First, the company works with prominent international fragrance houses, who submit about 1,500 or so new fragrance ideas. Then they work with the fragrance houses and global trend researchers to identify big trends in food, fragrance, lifestyle, home decor, and color, which helps them decide which fragrances from the list should make the cut. (For example, Honey Lavender Gelato was inspired by three trends: artisanal honey, gelato as an ice cream alternative, and foods that combine unique, unexpected flavors. Sicilian Lemon was inspired by the popularity of lemon in fine fragrances and Mediterranean home decor.) They also take employee suggestions.
Then each scent has to go through the internal "Fragrance Committee," a special role within the company. They smell the candles cold and while burning, and provide feedback. After that, the candles go to the "Home Burners" — a group of Yankee Candle employees who take the candles home, burn them, and give them a numerical score in a number of areas. And then there is more refinement of the candle's color and label before it is eventually released.