As the chill of winter sets in, our homes become sanctuaries of warmth and comfort. One of the most delightful ways to enhance that cozy atmosphere is through the use of scented candles. Not only do they provide a soothing glow, but the right fragrances can evoke powerful emotions and memories. Understanding the intricacies of fragrance notes and accords is essential for creating the perfect winter ambiance with your homemade candles.

The Importance of Scents in Winter

Winter is a season often associated with specific scents that evoke feelings of warmth, nostalgia, and comfort. From the spicy aroma of cinnamon to the fresh scent of evergreen trees, these fragrances can significantly impact our mood and well-being. Scented candles are a simple yet effective way to bring these beloved winter smells into your home, making the cooler months more enjoyable.

Understanding Fragrance Notes

Fragrance Pyramid

Fragrances are composed of different “notes,” which are the individual components that make up the overall scent. These notes are categorised into three levels: top, middle (or heart), and base (low) notes. Each plays a crucial role in how a fragrance is perceived over time.

  1. Top Notes: These are the initial scents you detect when you first light a candle. They are usually light and refreshing, lasting for about 5-15 minutes. Common top notes include citrus, herbs, and light floral scents. In winter candles, you might find top notes like peppermint or eucalyptus that provide a crisp, invigorating start.

  2. Middle (Heart) Notes: Once the top notes dissipate, the middle notes emerge, forming the core of the fragrance. These notes are more robust and lasting, typically remaining noticeable for 20-60 minutes. Middle notes often include spices, florals, and fruits. For winter, think of warm spices like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, or comforting florals like jasmine and rose.

  3. Base Notes: The base notes are the foundation of the fragrance, providing depth and longevity. They blend with the middle notes to create the full-bodied scent that lingers. Common base notes include woods, musk, and vanilla. In winter candles, rich and earthy base notes like cedarwood, sandalwood, and amber are popular choices.

The Fragrance Wheel

To simplify the complex world of scents, the fragrance wheel categorises fragrances into families and sub-families. This tool helps candle makers understand how different scents can be combined to create harmonious blends. The main categories on the fragrance wheel include:

  • Floral: Soft, sweet, and romantic.
  • Fruity: Fresh, juicy, and up lifting.
  • Citrus: Bright, tangy, and energising.
  • Green: Herbaceous, fresh, and clean.
  • Woody: Rich, warm, and grounding.
  • Spicy: Warm, exotic, and stimulating.
  • Oriental: Sensual, mysterious, and opulent.

By using the fragrance wheel, you can experiment with combining different scent families to create the perfect winter ambiance. For instance, pairing spicy and woody notes can result in a warm and inviting fragrance ideal for cold nights.

Creating the Perfect Winter Candle

When making your own candles, understanding the balance between top, middle, and base notes is crucial. Here are some tips for blending your own ideal winter candle:

  1. Choose Your Base: Start with rich, long-lasting base notes like sandalwood, amber, or vanilla. These will provide the depth and warmth characteristic of winter scents.

  2. Add Heart: Introduce middle notes that evoke the season, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or clove. These will add a comforting and familiar element to your candle.

  3. Brighten It Up: Finish with top notes that offer a refreshing contrast, like peppermint or eucalyptus. These will provide an initial burst of freshness before the deeper notes take over.

  4. Balance and Blend: Ensure the notes complement each other and are balanced. Too much of one note can overpower the others, while too little may not create the desired effect.


If you prefer to buy a fragrance oil that is already blended by the experts then here are our top 5 winter fragrance picks

  1. Sandalwood & Cedar – a stunning blend of white Indian sandalwood blended with creamy almond, white musk, cedar and exotic spices.
  2. Shades of Leather – inspired by ‘Ombre Leather’ by Tom Ford this fragrance is not just an addition to your candle-making palette; it’s a statement. It’s an invitation to explore the boundaries between ruggedness and refinement. It’s purely delightful.
  3. Lemon Balm and Rosemary – enjoy the calming ambiance of this popular blend of medicinal aromatics including lemon, lime, and vetiver.
  4. Spiced Black Oud – an aromatic fragrance packed with luxurious rich mossy woods at the base followed by the soft warm spice of clove and cinnamon and then topped off with a splash of fresh citrus and lime. Simply delicious.
  5. Vanilla Woods – indulge in the enchanting ambiance of Vanilla Woods, a captivating blend of citrus, floral elegance, and the warm embrace of sandalwood and vanilla sugar, perfect for those winter nights.

Making an Evening of It

Candle making can also be a wonderful winter activity to share with friends and family. Gather your loved ones, set up a cozy workspace, and enjoy the process of blending scents and pouring candles together. It’s a creative and satisfying way to spend a cold evening indoors, resulting in beautiful, personalised candles that everyone can take home.


Understanding the nuances of fragrance notes and accords is key to creating the perfect scented candles for winter. By carefully selecting and balancing top, middle, and base notes, you can craft candles that transform your home into a haven of warmth and comfort. Whether you’re new to candle making or a seasoned pro, exploring the world of fragrances is a delightful journey that enhances the magic of the winter season.