(Scented) candles and scented lamps

When burning, candles release various volatile substances into the room air, which generally include carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and water. Depending on the type of wax and further treatments, particularly the addition of fragrances, further emissions can be released. In recent years, scented candles, scented lamps and room fresheners have become increasingly popular. They are intended to remove unpleasant odors or help create a pleasant room atmosphere by releasing fragrances. When lit, candles emit increasing amounts of substances that, depending on the circumstances, may be present in very high concentrations in indoor air, including odorless solvents compounds. As a result, consumers are unable to assess the impact of scented candles or lamps on indoor air quality. Therefore, as with other indoor combustion processes, it is recommended to maintain a controlled ventilation behavior.

The pages of the German Environment Agency offer further information on the subject of fragrances.

In addition, the German Environment Agency has published a guide to dealing with fragrances, which is available as a free download.

→ To the German Environment Agency's guide "Fragrances - the chemical companion of everyday life" (in German)


  • Bartsch, J., Uhde, E., Salthammer, T., 2016. Analysis of odour compounds from scented consumer products using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-olfactometry. Analytica Chimica Acta 904, 98-106
  • Uhde, E., Schulz, N., 2015. Impact of room fragrance products on indoor air quality. Atmospheric Environment 106, 492-502.
  • Salthammer, T., et al., 2021. Measurement and evaluation of gaseous and particulate emissions from burning scented and unscented candles. Environment International, 155, 106590. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106590