It’s the most important aspect of a good candle.

An interesting container or nice label might attract the customer, but the sale is made when they pick up the candle and like what they smell.

Scents can be a great way for you to create your own distinctive brand of candle and scents like blood orange or burnt cigar appeal to customers who want to add a bit of personality to their home.

However if you don’t have a few staple scents in your range, you are potentially limiting your sales.

Candles are often bought as gifts for friends and family so many customers turn to the staple scents as they are safe presents when you are unsure of a friends tastes.

The question is, what are the staple scents you should be stocking?

You intuitively know a few, but which ones are more popular than others? Maybe you want to add another scent to your range, which one should you choose?

By analysing Google's search traffic data for fragrance oil and scented candles I have identified and ranked the most searched for scents and fragrances.

This gives insight into 3 areas of fragrance that can be used to select the scents for your candles.

1. The most popular scents
2. The fragrances that are growing in popularity
3. Seasonal trends in fragrances

This information will enable you to make informed decisions about the scents you use in your range of candles.

The most popular fragrances

Source: Google Adwords 2016

When you look at search volume for the last year, lavender is by far the most searched for fragrance. It isn’t surprising that lavender is near the top of the list, however it is interesting that it is almost double the size in demand to the next nearest scent (Vanilla).

While Coconut is one of the most popular choices for candle makers, interestingly it sits 6th on the list.

Coffee sits as the 4th most popular fragrance searched for, just above Egyptian Musk and Vanilla. It is interesting to see that it has experienced a large amount of growth in popularity over past year seen in figure 1.2 below.

Fragrances that are growing in popularity

Source: Google Adwords 2016

Coffee has been a stand out over the past 2 years growing 35% on the previous year and as a result it comes in as the 4th most popular fragrance.

There also appears to be an increasing trend in winter based scents with Cherry, Watermelon and Honeysuckle all experiencing over 20% growth.

Seasonal trends in fragrances

Source: Google Adwords 2016

While some fragrances are popular all year round, there are a few that experience increased popularity over the winter and summer months.

If you look at figure 1.3, fragrances such as vanilla, sandalwood and coffee spike over summer.

As mentioned above, these scents make good gifts and as a result Christmas (the key gifting period) appears to be the big driver in demand for these over summer.

Source: Google Adwords 2016

While Christmas is still the most popular time of year for candles, the graph above shows that winter also generates demand for certain scents.

These include Egyptian Musk, Gardenia, Cherry and Honeysuckle.

Winter is generally a lull for candle demand, testing a few winter scents could be a way to pick up extra sales over this period.

Key Take Aways

  1. > Always look for new and interesting scents whilst maintaining a range of traditional or staple scents - for those buyers who are looking for gifts.
  2. > Lavender, Vanilla and Sandalwood are the scents that are most searched for in Google.
  3. > Coffee is an upcoming favourite with strong growth and high demand.
  4. > Vanilla, Sandalwood and Coffee are clear Christmas favourite’s.
  5. > Honeysuckle, Egyptian musk and Cherry increase in popularity over Winter.

If you want to look at the individual trends and keywords associated to these scents you can download the full Fragrance Trends and Insights Report

Also check out our range of fragrance oils which can be purchased from our store.