Is Aromatherapy Candle Good?

What Are Aromatherapy Candles?

Aromatherapy candles are candles that contain essential oils, which give them scent and purported therapeutic benefits (source). The essential oils are derived from plants and have specific aromatic compounds that can create certain effects when inhaled.

Some common essential oils used in aromatherapy candles include lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree, lemon, bergamot, jasmine, and sandalwood. The scent of the candle comes from the essential oils, unlike regular scented candles that use synthetic fragrances.

Aromatherapy candles are said to provide benefits such as relaxation, stress relief, improved sleep, mental clarity, mood enhancement, pain relief, and more. However, research on the specific health benefits of aromatherapy candles is limited (source). The effects likely vary based on the essential oils used, as well as personal preferences. Inhaling the fragrances may have psychosomatic effects for some people.

History and Origins

The use of aromatherapy candles dates back thousands of years. According to, ancient Egyptian and Chinese civilizations burned incense made from aromatic plants for religious and medicinal purposes as early as 2,500 BC. The Egyptians in particular are credited with pioneering the use of fragrance for relaxation and wellbeing.

The notes that Egyptians burned candles made of beeswax infused with extracts of flowers and herbs in temples honoring their gods. These early candles were believed to establish a link between the divine and the human world. The medicinal effects of inhaling the aromatic smoke were also recognized.

In ancient China, India and the Middle East, incense formulas were closely guarded secrets. Burning these aromatic mixtures in temples and homes was thought to ease stress, uplift mood and promote healing. Early documentation shows aromatics being prescribed to treat ailments like insomnia, anxiety and digestive issues.

How Do Aromatherapy Candles Work?

Aromatherapy candles work by dispersing essential oils into the air through the process of diffusion. As the candle burns, the heat melts the candle wax which contains essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, chamomile, etc. The heat causes the essential oil molecules to become gaseous and disperse into the surrounding air (1).

aromatherapy candles work by dispersing essential oils into the air when burned

When you inhale the aroma of the essential oils, the scent molecules travel through the nose and interact with olfactory receptors. These receptors send signals to the limbic system of the brain, particularly the amygdala and hippocampus. The limbic system controls emotions, mood, motivation, and memory. The scent signals cause a stimulation of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine which can have calming, uplifting effects on mood (2).

Multiple studies have demonstrated the positive emotional effects of inhaling essential oils from candles. One study found that inhaling a roman chamomile essential oil candle reduced feelings of anxiety and increased calmness (3). Another study showed that inhaling lavender oil from a candle before bedtime improved sleep quality (4). The evidence supports using aromatherapy candles as a simple way to enhance mood and well-being through scent.



Benefits and Uses

Aromatherapy candles can provide numerous health and wellness benefits when used properly. Some of the main benefits of aromatherapy candles include:

Stress relief – Studies show that inhaling essential oils from candles can reduce anxiety and depression, while also lowering cortisol and blood pressure levels. Popular stress-relieving scents include lavender, bergamot, and chamomile.

Improved sleep and relaxation – Candles with calming scents like lavender and eucalyptus can help promote deeper sleep and relaxation before bed. The flickering flame can also create a soothing ambience.

Increased focus – Peppermint, rosemary, and orange essential oils are known to boost energy, improve cognitive performance, and increase focus. Lighting a candle with these invigorating scents can help maximize productivity.

Overall wellness – Inhaling essential oil molecules has been shown to provide various therapeutic effects like reduced inflammation, improved circulation, and enhanced immunity.

Safety Considerations

While aromatherapy candles can offer benefits, there are some safety precautions to keep in mind.

Proper usage cautions include not leaving burning candles unattended, keeping them away from flammable materials, not burning for more than 1-2 hours at a time, and keeping wicks trimmed to 1⁄4 inch ( Burning candles releases soot and volatile organic compounds, so ventilation is key. Use with caution around children and pets.

There are concerns around aromatherapy candles and indoor air quality. Certain chemicals like benzene and toluene can be released from petroleum-based waxes when burned. Opt for soy, beeswax, or vegetable-based waxes instead. Essential oils themselves can also react to produce potentially harmful compounds when burned (

Avoid candles with synthetic fragrances, paraffin or paraffin blends, mineral oils, and artificial dyes. Seek out phthalate-free, non-toxic, and naturally derived ingredients. Essential oil labels should list the Latin botanical name and avoid “fragrance” as an ingredient.

Aromatherapy vs Fragrance Candles

There is a key difference between aromatherapy candles made with essential oils and regular fragranced candles made with synthetic fragrance oils. Essential oils are extracted directly from plants and contain the natural aromatic compounds found in the plant. Fragrance oils are chemically created in a lab to mimic certain scents. While fragrance oils can smell similar to essential oils, they don’t offer the same therapeutic benefits.

Aromatherapy candles infused with essential oils can provide natural aromatherapy benefits as you breathe in the volatile plant compounds. The essential oils interact with your sense of smell and parts of the brain involved in mood, stress, and emotions. Research shows inhaling certain essential oils like lavender and bergamot can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality. The chemicals in fragrance oils do not offer these holistic effects.

In terms of quality, essential oils are generally considered superior ingredients. They contain a complex blend of plant chemicals and natural aromas that synthetic fragrances cannot truly replicate. However, there are high quality fragrance oils that smell very pleasing. Ultimately, aromatherapy candles with essential oils offer therapeutic benefits, while fragranced candles simply make your home smell nice.


Reviews of Top Brands

When it comes to aromatherapy candles, some brands stand out for their quality ingredients, long burn times, and amazing scents. Here’s an overview of reviews for the top selling brands:

Yankee Candle

One of the most popular candle brands, Yankee Candle offers a wide selection of aromatherapy candles using natural essential oils. Favorites include the Stress Relief eucalyptus candle and the Sleepytime vanilla candle. Reviews praise the strong scents and long burn times. Cons are the higher prices.

Bath & Body Works

This affordable brand is known for their huge range of scented and aromatherapy candles. Top picks include the Sleep line with lavender essential oil. Customers love the scent variety and low prices but say the aromatherapy benefits are mild.

Essence of Vali

Focusing on aromatherapy benefits, Essence of Vali uses 100% pure essential oils. Fans rave about the Stress Relief eucalyptus candle for relaxation. TheNature’s Truth line has great reviews. Drawbacks are the higher price tag.

By looking at customer reviews, you can discover the stand-out aromatherapy candle brands that offer the best experience, scents, and therapeutic benefits.

Making Your Own

Making your own aromatherapy candles at home can be easy and rewarding. Some of the benefits of homemade candles include having control over the ingredients and essential oil scents you use, customizing to your exact preferences, and saving money compared to buying premade candles. The basic process involves choosing a wax (like soy, beeswax, or paraffin), selecting essential oils, prepping wicks, and carefully pouring the wax into containers or molds.

Before getting started, be sure to take the proper safety precautions when handling hot wax and follow all manufacturer instructions for prep and handling. Always use candle-grade oils, not oils meant for topical use, and avoid very high percentages of oils which can create potential fire hazards in the candle. Popular scents for aromatherapy candles are lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree.

A basic aromatherapy candle recipe is:
– 1 lb candle wax (soy, beeswax, paraffin)
– 2 oz essential oils total for scent

– Candle wicks
– Containers or candle molds

1. Prepare wick by gluing base to bottom of container with hot glue or wick stickers.
2. Melt wax carefully following packaging instructions. Mix in essential oils when wax is melted.

3. Carefully pour wax into containers or molds.
4. Let candles fully set and cure 24-48 hours before burning.
See more tips and step-by-step instructions at and

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about aromatherapy candles to help debunk common myths and provide insight on using them safely and effectively.

Are aromatherapy candles safe to burn?

When used properly, aromatherapy candles are generally safe. However, basic precautions should be taken, including keeping them away from flammable materials, not leaving them unattended, and extinguishing them before going to sleep. High-quality candles made from natural soy wax, cotton wicks, and pure essential oils are ideal.

Do aromatherapy candles really provide health benefits?

Research shows that aromatherapy can provide benefits like stress relief, improved sleep, and elevated mood. However, scented candles that use synthetic fragrances rather than pure essential oils will not have the same effects. Be sure to look for candles made with 100% essential oils to experience aromatherapy benefits.

Are soy candles better than paraffin wax candles?

Soy wax candles are often considered safer and more environmentally friendly than paraffin wax. Soy wax comes from renewable sources and burns cleaner. Paraffin can emit compounds like benzene and toluene when burned. However, high-quality paraffin candles from reputable brands can also be safe options.

How long does an aromatherapy candle last when burning?

Burn times vary greatly based on the size and type of candle. Container candles typically provide 4-6 hours of burn time per ounce of wax. Pillar candles often provide 1 hour of burn time per inch of height. It’s best to start with short burn times of 1-2 hours, extinguishing the candle when 1/2″-1″ of wax remains.

Can you reuse aromatherapy candle jars?

Yes, reusing your candle jars is a great way to repurpose them once the candle is finished. Clean the jars thoroughly and remove all wax remnants and labels. Jars can then be used for food storage, organizing supplies, propagating plants and more. Get creative with your empties!

The Bottom Line

In summary, aromatherapy candles can provide various physical and emotional benefits through the inhalation of essential oils. When used properly and safely, they offer a convenient way to utilize the therapeutic properties of essential oils in your home. The key points are:

  • Aromatherapy candles release essential oil molecules into the air when burned, allowing you to inhale the aroma.
  • Inhaling essential oils can stimulate the limbic system of the brain, positively affecting mood, stress levels, and certain physical symptoms.
  • Popular benefits of aromatherapy candles include reducing anxiety and stress, improving sleep, increasing focus and energy, relieving headaches, and more.
  • Always use 100% soy, beeswax, or vegetable-based candles and read labels to ensure high quality. Avoid paraffin candles.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended. Keep away from kids and pets. Be cautious if you have respiratory issues.
  • Overall, aromatherapy candles can be a safe, convenient way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils at home when used properly.

The verdict is that high quality aromatherapy candles can provide worthwhile benefits, both emotional and physical, when used responsibly. As with any product, take care to source from reputable brands, read labels thoroughly, and follow usage and safety best practices. With some caution and care taken, aromatherapy candles can be an easy, enjoyable way to experience the uplifting power of essential oils.

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