Candles have evolved over time from a utilitarian source of light to a decorative accent that has many different uses and benefits. Candles have been used as a source of light and to illuminate mankind’s celebrations for more than 5,000 years yet little is known about their origin. It is often written that the first candles were developed by ancient Egyptians who used rushlights, or torches, made by soaking the pithy core of reeds in melted animal fat; however, the rushlights had no wick like a true candle. (Source: National Candle Association.)
Majority of the developments impacting contemporary candle making occurred during the 19th century; for example, paraffin wax was introduced in the 1850’s after chemists learned how to efficiently separate the waxy substance from petroleum and refine it. After the invention of electricity and the introduction of the light bulb in 1879, candle making began to decline.
Although candles may no longer provide man’s major source of light, they now continue to grow in popularity and use: candles symbolize celebration, signify romance, soothe the senses, define ceremony and accent the style of home decors. They instantly change the ambiance of any indoor or outdoor setting by adding light to any space without the harshness of a bright electric bulb. The soft flickering of candlelight creates a relaxing atmosphere and add a sense of warmth.
Here are 10 ways you’ll benefit from burning candles:
AMBIANCE & ATMOSPHERE
The flicker of candlelight produces a lovely ambiance that simply cannot be replicated. Lighting a few well-placed candles in your home can really add effect and create a cozy and intimate atmosphere. Adding a candle here-and-there will create softness in your room and instantly make it feel warm and welcoming. Do as the Danes do, light a bunch of candles for a hygge home.
Candles are known for their soothing, healing properties and are often used by therapists, such as massage therapists, to create a peaceful ambiance in their therapy rooms. The sheer act of lighting a candle, its lovely flicker and the gentle glow it creates, helps ease and soothe the mind. Give it a try the next time you have a stressful day: light a candle, watch the flame and just breathe for a few minutes – even just 60 seconds can make a big difference.
Aromatherapy candles can help you relax, feel calm, energized and help your brain get into a more productive mindset. Lavender candles help ease your mind and relive stress. Eucalyptus candles are energizing and improve focus. Lemon candles also energizing and can relieve anxiety and depression.
CELEBRATION & ROMANCE
Whether you’re lighting candles on a cake or setting a romantic candlelit dinner to celebrate your anniversary with your significant other, candles are a wonderful way to mark celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, retirement and so much more.
Candles are a stylish way to add the finishing touch to any room in your house. Use subtle colors add a soft touch to any space; or go with bright, bold colors to really make an impact. Candles are very versatile, come in a variety of styles and look great in every room. Bathroom candles provide a spa-like retreat, strategically placed candles throughout your living room make it cozy and calm, candles at the centerpiece of your dining room table keep romantic candlelit dinners within arms reach, and kitchen candles spark the atmosphere where we gather most often and can kill odors. Use candles outdoors on your patio, porch, deck and in your garden to create a magical, whimsical escape; burn a citronella candle to keep bugs away.
Candles directly correspond with the element of fire, which is vital to feng shui. Ambiance and lighting are two essential building blocks of hygge, and there’s no quicker way to infuse hygge than to light a bunch of candles. No matter how you approach interior design, candles add to your home decor.
Scented candles are a perfect way to subtly add a wonderful fragrance to your space, and cover-up unwelcome odors. There are a wide variety of scented candles available for purchase in a number of fragrance types: everything from fruity to baked goods; from herbal & earthy to airy & clean, from woodsy & masculine to floral & feminine, from food & drink to seasonal & festive.
Add scent without the soot: candles made from soy wax are soot free, non-toxic, burn clean, and last much longer than traditional paraffin which produces black soot and releases toxic carcinogens into the air.
Burning candles can be beneficial to your health. Part of living a healthy lifestyle is self-care and taking care of your mind: lighting candles can provide the perfect atmosphere to induce calm and a sense of well-being. If you ever feel enveloped by fear or feel anxious, burning candles can help with anxiety. Some health benefits are much more direct: ear candling is used get rid of earwax buildup.
Not all candles are created equal: some candles can actually be harmful for your health. Learn more about why we use soy wax and the harmful health effects of paraffin wax.
MEDITATION & PRAYER
Lighting candles during meditation is a wonderful way to support your practice. There are many visualization exercises and manifestation techniques that involve focusing on the flame of a burning candle while sending your intentions into the universe. Candles are also used during prayer.
REMEMBRANCE & SUPPORT
Our sense of smell is strongly tied with memory, so we often associate a specific scent with a moment or memory. One of the joys of selling candles is when our customers share memories as they smell our fragrances..
Not only can candles trigger specific memories, they can also be used in remembrance of loved ones we’ve lost. Our communities hold candlelight vigils to show support for specific causes. Many churches have tables where you can light a candle for a loved one.
Keep that spark alive in your relationship with a little candlelight: turn any dinner into a romantic, candlelit moment. Always keep candles on your nightstands; when the mood strikes, light it and turn up the heat – nothing enhances the moment quite like some soft lighting.
Just like everyone has different tastes in fashion and music, everyone has particular fragrance preferences and everybody smells scents differently. Show off your individuality and personality by burning the scents that you love. And just like your style choices, never feel insecure about what you like. Embrace it! You do you. And if someone else doesn’t like your patchouli candle, that doesn’t make it a bad scent.
You don’t have to leave your candles behind when you travel: take all these benefits on the road with you.