HOW TO SCENT YOUR HOME: CANDLES VS DIFFUSERS

HOW TO SCENT YOUR HOME: CANDLES VS DIFFUSERS

While there are no set rules, there are certain areas of your home that allow for a diffuser or candle to work its hardest – here’s how to get the most out of your home fragrance

When life feels overwhelming, the simple ritual of lighting a candle or turning over your diffuser reeds can have a truly energy-changing effect. Whether you’re longing for some relaxation, are in search of mental clarity or desire a grounding moment, how you go about scenting your home can make a world of difference to your frame of mind. In fact, everything from the aroma you choose to the form of home fragrance you opt for will affect the end result – and this is never truer than when it comes to the differences between candles and diffusers. 

‘There is no right way to scent your home. However you do it, it’s a physical way of setting an intention and creating that lovely energy around you,’ explains Tilly Wood, founder of Aja Botanicals. ‘Personally, I get more of a sense of wellbeing through being in a candlelit environment – they have that relaxing sort of magic. Diffusers, on the other hand, deliver that everyday scent – they never feel overwhelming, last for a long time and really boost your environment.’ 

Here are some suggestions for how to create an ideal fragrance floorplan, to beautifully scent your home… 

For the hallway

Considering that your hallway is the first thing that greets you upon stepping through the door, it is likely that its aroma is the one you will come to associate most with the comfort of home. ‘Hello, I Love You has floral notes that make it feel upbeat. I use it in the hallway so that I am met with its happy vibes as soon as I walk in,’ says Tilly.

And while candles (sadly) can’t be lit ahead of time to welcome you home, the hallway makes for the perfect diffuser destination. In rooms with high foot traffic, your diffuser will work its hardest. ‘When you walk past it, the air helps it diffuse,’ explains Tilly. Plus, the chic aesthetic of Aja Botanicals diffusers – with elegantly shaped, opaque, hand-blown glass – will also serve as a delightful greeting. 

For the sitting room

If the hallway is your welcome home, think of your sitting room as an all-encompassing hug of comfort. It’s for this reason you might benefit most from a candle in this space. ‘I find the flickering flame and soft glow soothing,’ says Tilly.

In terms of scent, it’s natural to lean towards deeper, cosier aromas for your sitting room. ‘Walk on the Wild Side is enveloping and warm, with a smokiness that reminds one of a study or library,’ says Tilly, which is why she keeps it burning in her sitting room.

For the kitchen

As we enter the kitchen, it’s time for things to get fresher – and it is one room in which both candles and diffusers work equally as well (and even better in unison). Opting for a herbaceous, grounding and mind-clearing scent – like Dreams – in the kitchen, is something Tilly recommends for ‘helping you think straight’ to support a positive and productive day.

For the bathroom

The cleansing properties of the Dreams fragrance means it is also Tilly’s scent of choice for creating a spa-like bathroom experience. While there is certainly no better time to burn a candle than when stepping into a bubble-filled tub, she also mentions that the bathroom is an ideal space for a diffuser. ‘When you have a room that doesn’t get a lot of air flow, like a bathroom, a diffuser is the perfect way to keep things fresh and lovely,’ she says.

For the bedroom

While candles no doubt offer a serene and peaceful way to end the day, diffusers can be equally as effective for a helping hand when it comes to drifting off. ‘Think of our diffusers as the cold throw – the scent that emanates from the candle when it is unlit – of our candles,’ explains Tilly. ‘When you light a candle, the top notes tend to burn off first, whereas diffusers tend to keep hold of that scent.’

Lavender (which is often associated with a better night’s sleep) is one of those notes that you might find to be more prominent in diffusers. Tilly advises that Into the Mystic is an ideal diffuser aroma for the bedroom, thanks to a lavender top note for mind-calming bliss. Equally, in candle form, the cedarwood and oakmoss base has a warm, resinous woodiness that will swaddle you up in pre-sleep comfort.

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and executive beauty editor at Marie Claire UK. With nearly a decade of experience writing for some of the beauty industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear, Glamour UK, Stylist and Refinery29, she considers her main beauty mission to be demystifying the often-intimidating world of fragrance.

Discover the Aja Botanicals fragrance collections here.

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