Why scented candles break gender barriers

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Why scented candles break gender barriers


The expanding luxury home fragrance market is giving Kenyans more choices. Scented candles have now found a permanent place in many homes. Which do you prefer? Where do you keep it? How to choose the right home fragrance?

Of the air we breathe at home, some contains unpleasant odors. A pleasant fragrance stimulates good memories and emotions. Candles, fragrance diffusers, incense sticks and plug-ins emit interesting and subtle scents.

Emily Wambui, owner of AFrily Scented candles, says demand for scented candles has increased over the past few years, with both genders now buying them.

“I thought of starting a business that is pocket-friendly and eco-friendly. When I started selling scented candles, they were not popular in Kenya. That was in 2019. But now the business is mainstream, everyone knows, men and women buy it and I ship it all over the country, I also sell wholesale,” she says.

What is driving demand?

For some, burning a candle makes us feel like we have a crackling fire next to us even in our small apartments that don’t have a fireplace. Or maybe it’s just the fact that fragrance is so intertwined with the essence of the holiday season. Some enjoy candles because they like to see flickering flames in a room.

Many people have started liking scented candles because they like when it smells good at home, and it’s very personal to them, everyone likes to personalize their spaces, that’s why they prefer these candles.

Scented candles are now widely available, from cheap supermarket versions to big names selling for over 6,000 shillings apiece.

Sheila Wawire is a lover of scented candles. It’s a must-have item every month or so.

“I started using scented candles in 2020 during lockdown. I learned about them on social media when I saw an influencer buying them. Now I love how the scent fills my space, and you can still smell it when you open the door to our apartment. I love all the chamomile, lemon and rosemary scented candles. They warm my house,” she says.

There are different scents in the market. For example, cananga odorata, which are sweet, exotic, and floral flowers, promote feelings of joy and well-being.

Jasmine improves positive feelings and energy levels, and peppermint improves concentration and improves memory. If you’re looking for something to calm your anxiety, burn candles that have hints of rosemary, lemon, chamomile, and geranium.

At AFrily Scented Candles, Ms. Wambui sells four different types of candles; Pendo summer fruits and additional berry splashes, flavors of salted caramel Tamu and macadamia, Dondoo ya vanilla of pure vanilla and Raha of flavor of sweet cinnamon and baked banana cake which range from 800 Sh to 5 Sh400 depending on size and if it’s a one or a four pack.

“I have candles with different ingredients and scents such as mixed berries and berry splash, salted caramel and macadamia, cinnamon, baked banana, vanilla, caramel, coffee and fruit summer,” she said.

But many wonder, are perfumes inherently feminine or masculine, or is perfume asexual?

“There is a misconception that men don’t like candles, let alone scented candles, which is not true. We have customers who are men. And everyone has their taste, but I generally recommend vanilla scented candles to men because the majority don’t like floral and sweet scents,” she says.

For the living room, opt for pure vanilla or berry splash. For the kitchen, choose cinnamon and for the bedroom, just like music, color and light, fragrance can enhance the atmosphere of a room.

Perfume has an eerie, mystical power and memories are easily evoked with the slightest whiff of a familiar scent. Ms. Wambui advises you to choose salted caramel and macadamia for the bedroom.

Are there specific scented candles for hot and cold seasons?

“Not really. Nothing like specific scents for cold and hot seasons. The good thing is that the scented candle helps keep you warm especially in this cold season besides giving a soothing effect,” she says .

But here’s the trick, before you burn the candle, always trim the wick because the length of the wick is a sort of varying goldilocks that can quickly shorten the life of your candle.

Especially with larger candles, which provide more surface area for drifting, a trimmed wick length will ensure a straighter burn. Cut it just before burning it each time you use it.

“Before you burn the candles, make sure you cut the wick, that’s the secret to keeping it burning for three to four hours,” Ms Wambui says.

“Scented candles are essential because they help stabilize the mind. They reduce stress, alleviate fatigue and also make the house smell good. My favorite is the vanilla scent,” she says.

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