The Psychology of Candles: How Scents Influence Mood and Behaviours

The Psychology of Candles: How Scents Influence Mood and Behaviours

Candles have been used for centuries, not just for illumination but also for their calming and aromatic properties. The gentle flicker of a flame and the soothing scent of a candle can transform any space into a haven of tranquility. 

As we delve into the psychology of candles, we explore how different scents can influence our mood and personality, and why certain types of candles, like seasonal and soy candles, have become popular.

The Power of Scent

Our sense of smell is closely linked to memory and emotion. A single whiff of a familiar scent can instantly transport us back to a specific moment in time, evoking powerful memories and feelings.


This is because the olfactory bulb, which processes smells, is directly connected to the brain's limbic system, the area responsible for emotions and memories. Thus, the scents of candles can have a profound impact on our mood and psychological state.

Seasonal Candles: Capturing the Essence of Time

Seasonal candles are designed to encapsulate the essence of different times of the year. In winter, scents like pine, cinnamon, and vanilla can evoke the warmth and coziness of the holiday season. Spring candles often feature floral and fresh scents like lavender, lilac, and fresh linen, which can invigorate and refresh the senses as we emerge from the cold.


Summer candles with citrus, coconut, and tropical fruit notes can transport us to a beachside paradise, while autumn candles, with their pumpkin spice, apple cider, and woodsy aromas, can evoke the comfort and nostalgia of harvest time. By lighting a seasonal candle, we can enhance the atmosphere and fully immerse ourselves in the spirit of the season.

Using Candles for Habit Forming

As we’ve discussed earlier there is a powerful connection between scents and psychology. It’s so powerful many of your favorite brands use it in their daily marketing practices.

For example, Disney in 1986 patented a smell-emitting system for their parks called smellitizers, which pump fragrance into the air in strategic points of the park like Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. This creates a subconscious connection between those smells and Disney experiences.

You can use the same psychology in your daily life.


A simple trick is to burn a candle while performing a specific behavior like studying, which will create a neuropathway in the brain connecting the two experiences.

However, it’s important to note that this connection won’t happen over one session, but after a few times, your brain will begin to associate the smell with the behavior, even going as far as triggering a “flow” like state when lit.

Atmospheric Candles – How Utilizing Scents and Music Creates Experiences

At Goodnight Candles we pride ourselves on making candles that exceed the boundaries of traditional candle making, and one of those boundaries is the limitations on what experiences candles can offer you.

By carefully crafting our scents, labels, and curated playlists (more on this in a moment) we indulge more than just your sense of smell in the process! We target 3 out of the 5 human senses, creating a powerful bond between the experience and the human mind.

By simply looking, hearing, and smelling our candles we build indulging experiences and stories for you to explore with your mind. From our spring-cleaning candle bringing forward the feeling of the first crack of your windows in spring to our pear tree candle transporting you to an Italian pear orchard, we craft experiences more than just smells.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.