The most popular candle scents in the UK revealed - no.3 surprised us

See what people are searching for when it comes to our favourite fragrances

There's something about candles that really evokes a relaxing, cosy vibe, and with the last year being so uncertain, candles have been key in creating a comforting atmosphere in our homes.

Whether it's seeing them flickering in a fireplace, on a mantlepiece or in lanterns, we, as a nation, love them and it's not just their look that appeals to us, either. Choosing the scent – the one that makes you 'happy sigh' when you breathe in the fragrance – is all part of the experience… and once you've found the scented candle you love, it's hard to be swayed.

However, it appears we're not all the same when it comes to the fragrance we like, and although that's not so astonishing, you may be surprised to know the scents that are leading the way in candle sales and searches. Leading interior design company Dowsing & Reynolds have delved into data from Google Search to find out our favourite scented candles.

room with wooden wall and scented candles

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

The cosy living trend reflects our current mindsets; in difficult times, we seek comfort,' says brand co-owner Ally Dowsing-Reynolds. 'The rise of movements like hygge have highlighted the practical elements of our home interiors, showing us how they create a feeling as well as reflecting our personalities.'

'We’re now exploring sensory ways to create an element of comfort in our homes; it’s not just mood lighting and blankets. Scents are the perfect way to create a relaxing atmosphere, and we’ve seen a spike in interest in comforting scents.'

Think you know what the most-searched candle fragrances might be? Read on to find out if you're right…

1. Lavender

purple lavender scented candle

(Image credit: Dowsing & Reynolds)

Top spot goes to lavender, which has around 3,600 online searches a month – which is a huge amount! Perhaps not so surprising when you consider that the fragrance (taken from the oils of the lavender plant) is believed to promote calmness and wellness, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, and even mild pain. Definitely, one to have by your bedside or lit while you're having a long relaxing bath.

2. Vanilla

white vanilla scented candle

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Next up comes vanilla, with around 2,400 people searching for this fragrant candle a month. Its sweet, warm scent is a great comforting fragrance and it's extremely versatile, mixing well with other scents. Vanilla also works well from day to night, whether it's the background notes to your evening meal or a satisfying scent while you're getting on with the housework.

3. Gingerbread

In third place comes the gingerbread candle, closely followed by chocolate orange. 'Interestingly, these scents remind us of times enjoyed with family and friends, giving us that warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia,' says Ally.

'Our favourite Christmas scent, gingerbread, ranked third. We embraced Christmas 2020 earlier than usual as a way to comfort ourselves, so it’s unsurprising to see this warm, festive scent soar in popularity, bringing sensory joy to our surroundings.'

Lastly, sea salt has proven the south-east's favourite candle, paying homage to the area's coastal surroundings. 'With holidays unavailable to many of us over the past year, we’re recreating that unmatched vacation feeling at home in our scented candle choices,' Ally says.

Related: You can officially buy Yankee Candle's 2021 Scent of the year for £25.99 – it's perfect for spring

How about you – what's your favourite candle scent and why?

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at