Lighting a candle. A simple yet powerful act. For not only can scents transport you back instantly to a moment, but the flicker of flame creates a soft glimmering light that transforms the atmosphere of a room as quickly. So whether you need to relax, revive or relive, here’s how to keep your candle in tip-top condition:

Set it.

On the first burn, set the ‘memory’ of your candle and prolong its life by letting the wax pool completely to the edge, which may take an hour or so. This prevents a tunnel effect in your candle. Try not to burn for too long (four hours or so) as this can make the wick ‘mushroom’ and form carbon build-up; more carbon means more soot, which means more smoke.

Snuff it.

Rather than blowing out your candle like a you’re re-enacting your fifth birthday party, snuff the candle to avoid leaving an ember still glowing, and a smoky scent.

Trim it.

The wick should ideally be about one cm. This creates a brighter flame; remember to remove the trimmings. They blacken and make the flame too high and smoky. This also happens in draughty spots; avoid fans/open window/busy places.

Fix it.

Forgot to set the candle? You could cut the tunnelled wax above the wick with a knife and then reset it.

Clean it.

Baby wipes, paper towel, cotton wool or even some stockings. These materials absorb the dust without leaving a residue.

Store it.

Fragrance in scented candles can weaken over time, so don’t save it for that special moment. But if you do decide to store it, keep it in a temperate spot.