Are Scented Candles A Romantic Gift?

Scented candles have long been a staple romantic gift. With their warm glow, lovely scents, and ability to set the mood, it’s easy to see why they are a favorite present for romantic partners. But are scented candles actually a good romantic gift?

In many ways, scented candles can be a thoughtful and meaningful present for a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or romantic interest. Their sensory nature appeals to romance – the flickering light, the delicate fragrance, the atmosphere created. Giving scented candles shows you want to create cozy intimacy. Yet some downsides exist too; scented candles can feel generic or impersonal if not selected meaningfully. Ultimately, it depends on choosing a scent with care and considering how you present the gift.

This article will explore the psychology and suitability of giving scented candles as romantic gifts. It will cover the history of candles as romance gifts, scent selection, presentation ideas, pros and cons, and alternatives to help you make an informed decision.

History of Candles as Romantic Gifts

Candles have a long history of being given as meaningful gifts in many cultures around the world. Their symbolism as sources of light and warmth lent itself naturally to being tokens of affection. The ancient Egyptians and Romans gave candles as gifts on holidays and special occasions to illuminate shrines and bring good tidings. In early American and European traditions, candles were prized gifts because they were expensive and labor-intensive to produce before modern methods of mass production.

By Victorian times, candles took on more distinctive courtship meanings. Suitors gave ornate candlesticks and scented candles to their intendeds as symbols of the light of their affection. Elegant candles became coveted gifts between couples, featuring motifs like doves, roses, and hearts designed by Tiffany’s and other fine jewelers. This notion of candles representing romance continues today, with scented candles among the most popular gifts given between modern lovers for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and intimate occasions.

Psychology Behind Candle Gifting

There is an interesting psychological basis behind why scented candles can be seen as romantic gifts. Certain scents are known to increase feelings of intimacy and trigger romance, especially floral, woodsy, and musky fragrances. This is because our sense of smell is closely linked with memory and emotion in the brain.

When we smell a pleasant romantic scent from a candle, it activates the limbic system in our brain which processes emotion and memory. We may associate the scent with positive past experiences and relationships, eliciting warm, affectionate feelings. Smelling a romantic scent that a partner has gifted also forges an emotional connection and sense of care between two people.

Beyond scent, the ambience created by candlelight flatters skin tone and facial features, creating a romantic mood. Soft candlelight sets the stage for intimacy and connection. The psychology of color also comes into play with candles, as colors like red and pink are associated with romance, passion and love.

So through its scent, ambience and color, a scented candle can trigger parts of our brains that arouse romance, intimacy and affection between two people. This is why they are often seen as romantic gifts.

Most Romantic Candle Scents

When choosing a scented candle as a romantic gift, the aroma can set the mood and evoke emotions central to romance. Here are some of the most romantic scented candles to consider:

Vanilla – Vanilla candles give off a warm, soothing scent that is calming yet sensual. The sweet aroma reminds of fresh baked goods and can invoke feelings of comfort and nostalgia.

Rose – Nothing says romance like roses, and rose-scented candles capture their floral beauty perfectly. The elegant fragrance is both romantic and luxurious.

Lavender – With its soft, floral notes, lavender has a gentle, peaceful scent that can relax and soothe frayed nerves. It’s perfect for a romantic, calming atmosphere.

Jasmine – The rich, heady aroma of jasmine candles is mysterious and exotic. Jasmine evokes passions and sensuality.

Sandalwood – Sandalwood has an earthy, musky fragrance that is calming and aphrodisiacal. It sets the mood for intimacy and connection.

Ylang Ylang – Ylang ylang’s sweet, floral scent reduces stress and anxiety. It creates a romantic ambiance perfect for intimacy and affection.

Choosing a scent with aromatherapy benefits like relaxation or mood enhancement can make a scented candle an especially thoughtful romantic gift.

Candle Presentation & Context

Beyond the scent, how you present and set the scene for gifting scented candles can add to the romance. The experience of opening a candle gift sets the tone, so consider wrapping it in a way that makes the unboxing feel special. Use decorative paper, ribbons, or include little notes that set the mood. Lighting the candle for the first time also provides an opportunity. Pick a location like the bedroom or dining room, arrange some roses or other flowers, pour a glass of wine, and make an event out of lighting it together for the first time. Where and when you burn the candle matters, so choose the right setting to create a relaxed, romantic ambiance.

DIY vs Store Bought

Handcrafting a scented candle can make for a thoughtful, personalized gift. However, it requires supplies, time, and skill to create candles from scratch. Store-bought candles offer convenience but may lack the personal touch of a homemade candle. Certain brands like Yankee Candle, Bath & Body Works, and Nest are known for their delightful scents, beautiful packaging, and strong branding that convey romance. Ultimately, a homemade candle shows effort while a branded candle signals quality assurances, so both have their pros and cons when given as a romantic gift.

The advantage of a homemade scented candle is you can customize everything from the scent and color to the shape of the container. It allows you to match your partner’s favorite notes and colors. You can research aromas believed to inspire romance like vanilla, lavender, and jasmine. Then blend waxes and essential oils to create the perfect love-inspiring scent. A repurposed glass or a container with sentimental value also adds meaning. The time and care put into crafting a homemade candle makes it a thoughtful gesture.

On the downside, homemade candles require supplies like wax, wicks, dyes, and fragrance oils that must be purchased. It takes skill to properly measure, mix, and pour materials at the right temperatures so the candle burns evenly. There’s a risk of a poorly made candle tunneling or not burning cleanly. Aesthetically, an amateur DIY candle may look rustic rather than elegantly packaged like store-bought options. While the extra effort is appreciated, your partner likely doesn’t want the gift itself to be a potential fire hazard.

In contrast, purchasing a scented candle from a brand known for quality, complex fragrances, and attractive packaging avoids such risks. Yankee Candle, Bath & Body Works, and Nest candles come beautifully packaged in sleek jars or other containers. Branding helps convey these as premium gifts for a special occasion versus a basic grocery store candle. You can still choose personalized touches based on color, scent, or decorative touches like a romantic message on the jar. A branded candle signals care went into selecting a gift your partner will appreciate. However, it lacks the personal DIY touch.

Whether crafting your own scented candle or selecting a beautifully packaged brand, the presentation and meaning behind the gift matter most. With some care and creativity infused into the process, a scented candle can absolutely make for a romantic gift.


Personalizing a scented candle can make it a more romantic and thoughtful gift. There are a few ways to customize candles:

  • Custom labels – Having a label printed with a romantic phrase or the recipient’s name adds a personal touch.
  • Custom scents – Some candle makers allow you to create a personalized fragrance blend for the recipient.
  • Custom containers – Choose a beautiful container in the recipient’s favorite color or one that matches their home’s decor.

Taking the time to customize a candle makes it more meaningful. It shows you care enough to create something special just for your loved one. A personalized scented candle transforms an ordinary gift into a romantic gesture.

Other Romantic Uses

Beyond just giving a scented candle as a gift, there are many romantic ways to incorporate candles into special moments with your significant other.

One classic romantic use of candles is during a candlelit dinner. Set the mood by dimming the lights and placing candles on the dinner table. The soft glow of candlelight creates an intimate ambiance perfect for a romantic meal. Focus on each other’s faces in the flickering light and enjoy your food by firelight.

Candles can also set the scene for a relaxing couple’s bath. Draw a warm bubble bath and dot the tub with floating candles. As you soak together, the candles’ glow dances romantically off the walls and bubbles. The candles’ aromatherapy qualities add to the experience.

Bring candles into massage by lighting them around the room where you’ll massage your partner. Use candles with calming scents like lavender or vanilla. The candles help create a soothing environment and their light sets a relaxed mood as you give your partner a massage.

Potential Drawbacks of Gifting Scented Candles

While scented candles can make for a thoughtful and romantic gift, there are some potential drawbacks to consider as well.

Fire Hazards

Like any open flame, candles do carry a fire risk. Make sure to follow all safety precautions, such as keeping candles away from flammable materials, not leaving them unattended, placing them on a stable nonflammable surface, and extinguishing them completely when finished. Be especially cautious about giving candles to someone with children or pets that could accidentally knock them over.


Some people may have allergies or sensitivities to ingredients in scented candles, such as certain fragrances, wicks, oils, or dyes. It’s a good idea to know if the recipient has any allergies before gifting a scented candle. For those with sensitivities, there are alternatives like unscented or soy/beeswax candles.


High-quality scented candles from boutique brands can get quite pricey, ranging anywhere from $20-$100 or more. While it may be worth it to splurge on a luxury candle for a special occasion, the cost should be considered depending on your budget. Less expensive candles around $10-$20 can still make great gifts.


Cupcakes toffee chupa chups pastry. Topping sweet roll donut danish bonbon cake marzipan muffin dessert. Marshmallow jelly-o tiramisu jelly. Chupa chups liquorice apple pie cake donut brownie. Pastry toffee apple pie. Tart cotton candy marzipan tiramisu lemon drops candy jelly-o. Sweet roll carrot cake macaroon macaroon brownie candy. Sweet roll jujubes sesame snaps icing chocolate cake. Chupa chups tootsie roll jujubes.

Icing jujubes lemon drops jelly cake. Sweet gingerbread cheesecake cookie candy candy canes lollipop brownie. Bear claw jujubes cake lemon drops sweet roll gummies. Bear claw gummi bears pie pudding cake gummi bears.

To summarize, scented candles make a thoughtful and romantic gift due to their ability to create an intimate atmosphere and trigger emotional memories. When presented mindfully and paired with other gestures, a scented candle can be a sweet way to show affection. However, it’s best not to rely solely on a scented candle for a major romantic occasion. But as part of a larger surprise or expression of love, a scented candle can add a special romantic touch.

Similar Posts