Which Candle Scents are Best for Low Mood and Depression?

Orange, lime, lemon, lavender, vanilla? The list of available candle scents is endless, but how do you know which ones are best for a low mood or depression? I've picked the top aromas for low moods and divided them into categories to make your life easier. The post goes through the following scents so you can choose an aromatic candle that both eases depression and suits you.


  • Lemon

  • Orange


  • Basil

  • Peppermint


  • Lavender

  • Clary Sage


  • Ylang Ylang

  • Vanilla

Citrus Scents


What do you picture when I say lemon? I see a bright yellow fruit popping colour into my fruit bowl or growing on trees. Maybe in an orchard in Greece where the air is warm, and there are views of valleys. Mmm, take me there, please. I remember fresh bursts of lemon juice and the scent of the yellow rind.

The uplifting smell awakens your senses and gives your brain a burst of happiness. That happiness from the smell of lemon essential oil is serotonin (happiness hormone) released into your body. Try our lemon and lavender candle for a mood-boosting scent when you need it.


Orange is a bright, happy fruit. Unlike lemons, oranges have a slightly more chill vibe. While still vibrant, the scent has a tremendous calming effect because it reduces blood flow. When diffusing orange essential oil, it cleanses the room of nasty smells and boosts your immune system. Essence no.1 combines basil and mandarin (a type of orange) to produce positivity. Check it out here


I LOVE the scent of basil. When I get a fresh plant in summer, breaking off a leaf and smelling it first thing in the morning makes me genuinely appreciate life. Breathing in basil has anti-inflammatory properties, and the smell provides focus, clarity and an uplifting feeling. Try the Lime Basil & Mandarin Soy Wax Candle. It's a great choice if you need a reminder of life's small joys.


A symptom of depression is feeling lethargic or sluggish. It can even be hard to get out of bed and deal with life on super low days. You might be focusing on all the negatives, like your to-do list, instead of your ta-dah list. 

A peppermint aroma energises the body and focuses the brain by activating the nervous system to release feel-good endorphins. The minty scent reminds me of good things, like the freshness after brushing your teeth or the soothing taste of peppermint tea. If you struggle to get out of bed, keeping a peppermint essential oil bottle under your pillow will help you rise and shine with more positivity. You can also light a candle first thing in the morning to wake up your senses and prepare yourself for the day. 

Top tip: If you're a fan of herby smells, I highly recommend a plant or chopping up dried herbs and taking a moment to breathe in the wonderful smell. Keep a fresh leaf or a packet of herbs in your pocket if you feel low but need to leave the house. You won't regret it.



Lavender has a light but floral scent, but I used to hate the smell. It reminded me of

2021 study on the anti-depressant effects of lavender shows a significant reduction in depression in participants. Now I enjoy the smell because I associate it with a calming evening routine and peaceful sleep, lowering my depression. If you're going to use one scent in your house, it should be a lavender candle.

Clary Sage

A major trigger of my depression is intense and prolonged stress. Moving house, starting a business, Christmas... these are all situations when depression comes knocking at my door. Society doesn't focus on the link between stress and depression, but stress is the root of all mental health imbalances. Clary sage is a beneficial scent if stress is giving you the blues. A 2010 study shows that clary sage proves most effective at decreasing stress out of rosemary, lavender, and chamomile. 

Similarly to lavender, clary sage isn't sweet but has a gentle, grounding scent. In comparison to lavender, it's slightly earthy and has a light floral fragrance with herby undertones.

Sweet Scents

Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang has an intense floral smell. It's a rich aroma, and some people say it reminds them of custard. One of its top notes is jasmine, so if you a fan of jasmine's extremely fragrant scent, this one is probably for you.

A common feeling associated with depression is intense anger (your fight response) or the urge to get out of a situation (flight response). However, as a coping mechanism, these internal responses get blocked, generating even more stress and depression. Ylang ylang has a relaxing effect that lowers blood pressure and balances out your fight or flight response. 


Vanilla is another luxurious and perfumey scent. If you like sweet, rich smells, vanilla is a good option. It is a mild sedative, helping relax the body and promote rest. A good choice if your low mood is affecting your sleep. An excellent way to use it is to light a vanilla-scented candle while relaxing in the bath and drinking chamomile tea before bed. The scent of vanilla and the taste of chamomile pair well together to relieve difficult emotions and give you a good night's rest.

Which anti-depressant scent is best for you?

When choosing a scent, despite their individual benefits, if you don't like the smell, you probably won't use it. The best option is to select a scent YOU like the most. Take a look at the citrus, herby, flowery and sweet categories and choose one that jumps out at you. All the candles from Essence No.1 use essential oils to maximise the beautiful benefits of candles. You can use the scents in your candles as a complementary anti-depressant to medication, therapy and good health care practices. When it comes to depression, there is no one-size-fits-all or one thing that fits all. It's the little things that come together to help you live a happier life.