Candle Throw: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Have you ever noticed that certain candle scents seem to travel farther than others? Perhaps you’ve lit your favorite scented candle in the living room and noticed that it wafted upstairs to your bedroom. With a different candle, you may notice that the scent doesn’t seem to travel much at all, and only lingers within a few feet of the flame. These are acute observations that can be explained with the concept of candle throw. 

candle with smoke

Source: Jordan Lye/

In the never-ending quest for how to make your house smell good, it never hurts to bone up on a little bit of science! In scent-ology (otherwise known as aromachology), the throw of your fragrances is a big topic of discussion. Knowing the concepts of candle throw can help you make the most out of your fragrance purchases and create the just-right ambiance in your home or business. It can also save you some money by helping you reduce the number of candles you need for the right effect.

What Is Candle Throw?

Candle throw refers to the distance a certain candle can distribute its aroma. In other words, it refers to how far a fragrance travels. This concept can refer to both lit and unlit candles and is referred to as hot throw and cold throw, respectively. A number of things affect how far a candle’s scent will travel, including how it’s made, what it’s made of and where you light it.

Of course, we all want fast-traveling, robust aromas, and having a broader and stronger candle throw can save us cash by lowering the number of candles needed in a certain space. However, a more confined candle throw can be a good thing, too. For example, you may want to keep relaxing scents in the bedroom and more lively ones in the home gym or office.

Southern California Candle

Things That Affect Candle Throw

The most obvious thing that might affect how far and wide a candle’s aroma goes is its ingredients. Naturally, cheap and watered down essential oils won’t be as vibrant or hearty as the pure, high-quality ones. But there’s much more to the story than that. Here are some other contributors to short or long candle throw.

  • Wax Type — You may notice that a good-quality soy coconut wax blend candle seems to pleasantly waft throughout your home, while a cheap dollar store one barely emits a scent at all. That’s no accident! Soy wax is beloved because it burns cleaner than other options, such as paraffin. It also brings the distinct benefit of a wider and more even scent distribution. 
  • Candle Ingredients — As previously mentioned, candles made with high-quality oils will emit their scents farther than cheap, lesser quality ones. Premium scented candles are generally made with richer, more natural oils that are emitted slowly over a period of time, which allows them to evenly fill a space with a vigorous aroma.
  • Candle Placement — Of course, the air flow and confinement of a room will have a big effect on how far a candle’s smell is allowed to travel. Place your favorite candle in a small bathroom and close the door and its throw will, for the most part, remain confined to that space. On the other hand, place it in a space with a lot of natural air flow or a ceiling fan, and the natural movement of the air will carry it farther and extend its throw throughout the house.
  • Candle Design — The way the candle was made will also impact how well it circulates throughout your environment. For example, if the candle is designed to create a wide wax pool — that’s the pool of melted wax that develops on the top of your burning candle — it will give you a wider throw. Thus, candles with more than one wick tend to throw farther than single-wick candles, as do those with wider jars. 


Source: easyshutter/

Why Candle Throw Matters

At the end of the day, candle throw may not matter to you at all (and that’s totally OK)! But if you want to make the most out of your candle purchase and find options that fill your entire space evenly, knowing a thing or two about throw can help you make more informed decisions. The best thing you can do is to buy candles designed to cast a wide, even throw, such as those from Homesick.