What smells do we conjure up when we think of scented candles? Flowers, definitely, especially favourites like lavender and roses. Fresh smells, such as sea breezes and linen. Spicier scents for Christmas. Our Autumn and Woody collections of candles seem to have strayed from the path, scent-wise, with unusual fragrances like leather and tobacco added to our blends.

However, a splash of something different can be more evocative. Our less-usual fragrances recreate scenes and evoke memories, their scents calling up Grandpa’s pipe, the seats in a childhood car, evenings down a certain bar… These fragrance blends can tell a whole story.

Our Autumn and Woody candles also appeal to a different scent palette. Our more uncommon fragrances are sometimes described as “masculine”. Men and women do actually have different olfactory systems, and there’s also the social conditioning that men are “not meant” to like flowery smells. We certainly find that gents, and women buying for gents, will go for the woodier scents before the floral. And of course, many women will choose heady or dry over sweet.

Take a sniff of some of our more unusual fragrances.


Old armchairs, a favourite pair of shoes, antiquarian books, car seats, a luxury handbag… What’s your memory of leather? We have added a leather scent to our Whisky candle to emphasise that gentleman’s club feel. A single malt, a wingback armchair, an open fire: this scent blend instantly conjures up a whole scene.

The actual smell of real leather comes from a combination of the tanning process, the refatting agents (oils, wax and fat), dyes, binders and preservatives. Because of all these components, the balance of the fragrance changes from item-to-item, which is why your handbag smells different to your car interior.


This always seems like a weird one. Many of us don’t smoke any more, and even fewer of us smoke a pipe or cigar. Yet, there’s something about the sweet and smoky smell of tobacco that lots of people find appealing. There’s probably a dash of nostalgia in our love for the tobacco scent: remember those childhood Christmases when the men had a cigar “as a treat”?

This woody fragrance stars in our Cuban Tobacco & Oak candle (we went for Cuban for the famed quality of its cigars), adding a rich intensity to the late-night-in-Havana vibe.

Whisky and Cognac

Peat, caramel, wood… The scents in a single malt or good cognac are subtle and complex, and so lend themselves perfectly to parfumerie. Even those of us that don’t drink spirits will happily give a snifter a sniff. We’ve added these spirits to our Whisky (naturally) and Cuban Tobacco candles for their mellow woodiness; and again, their distinctive fragrances help to evoke complete scenes.

Because spirits are matured in barrels, they take on those deep, woody notes. This means that spirits (whisky especially) blend beautifully with our sandalwood, oak and muskier scents.


“Cologne” originally meant fragrances from Köln in Germany, then the term became less specific with time. Today, it’s often used for specifically men’s fragrances (while “perfume” is used for women’s), and that’s what we mean when we list it in our Cuban Tobacco candle. It’s typically drier, spicier and less floral than feminine perfumes, combining elegantly with the wood and smoky smells.

We use a lot of these smoky scents in our Autumn and Woody ranges, such as in the luscious Amber Noir candle. Again, the smell of real fires, logburners and bonfires (delete according to personal experience) is a warm and nostalgic one, evoking cosy evenings.

If you want a dry, masculine or simply different type of scent, look out for these ingredients in our candles. If you’d like to know more about these or any of our other candle ingredients, please get in touch with us at Dexter & Mason.