ps,* i love you: an overview of pumpkin spice scents for fall
*pumpkin spice, that is...
Autumn officially arrived on September 22, but for many the true herald of autumn is the return of all things pumpkin.
Whether that makes you break out your scarves and dash to your favorite coffee shop, or roll your eyes and brace yourself for the orange onslaught, there’s no denying that pumpkin spice everything has asserted itself as more than a passing fad.
When it comes to pumpkin scents, the truth is the “pumpkin” in pumpkin fragrances isn’t so much replicating the actual smell of pumpkin as it is evoking the memories people associate with it. The rich spices and buttery crust of a homemade pie at Thanksgiving. Coming in from the crisp autumn air with the smell of fallen leaves clinging to your sweater. Hours passed lingering over a cup of something sweetly spiced at your favorite cafe with friends. Basically, most people probably aren’t looking for a squash-scented candle.
What they’re looking for is a memory, a feeling, an aesthetic. The excitement about the return of this lovely, fleeting season suspended in a bit of wax or a bar of soap. As makers and creators, that’s the power we have: capturing the intangible within a physical object we can use, touch, and smell.
No matter where you stand on the pumpkin spice scale—enthusiast or detractor—there is no denying that pumpkin is the iconic fall scent.
Our six pumpkin scents each have their own interpretation of this seasonal classic. So when you’re considering something new for your fall line or making gifts for the PSL (that’s Pumpkin Spice Latte for the uninitiated) lovers in your life, what story do you want to tell?
Let us help you decide.
You like pumpkin spice, but maybe you’re looking for something a little different. Pumpkin Chai is the sophisticated, intriguing older sibling of pumpkin spice. Worldly and well-traveled, this complex fragrance incorporates notes of clove and black tea with the traditional cinnamon and nutmeg for an experience that’s at once familiar and unexpected.
Great for: High-end body care products like foaming body butters and scrubs—your customers will love the festive pop of spicy pumpkin!
You'll like this if: You want an upscale, skin-safe pumpkin scent, evocative of local cafes rich with the wafting aromas of handcrafted, artisanal ingredients.
Crafters’ Notes: “Such a great fall scent! It's warm, inviting, and yummy, I love that you can really smell the chai with this one so it’s a bit different than your typical pumpkin fall scents. A keeper for sure!”
Pumpkin caramel crunch
Luscious, buttery caramel. Nutty and warm. This fragrance doesn’t just smell amazing, it will make you hungry, too! An excellent thrower in soy and a must-have for any pumpkin aficionado.
Great for: Appealing to a wide market. Dominant notes of caramel and nuts make this an excellent bakery scent not just for fall, but for all year round.
You'll like this if: You’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth. THE pumpkin scent for gourmand lovers.
Crafters’ Notes: “The nutty caramel of this pumpkin scent is absolutely divine, and I have had no problems getting a good hot throw from it in soy wax. I combine it with another pumpkin scent or two to really bring the pumpkin out. I found that with the right combination it makes a beautifully warm, sweet pumpkin fragrance that smells like fresh baked goods, like pumpkin bread. If you aren't impressed with it so far, experiment a bit and find what works best for you! Highly recommended!”
This sweet, buttery pumpkin scent is a perennial favorite. One of our bestselling pumpkin fragrances year after year, it’s a great performer in soy and a perfectly balanced, irresistible bakery scent for any season.
Great for: Filling the spot of “bestseller.” This one will be a winner with your customers no matter the price point of your line. Buttery, extra sweet pumpkin provides all the deliciousness pumpkin spice lovers expect in candles, wax melts, and tarts.
You'll like this if: Your customers or gift recipients are PSEs—Pumpkin Spice Enthusiasts. You want a sweet pumpkin scent with mass appeal.
Crafters’ Notes: “Whenever we make candles with this scent, they sell out so fast! Lovely for Fall and Halloween candles.”
Toasted pumpkin spice
Looking for the perfect scent to accompany that perfect Autumn Aesthetic™? Anyone who smells the candles or wax melts you’ve made with Toasted Pumpkin Spice will want to take a seat around the crackling campfire and get ready for the pumpkin carving contest.
Great for: High-end candle lines whose customers seek out trendy or unusual notes for their home fragrance. It avoids the extra-sweet pumpkin most people associate with pumpkin spice scents, and provides a pop of the unexpected with notes of smoldering embers and toasty spice.
You'll like this if: The sweetness of many pumpkin scents isn’t really your thing—but you still want to capture the character of pumpkin spice.
Crafters’ Notes: “...My customers especially love the true toasted element in the Toasted Pumpkin which happens to be my number one seller. Excellent hot and cold throw in candles/melts using a blend of coconut & soy wax or paraffin & soy. For the best scents in the industry CandleScience is the Lamborghini of fragrances.”
Maybe your sweet tooth is more of a semi-sweet tooth or souffle isn’t really your jam but pie definitely is. This is a warm, mellow, true-to-life fragrance that greets you with nostalgia. Everyone looks forward to pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, and when it is complemented by a tablescape alight with Pumpkin Pie-scented votives, or handcrafted soaps in the guest bathroom, the scene is set for an unforgettable holiday experience.
Great for: Your line of fall or bakery-themed bath and body products. We love this in candles and votives, and it’s also a beautiful pumpkin for skin applications.
You'll like this if: You’re a bit of a traditionalist—or just really, really love pumpkin pie.
Crafters’ Notes: “This is the best Pumpkin Pie scent I have found from any company. Many of the others I've sampled from other companies smell ONLY of cinnamon and no pumpkin or even other spices, and cinnamon isn't even the dominant spice in pumpkin pie to begin with... It truly smells like pumpkin pie, which is so refreshing after searching for one for years! Great job CandleScience!”
Pumpkin rum cake
Sweet, warm, and boozy, Pumpkin Rum Cake brings a unique twist to typical gourmand pumpkin fragrances. Not as heavy on the spice as some of our other pumpkin scents, this scent would be perfectly at home in your year-round collection. Mellows out beautifully in wax, and really brings out that deep, rich pumpkin aroma.
Great for: Filling that bakery spot in your line. You want a pumpkin scent that can also be used in soap, lotions, and reed diffusers.
You'll like this if: Boozy scents are your jam.
Crafters’ Notes: “I smell a deep pumpkin with a hint of rum and spice. It is sweet but not sickly sweet. I am a pumpkin lover who has searced for a pumpkin scent that actually has pumpkin and not just spice and this is it. ...Just had to share how great this fragrance is. Try not to judge it straight out of the bottle or you may miss out.”
So, are you more Pumpkin Caramel Crunch or Toasted Pumpkin Spice? Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Chai? Stalwart believer in the power of Pumpkin Soufflé? No matter your personal feelings on this iconic fall scent, we can probably all agree that pumpkin spice is a must-have scent for any fall candle or body care line. And hey—we won’t blame you if you take a completionist approach to pumpkin spice scents. Our five each stand up on their own, and they also play well together if you want to experiment with your own custom pumpkin spice blends.
Now that you’ve gotten an overview of five of the best pumpkin spice scents out there, we want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on this much-discussed giant of autumn? Which of our five pumpkin scents are your favorite? Which are your bestsellers? What’s your favorite blend? Are you still looking for your perfect pumpkin spice? Let us know!