The smells of spring

The smells of spring

After a historically wet and wild winter here in San Diego, California, we’re feeling especially invigorated by the vivid greenery sprouting from our coastal desert landscape this spring and the promise of a drought-free summer. Warmer spring temperatures have melted away the heaviness of winter and contributed to an easy, breezy attitude that’s felt by all.

As you start swapping out your sweatpants for shorts and replacing soup season with garden season, don’t forget to give your home ambiance a seasonal update, too: consider adding light, fresh fragrances to liven up your space and chase out the stale winter air. 

Green scents to inspire fresh thinking

Green is a fresh scent trend for 2023, but we’ve loved these bright and crisp scents long before trendsetters told us what’s hot and what’s not. Green scents are most offen associated with spring, giving off fresh, happy and rejuvenating vibes. These are scents inspired by nature’s flora - cut grass, lush vines, soft leaves, dewey foliage and earthy moss. They’re fragrances that evoke memories of running barefoot across prickly blades of tender grass (before dad yells at you for running on the newly planted seed), or walking through an overgrown forest with soft, budding pine boughs (also called candles!), or sticking your nose in a bouquet of Easter tulips. 

The smells of spring. A collage of Polaroid style photos celebrating spring memories... a hike in the woods, children playing in the yard, a bouquet of fresh flowers.

Some of the top iconic green scents in the perfumery world include —

  • Cut grass  Cut grass is arguably the most recognizable green fragrance out there (and without the allergies!). It’s sweet and dewy and a touch earthy, loaded with tons of nostalgia for anyone who catches a whiff of this sunny, ripe scent.
  • Jasmine, violet, lily, dusky rose  These floral scents are bursting with rich, juicy and sensual aromas, which can be overpowering on their own but add soft, relaxing balance when combined with other scents.
  • Moss  Like a damp forest floor, moss is a grounding scent. It’s often used as a base note in candles, though it’s lighter than many true base fragrances like mahogany or sandalwood. This makes it a good choice for spring- and summer-friendly candles when the temperatures are warmer.

Purifying scents to revive the air

The ritual of spring cleaning is cathartic and therapeutic. It inspires better focus, moods and well-being — and has its own category of scents. Fresh lavendar, forest rain, juicy lemongrass, dry sage and the whole family of citrus fruits are known throughout the aromatherapy world as purifying scents that relieve stress, boost serotonin and reawaken the senses. And when your senses are firing, so is your ability to store memories, which can be stirred up years down the road from something as small as a single scent.

Some of the most popular purifying scents used by candle makers include —

  • Ozone  You know when you can smell rain coming? That’s the scent of ozone. Musky, yet fresh, like fresh rain falling on dry rocks, but reminiscent of clarity, lightness and spaciousness, just like the sky.
  • Sea salt  Like the fine mist of the ocean spray on a beach walk, sea salt is lightweight fragrance that diffuses with a deep clean feeling that soothes your senses. It’s often used in wellness and spa products to promote detoxification.
  • Mint, spearmint, eucalyptus  While technically green scents purely by color, these herbaceous purifying scents are sweet, spicy and refreshing. They’re tingly and cool and provide an energetic backdrop to stickier, sweeter and heavier scents.
  • Lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit  These citrus fruit scents are zesty, tart and sweet — just like spring weather. They’re energizing and often used to invigorate dull senses and pair well with creamy, warm fragrances for a delicious conconction of scents.

The smells of spring... a bouquet of beautiful white roses on a Noguchi table with a candle nearby.

Our favorite candle picks for spring

Much like the spring season itself, our memories are layered in complexity and contradiction. We remember the warmth of the sun on our skin after being bundled up all winter, but shiver at the times we wore shorts too early; we love the season’s first picnic in a grassy park, but choosing the wrong picnic blanket means sitting on a wet butt for the rest of the day.

When used in balance, complexity and contradiction create incredibly unique candle scents that unfold slowly and mysteriously. But ‘tis the season to keep it light and fresh, too. To help you get in the spirit of spring, get a whiff of our top candle picks.

Carefree Days  

For the inner kid — Smells like grass stained knees, digging in the dirt and lounging on the deck in a big, floppy hat. Inspired by the simplicity of childhood, you’ll be antsy to get outside and play.

Pacific Beach  

When you need to chill the f**k out — Smells like crisp and cooling mint, relaxing ocean air and sipping cocktails on a sunny boardwalk. It freshens your home and brightens your mood.

Coastal Hike  

For the nature-lover — Smells like sun-soaked sagebrush, spiced citrus and beachcombing in flannel and flip flops. It’s a classic California vibe that’s both warm and cool.