Where in the Home to Light Your Candles to Create the Perfect Ambience this Hosting Season 

Coffee-scented candles are the UK’s favourite according to new data from M&S Home  

As we spend more time indoors, new data from M&S Home shows the most popular home fragrances that people are searching for, with coffee-scented candles coming out on top, followed by vanilla in second place and rose in third. 

A cup of coffee is many people’s favorite helper for waking you up in the morning but lighting a coffee-scented candle throughout the day can be great for feeling more energized, with some studies finding that even the smell of the hot beverage can make you feel more alert. Similarly, you could also try a voodoo candle for other interesting added benefits.

Scents like vanilla help with relieving anxiety and are known for having a calming effect, perfect for when you’re relaxing after a long day. Likewise, the smell of beeswax candles can help reduce stress, which is helpful when working from home. Beeswax candles have a subtle honey or floral scent even when they are is not burning.

For artisan candle makers, there are is a wide array of candle waxes available including those made form plant-based oils, such as soy, paraffin, coconut, olive and rapseed oil.

Experts at M&S take a deeper dive into the most popular fragrance families and explain where in the home is the best place to light each candle, to create the desired mood. 

Fragrance families and where to light  

Fragrance families have certain notes or scents in common. Knowing which one you prefer can help you find the right fragrance for your home as illustrated below: 

#1 Amber 

Light in the lounge 

Distinct scents with full-bodied, rich and warming tones like vanilla, leather, pepper, tonka bean and woods. 

Amber scents are the most searched-for fragrance family across every season but searches really pick up in Autumn and Winter. Light amber candles in the lounge and let their warming notes transport you to wrapped-up walks amongst golden leaves and cosy evenings by the log burner. 

#2 Gourmand  

Light in the kitchen 

Mouth-watering ‘edible’ scents, with hints of vanilla, caramel, coffee, chocolate and honey. 

A cup of coffee is known for kickstarting your day to get you ready for the morning grind but the smell of the hot beverage is also great for lifting spirits. Light a gourmand-fragranced candle like a coffee-scented one in the kitchen to get you focused when you get stuck into a new recipe. 

#3 Floral  

Light in the snug  

Blossoming aromas complement each other with notes such as jasmine, mimosa, rose, freesia and peony. 

Floral scents, often associated with nature, are perfect for reducing stress so are best lit in a cosy snug whilst you while away time curled up with a good book.  

#4 Citrus  

Light in the office  

The citrus family is refreshing and zesty with sparkling top notes including lemon, bergamot, mandarin and grapefruit. 

If you’ve ever experienced writer’s block or are feeling stuck in a rut whilst working from home, try lighting a citrus candle as this can help with motivation and feeling more alert. 

#5 Fruity  

Light in social areas 

Sweet berry bases or more tropical scents, often with notes of pomegranate, apple, fig or rhubarb. 

A blend of both sweet and sour, fruity scents in social areas can help soothe the mind and help you switch off from the hustle and bustle of the day. They also create a peaceful atmosphere as you welcome guests to your home.  

#6 Herbal  

Light in the dining room  

Botanical scents are believed to have rejuvenating, relaxing qualities and may use notes of mint and thyme, sweet orange, geranium, and cedarwood. 

Herbal scents are great in a social setting such as a dining room as they’re known for relieving stress and lowering blood pressure, ideal for accompanying relaxed dinner time conversations and making your guests feel at ease. 

Create a cosy centrepiece on the table by mixing smaller scented candles with taller pillar candles.  

#7 Fresh  

Light in the bathroom  

Bright, clean and uplifting scents evoking a sea breeze. They often contain notes of neroli, sea salt and jasmine. 

Scents like jasmine are commonly used in massage oil and support relaxation. These lovely fresh scents are best placed in the bathroom to create a spa-like feeling; dim the lights, light your candle, turn on a meditative playlist and unwind in the bathtub.  

To find out more about which scents you need in your home, please see our home fragrance guide here: https://www.marksandspencer.com/c/style-and-living/home-fragrance-guide  

Eve Crabtree

Eve Crabtree is a journalist with a passion for interior design. She keeps up to date with the latest trends in the interior industry and regularly tests her hand at crafting and redecorating during her spare time.