Six boxed candles in bright-coloured packaging that is embossed with gold details.} {Source:

Candle Packaging Masterclass from the Best in the Biz

9 mins read

Packaging is the silent salesperson of your candle or home fragrance business. It whispers to potential buyers about the quality inside and can shout "pick me" without saying a single word. 

In this guide, we unpack the secrets to packaging that packs a punch—without punching a hole in your wallet. You’ll learn what elements are non-negotiable on your labels, how to pick materials that marry form with function and where to find design inspiration that lights up your creative fuse. 

We’ll also spotlight some of the industry's best, showing how their packaging decisions make customers pause—and purchase. Whether you're in the business of candles, diffusers or soaps, these tips will help make sure your products don’t sit there gathering dust on a shelf.

The basics of effective candle packaging

Selecting the right materials for your candle packaging communicates your brand's quality and ethos. Whether you aim for eco-friendly simplicity or luxurious elegance, the material choice sets the stage for the customer's experience. Here’s a checklist of what it should communicate clearly and attractively: 

Candle packaging checklist

☐ Brand logo

It should be distinctive but not dominate, making a strong impression without overshadowing the product.

☐ Product name

Bold and clear, helping customers identify and recall your candle easily.

☐ Scent

Essential for drawing in the customer, the scent name should evoke emotions or create a vivid image.

☐ Fragrance notes

Like a brief preview, these should hint at the layered experience within, intriguing and informing shoppers.

☐ Brief description

Provide a succinct story or selling point of the candle. What sets it apart? Why is it perfect for their home or as a gift?

☐ Safety guidelines

Mandatory for safety, ensure this is present but integrated smoothly into the design without cluttering or detracting from the main visual appeal.

☐ Barcodes and contact details

Functionally critical but should be subtly placed to maintain the aesthetic integrity of the packaging. 


While not all elements are mandatory, essentials like the brand logo, product name, safety info and scent are non-negotiable. Additional details like fragrance notes and descriptions can make your packaging work harder to engage consumers. However, it’s crucial to balance the amount of information—too much can clutter your design and detract from the zen vibes your products are designed to instil.

How to create visually appealing candle packaging

Creating packaging that captures the eye and heart isn't just about throwing together bright colours and bold fonts. It involves mastering design principles that, when done right, make your product irresistible on the shelf. Let's break down these principles and how they can lift your candle packaging.

Design principle 1: Less is more

You’ll find that most designer candle brands use plain white packaging, and let’s be honest, it works! Not only that, a clean, uncluttered look not only appeals more universally, but it also allows your product's key features to stand out. Focus on one or two elements like the logo or scent description, and let the rest of the design support those focal points without competing for attention.

Design principle 2: Colour psychology

Colours speak a silent language that can significantly affect consumer behaviour. For instance, blue conveys tranquillity and reliability—great for a bedtime scent, while vibrant yellows and oranges can evoke a sense of vitality and excitement, perfect for uplifting citrus fragrances. Choose your palette based on the mood your candle is meant to inspire.

Design principle 3: Typography

The style of the text on your packaging plays a pivotal role in brand perception. Serif fonts can suggest sophistication and timelessness, while sans-serif fonts might appear more modern and approachable. Make sure the typeface is legible across all sizes and complements the overall aesthetic of your brand.

Design principle 4: Imagery

Images can instantly convey what words cannot, especially when space is limited. Use high-quality photos or graphics that align with the candle's scent and the emotions you wish to evoke. For example, a lavender candle might feature calming lavender fields, which visually reinforces the scent's soothing properties.

Design principle 5: Consistency across products

Maintaining a consistent theme across your product range reinforces brand recognition and trust. Whether it’s a signature colour scheme, logo placement or design motif, make sure these elements are present across all packaging to build a cohesive brand identity.

Tips for making your packaging pop

✔ Experiment with unconventional materials or shapes that make it a conversation starter. Think about a hexagon or oval that might just be quirky enough to stick in someone’s memory.

✔ Embrace tactile experiences. Embossed details or soft-touch finishes turn your packaging into something people won’t want to put down.

✔ Add QR codes that bring your customers to scent stories or curated playlists that add another dimension to the burning experience.

✔ Use windows or cut-outs in your packaging so customers can see and smell the candle without opening the box.

✔  Consider packaging that can be reused or is made from recycled materials. It not only appeals to the eco-conscious but also adds a layer of guilt-free pleasure to the purchase. 

Incorporating these design principles thoughtfully doesn't just make your packaging visually appealing—it turns your packaging into a key player in your brand's narrative and customer experience. When your packaging stands out, it not only holds your product, it holds attention.

Balancing aesthetics, durability and cost

Choosing the right materials for your candle packaging involves a careful balance between how it looks, how well it protects, and how much it costs. From classic cardboard to elegant glass, each material offers unique advantages and challenges. Here’s a quick rundown of popular options.

Candle packaging materials

  • Cardboard: Affordable and versatile, great for customization with printing and shapes. However, it can be less durable and not waterproof.
  • Glass: Upscales your product instantly and is highly recyclable, but can be pricey and fragile during transport.
  • Metal: Durable and premium in appearance, ideal for reusable containers. It's heavier, though, which might increase shipping costs.
  • Recycled materials: Eco-friendly and can enhance brand image for sustainability. The variability in supply and sometimes aesthetics can be a drawback.
  • Bioplastics: Made from natural materials like corn starch, offering a reduced environmental impact. They can be more expensive and may have limited availability.

Sourcing tips

When selecting materials, consider the entire lifecycle of your product. Look for suppliers who offer sustainable options or bulk purchasing to reduce costs. Engage with local manufacturers to save on shipping and support your community. Always order samples to test durability and presentation before making a large investment. 

To sum up, the right material choice not only reflects your brand’s values but also impacts your product’s market success. Keep sustainability, protection and cost in mind to create smart and visually appealing packaging.

8 candle packaging ideas from top brands

Peek into the packaging playbooks of some top-tier brands for inspiration. Remember, while it’s great to draw ideas from the best, always add your own twist to ensure it meshes with your brand’s personality.

The White Company: Clean and minimalist packaging

<em data-mce-fragment="1">he White Company’s Vetiver &amp; Citron candle boxed in plain white packaging.&nbsp;</em>Source: <span data-mce-fragment="1"><a href="" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=""></a></span>

There’s something about simplicity that just feels right. The White Company nails this with its understated, no-fuss packaging: plain white boxes with basic grey text. This minimalist approach exudes sophistication and creates a serene sentiment. Plus, it’s like the little black dress of candle packaging—classic, elegant and always a good idea. Consider adopting a similar clean style but perhaps throw in a personal touch, like a signature colour stripe or a patterned interior, to make it unmistakably yours.

Diptyque: Themed illustrated packaging

<em data-mce-fragment="1">Diptyque’s Parisian Café Collection of candles with a colourful, illustrated box.&nbsp;</em>Source: <span data-mce-fragment="1"><a href="" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=""></a></span>

Ever thought of your packaging as a canvas? Diptyque sure does. Their Parisian Café Collection showcases colourful, hand-drawn designs on the boxes, turning each candle into a collector's item. This approach not only captures the essence of the scent inside but also turns the packaging into a delightful keepsake. 

Drawing from local emblems can give your products a heartfelt connection, whether it's a city skyline, a neighbourhood café or even flora and fauna from your region. Collaborating with local artists for limited editions or seasonal themes could turn a simple candle into a story worth sharing. 

NEOM: Subtle colour changes based on scents

<em data-mce-fragment="1">A trio of NEOM’s scented candles in various scents and different coloured packaging.&nbsp;</em>Source: <span data-mce-fragment="1"><a href="" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=""></a></span>

If you adore the clean, minimalist aesthetic but crave a dash of personalisation to match each fragrance, consider the subtle power of colour. NEOM perfects this with their approach, featuring soft watercolour washes that vary with each scent—think sunny yellows for citrusy aromas and soothing purples for lavender. 

This technique isn't just visually appealing; it's a cue to the senses, hinting at the candle's fragrance even before the box is opened. You can explore this effect with simple DIY watercolour techniques or by collaborating with a graphic designer who can bring your olfactory elements to life in hues.

Oliver Bonas: Eye-catching prints

<em data-mce-fragment="1">A collection of Oliver Bonas candles and diffuser scents boxed in animal print packaging.&nbsp;</em>Source: <span data-mce-fragment="1"><a href="" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=""></a></span>

Why not turn your packaging into a piece of art? Oliver Bonas does just this, enveloping their candles and diffusers in bold, animal print boxes that command attention. Each fragrance features the same zesty zebra print but in a spectrum of colours that distinguish the scents. The design keeps text minimal, allowing the vibrant patterns to do all the talking. 

This strategy is not only visually striking but also creates a signature look that's instantly recognizable. Whether you partner with a graphic designer or tap into your own creative reserves, crafting distinctive prints for your packaging can set your products apart in a crowded market. 

Molton Brown: Embossed packaging

<em data-mce-fragment="1">Product images of Molton Brown’s Orange &amp; Bergamot Candle and embossed packaging.&nbsp;</em>Source: <span data-mce-fragment="1"><a href="" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=""></a></span>

For an added touch of elegance and a multisensory experience, consider embossed packaging, a technique Molton Brown uses to elevate its candle boxes. Embossing adds a tactile dimension that not only enhances the unboxing experience but also reinforces your brand's commitment to quality and detail. 

In turning a simple box into a textured masterpiece, embossed designs can significantly lift the perceived value of your product, making it feel as luxurious as it smells. Whether you go for a subtle pattern or your logo in relief, embossed packaging can transform a plain container into a premium product showcase.

Rituals: Metallic elements

<em data-mce-fragment="1">A duo of Rituals scent candles boxed in sleek packaging with a gold wax stamp.&nbsp;</em>Source: <span data-mce-fragment="1"><a href="" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=""></a></span>

Rituals taps into the allure of ancient customs with its packaging, embracing the art of traditional gold liquid stamps. These stamps are more than just fancy decoration; they resonate with the brand’s theme of revisiting age-old practices and making them part of modern self-care rituals. 

Each gold element, meticulously placed on the packaging and running cohesively with the candle vessel, reflects a commitment to luxury and heritage. Even if gold stamps aren’t your brand’s vibe, you can consider metallic engraved text to add a lustrous finish to your candle packaging.

True Grace: Sustainable cardboard packaging

<em data-mce-fragment="1">A pair of True Grace candles boxed in simple, cardboard packaging with sleek labels.&nbsp;</em>Source: <span data-mce-fragment="1"><a href="" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=""></a></span>

True Grace brings an eco-friendly edge to candle packaging with its simple yet stylish cardboard designs. Opting for sustainable materials, this brand demonstrates that luxury doesn't have to come at the expense of the environment. The packaging is straightforward and refined, highlighting the natural beauty and quality of the products within. 

Taking inspiration from plant-able seed cards, consider an innovative twist: what if your candle packaging could be reused to grow real plants? Imagine a rose-scented candle encased in a box that, once planted, blooms into an actual rose. Check out KOBO candles for inspiration.

Jo Malone: Luxe “gift box” packaging 

<em data-mce-fragment="1">Jo Malone classic candle pictured next to its cream gift box, wrapped in a neat black bow.&nbsp;</em>Source: <span data-mce-fragment="1"><a href="" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=""></a></span>&nbsp;

Jo Malone knows that when you purchase a candle, you’re buying a luxe gifting experience. Each candle is presented in a cream gift box, tied up neatly with a black silk bow, oozing with extravagance (which helps justify its extravagant price tag!). Opening one of these candles feels like unwrapping the embodiment of opulence. Considering a bow on your packaging? It might just tie everything together perfectly. 

When it comes to making your packaging stand out, it's all about putting a personal spin on these tried and true methods. Consider how each element—whether it’s a colour, texture or design feature—can resonate with your brand's story and aesthetic. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment; sometimes, the boldest ideas come from playing around with different materials and designs. A branding or design specialist can provide expert guidance, or you can get stuck in yourself with some DIY design tools to see what works.

It all starts with a blank canvas

Wondering where to start with your candle packaging ideas? Your best bet are white boxes which offer a blank canvas to bring any colour, texture or design to life. Whether you're planning to splash bold hues across it or keep things minimal with sleek, subtle designs, white boxes are a go-to for versatility. 

Here at NI Candle Supplies, we are excited to announce that we'll soon be stocking white candle packaging boxes to fit our medium and large Oxford jars (complimenting our existing boxes that we already stock for a trio of small vessels). You'll be able to snag them right alongside your other candle-making essentials, making it easier than ever to let your brand's personality shine right from the shelf.

Wrapping up

Let’s wrap this up, not with bubble wrap, but with some real talk. Your packaging is your handshake, your first impression, and let’s face it, sometimes your only chance to woo your customers without saying a word. Whether it’s the clean elegance of a white box or the luxe look of metallic embossing, each detail represents your brand. So get creative, think outside the (white) box, and let your packaging do the talking.

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