National Candle Association chats with Patti Carpenter about candle trends to watch for

by Publication repost, on Aug 19, 2019


The candle industry is experiencing an exciting period of innovation, creativity and growth. Over the next five years, the global candle market is expected to increase by 6% annually according to Transparency Market Research.

The National Candle Association recently spoke with global trend expert and design consultant, Patti Carpenter, about the upcoming fragrance, color, and product trends to keep an eye out for in 2020 and beyond.


NCA: As the candle industry continues to steadily advance, how does this impact consumer behavior?

Patti Carpenter: While candles are still used to mask certain odors or to mark special events, the frequency and variety of occasions has changed. Candles have grown to serve a more meaningful role in people’s lives on a daily basis, establishing a particular aura in the home and supporting personal rituals and wellness habits. 

Candle companies are accomplishing this with a focus on more purpose-driven packaging and design elements that share a powerful story and align with consumer values.

NCA: How has this growth influenced the role of candles in home décor and design?

Patti Carpenter: Shifting away from their role as an added accessory or afterthought, candles are now serving as a décor-inspired component of the home with more personalized options to fit every space. There is a particularly increased importance around containers, with many larger in scale and more varied in design and materials to better align with the aesthetics of the home.

NCA: Could you describe some of the latest fragrance trends?

Patti Carpenter: “Natural” and “fresh” fragrances continue in popularity, with the Natural_honest“honest and uncomplicated” vibe emerging as a newer component of these aromas.

Watch for botanical-influenced fragrances such as white florals, red fruits, fleur d’orange, and white teas. Also, expect to see more woody-inspired aromas such as teak and oud. Oud has become a key fragrance around the world, as new versions continue to be developed.  

The gourmand trend also continues, with more inspiration drawn from baking and cooking fragrances. The newest scents include pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and sea salt adding a spicy finishing note.

NCA: What product materials can we expect to see more of in 2020?

Patti Carpenter: The metallic trend continues and expands, progressing from one or two core colors such as gold or silver to a breadth of options including shimmering iridescents and the warmer-cast bronzes and coppers. New décor-inspired options for ceramics and artisan made glass continue as well. Companies are also incorporating more natural materials into their products. We are seeing both real and faux versions of wood, stone, and the newest material, fiber. Keep an eye out for more unconventional wax shapes as well.

NCA: What colors are trending in home décor?

Patti Carpenter: The Warming Trend continues to grow and is a huge trend in home décor, with colors such as rich corals and warm-casted reds, oranges, and pinks.

Watery inspirations in colors are also making a splash with cool blues and teals, while nature’s ranges of greens are growing stronger. Utilize these with citrus yellows and cool purples. Expect to see more berry pinks, bright potent pinks, blush, and lilac as well.

NCA: How are companies using packaging to stand out?

Patti Carpenter: Companies are continuing to raise the bar with their product packaging offering more contemporary styles and décor-inspired details as well as packaging with more intricate patterns. The use of words and phrases are also expanding, transitioning from simple quotes to more meaningful and powerful messaging.

This unique flair has also extended to diffusers, featuring geometric designs with eye-catching appeal. Candle containers are offering more detail and an emotional  connection to the consumer, drawing inspiration from architectural styles, global cultures, and popular travel destinations.  


Patti Carpenter is a global trends ambassador and the principal of carpenter+company. Patti is a Micro-Enterprise specialist, a product and design developer, trend consultant with Pantone and the Global Trend Ambassador for Maison et Object, America and Paris.