What Candle Smell Relieves Stress Best?

Candles are a great tool for stress relief, but understanding why they work and how to maximize the benefits helps you create the perfect environment for stress relief. Using a scent known for its relieving properties is a great place to start.

Lavender is the best scent for relieving stress. Its natural calming effects work well to help the body reach a better baseline, and it mingles well with other stress-relieving scents.

This article explores the benefits of lavender candles in more depth and looks at other scents known to relieve stress. We also explain why some prefer essential oils over other fragrances, and what else to focus on when using candles for stress relief.

Lavender Candles and Stress Relief 

Lavender essential oil is known to reduce the effects of anxiety, and it is one of the most popular and palatable candle scents on the market.

The process for gathering the oil involves building the lavender buds in water until they steam, and then gathering the steam. While this is difficult for inexperienced workers, the product is strong enough that it is worth it.

Lavender has plenty of restorative properties that help the nervous system calm down when you get worked up. This is an important step in relieving stress, but it also creates an environment to reduce stress responses in the first place.

Lavender is also known to help you fall asleep and get a more restful sleep. This leads to the activities of the next day, making sure you tackle activities in a better state of mind.

Lavender remains a top choice because it works well with other popular scents, including:
  • Orange
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime
  • Bergamot
  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint

Many of these complimentary scents also have fantastic stress relief properties.

Other Scents that Relieve Stress Well

What Candle Smell Relieves Stress Best?

While lavender is the most popular choice, it is not the only one you have for relieving stress. Looking for other scents is great when:

  • You are not much of a lavender fan
  • It does not target the right stressors
  • You just want more variety

Whatever your reason, consider using one (or a mix of) the scents below. These fragrances target different causes and symptoms of stress, and they cover a variety of scent preferences.

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One of the most obvious choices for stress relief is chamomile, although you may be more familiar with it in teas. Chamomile has plenty of other benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti–bacterial properties.

Like lavender, chamomile is also a strong sleep aid, and it can even improve your breathing. This is important for handling stress properly and boosting your immune system.


Speaking of the respiratory system and stress, eucalyptus is one of the best scents for those whose stress manifests in shortness of breath. When you are stressed, you tend to take shallow breaths. This is mainly evident in panic attacks, but you may not notice milder manifestations of this symptom.

Eucalyptus helps you breathe deeper, so you have a better chance of calming down. It can also help with issues that lower your stress threshold, such as sinus problems or sore throats.


Spearmint candles have many of the same benefits as eucalyptus candles, and they have the same effects on the respiratory system.

Likewise, spearmint is also great for improving general mood and the ability to focus. By doing this, there is less opportunity for impulsive thoughts to creep in or for the brain to fall behind and stress.

Spearmint is a great complimentary scent for eucalyptus.


Ylang-ylang promotes a happier, more optimistic approach. This scent can:

  • Increase blood flow
  • Regulate heart beat
  • Work against insomnia

Also, Ylang-ylang counters the effects of stress and anxiety and works to create a better mindset where those feelings cannot survive.


Rose is a rich scent often associated with feelings of love, but it has powerful effects on the body. Furthermore, rose candles can help improve your energy and facilitate a more optimistic approach,

Rose is also great for relieving headaches, including those that derive from or lead to stress.

This romantic scent blends well with other citrus and floral notes, including lavender, clary sage, and bergamot.


Vetiver is a calming scent that you usually find combined with sandalwood, bergamot, or rose. It has a smell known for reducing anxiety, but vetiver can also be applied directly to the skin to accomplish this. The scent is also known to help deal with emotional traumas and shock.

Vetiver is great ammunition against nervousness and insomnia, and it can even help joint and muscle pain deriving from the pent-up feelings.


What Candle Smell Relieves Stress Best?

Frankincense has quite a historical reputation, but its modern effects are just as significant. Candles that use frankincense help calm both the mind and the body.

This scent helps treat anxiety settling in alongside stress, and it relaxes the body. You can also use frankincense to help improve concentration and clear the mind.


Agitation is not always a symptom of stress, but anyone who deals with it might benefit from bergamot. This scent reduces agitation, and it is one of the more popular citrus scents used for stress relief.

Bergamot pairs nicely with vanilla, so anyone who prefers a warmer candle may find this scent often.


Vanilla is a warm, sweet scent that many prefer to the brighter varieties of this article. Because of its comforting capabilities, vanilla can relieve stress by:

  • Slowing the heart rate
  • Relaxing the body
  • Soothing nervous tension

Vanilla candles also stimulate feelings of joy, increasing baseline happiness.


This is another sweet, floral scent that facilitates a better baseline for well-being. Jasmine is a widely preferred scent, but it also works against feelings of stress or anxiety.

Jasmine is great at promoting better sleep. It helps you get to sleep faster and helps you achieve a more restful sleep. Some people may find this scent to be even more effective than lavender.


While not every citrus scent is specifically known for reducing stress, most of them work to improve or introduce feelings of happiness. This is essential for not only reducing the effects of stress but also reaching a better mood.

Citrus scents are great for improving energy naturally, and this can kick off a snowball effect into a better state of mind.


Rosemary is a common herb, and it smells like a mixture between the woods and beautiful minty hints. This scent not only relaxes the body but energizes it.

The rosemary has been used throughout history as a stimulant, and it reduces physical feelings of fatigue when inhaled.

Essential Oils vs. Synthetic Oils

What Candle Smell Relieves Stress Best?

Essential oils are generally preferred for aromatherapy. While fragrance oils are great at throwing scent, essential oils affect the mind and body more authentically and work better at drawing out benefits like stress relief.

When the scents from essential oils go through the nose, they trigger the parts of the brain responsible for the sought-after effects (such as relaxation). When used correctly, essential oils can have an immediate effect with no side effects.

While synthetic oils do not always have ill effects, they can contribute to:

  • Migraines
  • Headaches
  • Asthma attacks
  • Respiratory issues
  • Contact dermatitis

Any of these issues would immediately counter any stress-relief properties.

Candle Flames and Stress Relief

While scent has the largest impact on relieving stress, you can pair the scent with a quality wick (such as a wood wick) to improve the effects.

Apart from scent, the candle’s flame is noted for having great relief properties. The steady crackling and soft glow reduces stress and contributes to a more meditative state.

The candle flame also provides a significant point of focus for meditation. Methods like trataka sadhana (candle gazing method) use the candle to help prevent your mind from wandering, instead of having you focus on the flame.

Pairing a stress-relieving scent with a strong flame can improve the relaxing effects and help improve mental clarity, paving the road for even more success. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Can candles help with other moods?

The science behind aromatherapy expands beyond stress and anxiety relief. Different scents call to different emotions and responses in the body, and using them can increase energy, libido, joy, healing, confidence, and more.

Does a candle need to be an aromatherapy candle to relieve stress?

A candle does not need to be marketed as an aromatherapy candle to relieve stress, but the effects may be dampened if the proper ingredients are not used. Candles that use essential oils are preferred over others for more natural effects.

Are candles sufficient to replace medication for anxiety or stress?

Stress relief candles should not be used as a substitute for medication, but they can accompany the process and improve the effects of medication and the overall well-being of the user.

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