromatic.


Although scented candles can make lovely gifts –we’ll happily take the the Fornasetti red lips candle with the nose lid — we’ve got a few problems with them. Cheap colorful candles tend to smell of fakey scents that make us sneeze (WHAT are we breathing in?) The fragrance of expensive ones, although often made with quality scents, can fill our space with overpowering fragrance whose intensity we can’t modulate. And they’re EXPENSIVE!

Yet a fragrant, well-balanced scented candle has the power to set a mood, calm the nerves, change a vibe. (Here’s some ways they’ve been used medicinally.) It’s why they call it aromatherapy.

Having made scented candles ourselves by melting bees wax and stirring in essential oils (diy here), we realize why good ones ones tend to be pricey: it takes a a lot of a pure essential oil to release enough scent when warmed. And they take time and care to make.

Unless you do it the way we stumbled on recently:

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

On a whim we poured 4 or 5 drops of our new favorite oil blend, Muji’s Relax, into the pooling wax of a lit votive candle. The room became perfumed with lavender, sweet orange, rosewood and geranium. If we want a more intense scent, we add a few drops more oil. And we’ve improvised instant blends by drawing on the arsenal of essential oils we use to chill out when traveling or in the bath.

You can fancy up your candle by putting an ordinary votive size candle in a pretty glass or jar…



We’re happy plunking votive candles or tea lights in whatever we have around…(though Etsy has some nice holders… pure beeswax candles are especially fragrant…)




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