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Want to Smell a Candle’s True Scent? Try This Trick

A pretty candle sitting on a piece of furniture in front of three wooden reindeer.
Jason Fitzpatrick

You’re shopping for candles. You want to know what it will smell like. So you, naturally, huff the crap out of it, sniffing all the Real Cozy Cedar Fireplace™ molecules right up your nose. Except that’s, apparently, not the right way to go about it.

Over at Apartment Therapy, they have an argument for approaching your candle-huffing with a different tact:

For years when shopping for cozy candles, I’ve brought each candle right up to my face, maybe within an inch or so of my nose, and taking a good long whiff. But apparently, for any candle with a lid, you’re actually supposed to smell the lid—not the candle itself—to get the best sense of its scent. This might seem counterintuitive, but it makes a world of difference.

This is one of those things that you read and go “Hmmmm.”, I’ll admit… so I promptly went down to the ol’ candle cabinet in the basement, grabbed a large unburned jar candle, and gave it a test. Sure enough, the fragrance on the lid more closely resembled the room note of the candle and the fragrance on coming right off the surface of the candle was overpowering and not the same as the room note.

For more on why the trick works so well (and what to do with candles that don’t have lids), you can check out the full article here.

Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Editor in Chief of LifeSavvy. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at LifeSavvy, Review Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Read Full Bio »

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