Candles are "Scent-Sational" - Vanillas, Florals are most Popular

Candle fragrance isn’t just an after-thought, it is the driving force among consumers deciding which candles they will purchase.  Consumer surveys by the National Candle ssociation (NCA) have shown that 75 to 80 percent of candle users – both male and female – consider fragrance to be the leading factor in determining their purchase of a candle.  Color is sually the second-most important factor.

“The demand for scented candles has continued to grow over the past decade, says Valerie Cooper, NCA executive vice president.  “Consumers use scented candles to create atmosphere and enhance mood,” she adds.  Approximately 80 percent of all candles sold in the U.S. are scented. 

With more than 10,000 different candle scents to choose from, and continued consumer interest in using fragrance to relax or improve their sense of well being, the popularity of scented candles remains robust. In addition, scientists are learning more about aromachology --  how aromas alleviate stress, heighten mood, enhance sex drive and even affect alertness in the office by stimulating olfactory pathways to the brain.  In general, scented candles produce aromachology rather than aromatherapy effects. Strictly speaking, “aromatherapy” is a holistic or alternative medicine treatment that is designed to create physiological or therapeutic effects through the use of essential oils extracted from plants and absorbed in the body through massage, ingestion or smell.  Many scented candles do not contain essential oils, while others rarely contain amounts large enough to produce true aromatherapy effects.  Instead, most scented candles are aromachology candles, which create pleasing psychological effects from the ambient aroma of fragrances.  
Guide to Popular Candle Fragrances:
Vanilla Category -- For many years, vanilla and vanilla-based aromas have been the most popular candle scent throughout the seasons. The most popular vanillas today are often combined with other fragrances to create sophisticated vanilla scents.  In terms of aromachology, vanilla is thought to promote relaxation, ease a queasy stomach, promote weight loss and serve as a natural aphrodisiac.
Fruit Category -- During the spring and summer months, the “fruits” as a fragrance category enjoy popularity with candle consumers.  Top picks in this category include the citruses, black cherry, melon and melon combinations, apple, peach and pomegranate. Of the fruit scents, lemon has long been a favorite for stimulating the immune system, improving circulation, enhancing mental acuity and promoting relaxation.
Floral Category -- The floral category includes fragrances such as rose, lilac and gardenia, as well as herb flowers.  Tea rose, lilac, jasmine, and lavender are especially popular. In terms of aromachology, lavender is thought to promote relaxation and lift the mood, relieve headaches,
improve the appetite and circulation, relieve insomnia and serve as a natural aphrodisiac. Jasmine is seen as decreasing anxiety, stimulating feelings of well being, easing cold symptoms and serving as a natural aphrodisiac.
Relaxation/Spa Category – This category includes fragrances such as ylang ylang, mint, ginger, green tea and eucalyptus, which are often used in day spas and resorts to create a sense of calm and well-being.  Ylang Ylang is believed to decrease anxiety, slow breathing, lower
blood pressure, lift the mood, improve circulation and reduce insomnia. Sandalwood, which also falls into this category, is believed to help regulate one’s mood, treat insomnia and reduce nervous tension.
Edibles Category – Beyond vanilla, fragrance experts in the candle industry have witnessed a surge in popularity of the edibles category. These scents -- such as sugar cookie, apple pie, gingerbread, mocha, coffee, and hazelnut -- are often associated with the pleasant aromas and
comfort of grandma’s kitchen.

Press Release by the National Candle Association

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