Candle lovers alert! 4 essential scent stores in Shanghai

Find your best scent in Shanghai!

By Coquina Restrepo

“If you are in the company of good people, it is like entering a room full of orchids. After a while, you become soaked in the fragrance and you don’t even notice it.”


Photograph: courtesy The Nectar Foundry

Looking for a perfect gift that will last longer than a text message or a meal? What connects beauty, style and memory together all in one space? The simple answer: Scent. We explored some of the best scent shops in Shanghai to understand the culture of scent! Listed below are our favorite local masters of the art of aroma that source their scents and materials naturally. Now pull your mask down and smell the sweet air!

Photograph: courtesy Project Element

If you wanted to blend traditional culture with cutting edge style, you would get Project Element. Project Element is a small brand hidden on Anfu Lu that does more than sell candles and home sprays. The owner actively educates people about scents, holistic healing and hosts perfume-making workshops to help people create their own scents.

Photograph: courtesy Project Element

The small shop holds many varieties of scents and scent makers including candles, perfumes, volcanic stones and even scented crystals. The owner and shop keepers will guide you on ways to improve your mood and home with different aroma makers.

Photograph: courtesy Project Element

Scents: Perfume-making, home spray, candles

Recommendation: Red Wine scented candle

Project Element, Unit 6, 250 Anfu Lu.

Photograph: courtesy Cosmic Speculation

“A fragrance creates a whole world.” Cosmic Speculation is an avant-garde style fragrance brand that combines the artistry of candles with complex scent notes. The store itself is like a museum in which they have a revolving exhibit of aroma styles based around a theme: astronomy, philosophy, botany, etc. They combine the artistic style of Shanghai culture with the deeper sense of Chinese fragrance culture which integrates philosophy with aesthetics.

Photograph: courtesy Cosmic Speculation

The brand explores multiple forms of fragrance styles and vessels from ceramic candle holders, scented stones, to crystals and perfumes. Each fragrance is a work of art that will last even longer than the scent!

Photograph: courtesy Cosmic Speculation

Scents: Candles, home spray

Recommendation: Ocean & Citrus candle

Cosmic Speculation, 244 Anfu Lu.

Photograph: courtesy SENLAB

One of Shanghai’s original eco-shops, SENLAB is a scent and candle brand that features aroma products made from all natural materials! Their soy candles come in different shapes and sizes as well as scents that can fill your home for hours. Their essential oils selection is also very diverse and includes great little treats such as “mosquito repellent” which is essentially tea tree oil.

Photograph: courtesy SenLab

Scents: Candles, diffusers

Recommendation: Sandalwood scented candle

SENLAB (Jing'an), 189 Jiaozhou Lu. Various locations.

Photograph: courtesy The Nectar Foundry

The Nectar Foundry is a holistic brand that centers on wellbeing and sustainability through essential oils and aromatherapy workshops. They offer products and services that rejuvenate the soul and elevate your spatial experience.

Photograph: courtesy The Nectar Foundry

The Nectar Foundry was founded by Itee who co-founded Loop Eco swimwear to continue developing her mission to support sustainability. Essential oils can easily blend into our daily lives to replace perfume as they are typically long lasting and have multiple benefits such as mood enhancement, improving blood circulation and digestion, and supporting a healthy immune system. You can also easily adapt essential oils into your home care through diffusers and home sprays!

Photograph: courtesy The Nectar Foundry

Scents: Essential oils, aromatherapy workshops.

Recommendation: Black Pepper and Frankincense oil (deep, musty scent with layers of lavender and myrrh. Very sacred.)

Follow WeChat offcial account "TheNectarFoundry甘露" or @thenectarfoundry on Instagram.

Photograph: courtesy The Nectar Foundry

Create your own sense of space and uplift your spirits with all of the unique scents Shanghai has to offer, at least until you find your own signature aroma. Whether you’re looking for a gift or a sense of peace, Shanghai has the perfect scent for you and your style. Find you personal scent and light a candle tonight to get back to the essential essence of you!

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