How to Use Scented Candles to Create a Serene Home Sanctuary

Light a scented candle and feel your cortisol levels settle down too.

Candle on a wooden tray
Candles make unwinding that much more decadent.Pexels

When you close your eyes and think about what a night of “me time” might look like, you might see visions of bubble baths, comfort food and a good book. What’s that in the corner, or on the table next to you? A flickering candle. They’re pretty, yes, but candles can provide more than ambience. Lighting a scented candle can bring on proven benefits such as boosting your mood and helping to reduce stress. The scents of lavender, chamomile, rose and lilac have been shown to help reduce anxiety, for instance. Here are three popular scented candles, and the benefits they bring.

Sharpens Your Focus

Lulu Candle in Fresh Linen, Luxury Scented Soy Jar Candle
This 6-ounce candle is handcrafted in the USA.Lulu Candles

Choose a candle with a crisp scent like lemon, peppermint or fresh linen for a quick boost of energy and cheer. One made with soy wax, like this pick, ensures no toxins are released when burning. That keeps the air clean so the natural fragrance circulates without the scent overpowering the room.

Sets Up a Daily Ritual

Yankee Candle Large Jar Candle Lavender Vanilla
This jar is long lasting, offering up to 150 hours of burn time.Yankee Candle

Breathing in calming scents such as lilac and lavender stimulates the smell receptors in your nose and sends a message to your nervous system that it’s safe to calm down. Light a relaxing pick like this one in the morning over a cup of coffee, or as part of your morning routine of mindfulness or journaling.

Encourages a Restful Night

Chesapeake Bay Candle Scented Candle, Balance + Harmony (Water Lily Pear)
The soft colored frosted jar of this candle allows just enough soothing light of the flame to shine through.Chesapeake Bay Candle

A great way to wind down at night is to put down your phone, tablet or laptop (the bright, blue light makes it harder to get sleepy) and do your usual bedtime routine by the light of a calming, scented candle. Thirty to 60 minutes of restful activity—reading, brushing your teeth, sipping tea, making lists—in a dimly lit space supports your natural sleep rhythms, setting the stage for a deep and uninterrupted night’s sleep.