Candles, Diffusers or Incense: Which is best for you?

There's more than one way to fill your home with fragrance. Light a scented candle, burn some incense or place a diffuser in your room - the choice is yours. But which style of home fragrance is best for you? Check out our handy guide to find out...
Los Angeles
It's never been easier to fill your home with beautiful fragrance. Light a scented candle, burn a stick of incense or place a reed diffuser in your home - there are plenty of ways to add scent to your spaces. But which is right for you? We've created this handy guide to help you decide what style of home fragrance is perfect for you.
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on pocket

A beautiful smelling home is a joy to live in. Whether you’re fighting the odor of much loved, but ever so stinky dog, or just fancy changing the ambience of a space through a scent boost, there’s more than one way to fill your home with lovely scent.


From scent diffusers to incense, candles to room sprays, there are plenty of options for perfuming your rooms. Deciding which is best for you depends on a number of factors. Here, you’ll find our handy guide to the different styles of home fragrance and how to decide which will suit your home best.



What is Incense?


Incense sticks and cones are made from a variety of combustible substances that give off a fragrant scent when burned. The word “incense” is actually derived from the Latin word for “to burn”.


The materials and scents used to create incense are typically plant-based, including resins, bark, seeds, roots, and flowers. Aromatic ingredients including frankincense, cinnamon, patchouli and sandalwood are often used, although the specific materials in each incense stick varies depending of the manufacturer.



Why should you choose Incense?


Incense provides a quick boost of fragrance making it the ideal choice when you don’t have a lot of time. Incense sticks generally burn for less than an hour and the fragrance and scent throw can be quite strong.


Lighting some incense in the morning as an accompaniment to a gentle yoga flow is a wonderful way to fill your home and self with a sense of balance, ready for the day ahead. 



Incense is best for…


+ A short term fragrance boost.

+ Filling a room with scent quickly.

+ People who like stronger scents.



Incense might not be for you if…


+ You don’t like the possible mess made by falling ash.

+ You don’t want to keep an eye on it – you should never leave burning incense unattended.


The Nomad Society Scented Candle



What are Scented Candles?


Scented candles are made from a combination of wax and scent oil, that when lit, diffuse aromas into the air. The ingredients used to create candles can vary greatly – you can read our guide to the different types of candle wax here.



Why should you choose Scented Candles?


Lighting a scented candle isn’t just about adding beautiful scents to a room. Thanks to the flickering flame, you also get the bonus of candlelight casting a warm glow around your space. Candle’s are perfect for setting a cosy mood and giving you an excuse to relax the evening away.


To get the most out of your candles, you should aim to light them for over an hour. Short burns cut down the life of a candle considerably, so it’s important to make sure you have enough time to allow the pool of molten wax to reach the edge of the candles jar.


How long this will take very much depends on the diameter of the candle, the number of wicks and the type of wax. For tips on getting the most out of your scented candles, we highly recommend you read the guides on our FAQ page.



Scented Candles are best for…


+ Creating an ambience thanks to the combination of soft flickering light and beautiful fragrance.

+ Adding a steady amount of scent to a room over the course of a few hours.

+ People who like more complex scents.



Scented Candles might not be for you if…


+ You don’t have time to wait for the wax pool to reach the edge of the candle jar.

+ You don’t want to keep an eye on it – you should never leave burning candles unattended.

+ You either want an instant boost of fragrance, or a scent that lasts for months.


Swell Diffuser by P.F. Candle Co.



What are Reed Diffusers?


Reed Diffusers come with three main parts; the fragrance oil, the vessel and the reeds or sticks. Made out of porous types of wood, the reed sticks absorb the fragrance oil and gently diffuse it into the surrounding air, giving off a continuous stream of scent until all of the oil has dissipated.


Why should you choose a Reed Diffuser?

Adding reed diffusers throughout your home is a great way to have wonderful smelling rooms all the time. Thanks to their continuous, flameless fragrance throw, reed diffusers provide the easiest way to make even the dankest corners of your home beautifully scented. Place them on bookshelves, in bathrooms, and around your office to keep your spaces smelling good.


Unlike scented candles and incense, both of which require burning to give off their fragrance, reed diffusers give off their aroma all day every day. And they’ll do this for weeks or months at a time! Sometimes we just don’t have time to keep a close eye on a flame. Reed Diffusers take the faff out of interior fragrance.



Reed Diffusers are best for…


+ Continuous scent

+ Flameless fragrance.

+ Being put anywhere.



Reed Diffusers might not be for you if…


+ You want a quick boost of fragrance.

+ You like to change the fragrance of a room every day.


Sandalwood Rose



Scented Candles vs. Incense


As both candles and incense provide a quick fragrance boost to the room in which they’re burnt, deciding which is best for you comes down to how much time you have.


Scented candles generally require being lit for at least an hour to allow time for the fragrance oils to warm up and start diffusing into the air. Incense however, can provide scent in as little as 10mins. Check out our Hibi Incense Matches for a speedy way to fill your space with beautifully crafted Japanese scents.


If you’re looking for an entire evening of scent alongside the cosy glow of candlelight, a scented candle will be right for you. Giving you the perfect excuse to relax for a few hours, lighting a candle can easily become the ritual that allows you to unwind. 



Reed Diffusers vs. Scented Candles


Lighting a scented candle is a beautiful way to bring scent into your home, but unfortunately you need to be present whenever they are alight. This means no distractions and no leaving them alone.


Reed Diffusers on the other hand are very independent – once you’ve placed them in an ideal location they’ll provide you with scent 24 hours a day. You’ll get home to a beautifully fragranced home without ever having to worry. 



Incense vs. Reed Diffusers


Reed Diffusers are a great way to add a beautiful background scent to your home that will last for many months. But, variety is the spice of life and sometimes you just want a quick change!


Lighting some fragrant Incense gives you the ability to quickly change the ambience of a room. It can make a space feel sensual and warm, thanks to the gentle tendrils of smoke enveloping the room in a deeper fragrance.




Giving your house a signature scent is a wonderful way to make any space feel like yours – even if you’re currently residing in a ridiculously expensive (and tiny) rented flat, you can make the place feel like home using scent.


Add reed diffusers to the rooms you pass through once in a while like the bathroom and hallway. Use scented candles in the spaces you reside and relax in most often like the living room and bedroom. And, light some incense if you’re in need of a quick fragrance boost. They’ll work together to keep your home smelling at its absolute best all of the time.


If you’ve got a good nose for fragrances and understand which scent notes compliment each other there’s no reason not to mix and match different candles, incense and diffusers. But, if you’re not quite that confident or just want one fragrance we stock a number of our bestsellers in all three styles. 



Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
James Borst Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
James Borst
James Borst

I like your recommendation to light a candle for over an hour to get the maximum use of your candle. My daughter loved candles when she lived at home and we are considering getting her and her husband some as a homecoming gift for their new house. We’ve also considered different flameless air fresheners as well so they can always have a fresh-smelling home.

Stay Updated

£2.99 – Orders under £50
Free   – Orders over £50

Our standard delivery service takes between 3 to 5 working days. You will receive tracking details as soon as your order has been dispatched from our warehouse.


£7.99 – Orders under £100
Free   – Orders over £100

Our express delivery service takes between 1 to 2 full working days. You will receive tracking details as soon as your order has been dispatched from our warehouse.

We use a variety of couriers, choosing the one we hope will be best suited to delivering your order in a timely, safe manner. We aim to dispatch all express orders within 24hours, and will let you know as soon as possible if any issues or delays arise.

Where possible, we will endeavour to send all the items in your order together, however any items out of stock will be sent as soon as possible. Please note – you will only be charged one delivery cost per order. If any part of your order is out of stock, we will notify you and advise of the anticipated delivery date. 

All delivery dates are estimates and we cannot guarantee specific deadlines. Saturdays, Sundays and all Bank Holidays are classed as non-working days.
CHAT - Just press the purple question  mark in the bottom right-hand corner of this screen to send us a quick message.

EMAIL - You can email us at [email protected]

PHONE - 0800 910 1198 (Please accept our apologies if we don't reach the phone in time, our team might be busy helping instore customers. We will get back to you as soon as possible.)

We want you to be delighted with your purchase from Osmology. But if you’re not, you can easily return your purchase within 30 days of receipt as long as it is unused (not lit!) and in its original packaging.

We will be happy to exchange the item for a replacement or refund via the original payment method. Unfortunately we are unable to refund any shipping costs but we will send any new exchange items free of postage charges.

Please email [email protected] so that we know to expect your return and can give you the correct return address details.

Parcels are returned at your own cost, and we recommend that you obtain a free certificate of postage from the Post Office as we are responsible for your parcel only once it has been received into our warehouse. Items lost in transit will not be treated as returned.

Please also make sure your items are securely wrapped so that they are returned to us without damage.

 Join our VIP newsletter and be the first to know about new arrivals, amazing sales, exclusive offers, and special events.