Whether you are setting the scene for an intimate night for two, enjoying some relaxing time alone, or planning the style of your wedding, don’t forget to include candles as a feature. And remember, candles make a wonderful gift!
There is no better mood enhancer than a candle. For relaxation, reflection and meditation, for a
romantic atmosphere, or simply for adding a mood of luxury and warmth to your space, candles pack a
An Ancient Mood Enhancer
Candles have been used by humans to create light, warmth, and mood for at least five thousand years,
from ancient Egyptian candles made from reeds soaked in tallow (animal fat), to Roman papyrus wick
candles. In earlier times, Japanese and Chinese candles were made from wax derived from tree seeds
and insects, while in India it was prohibited for religious reasons to make wax from animal sources, so
they used wax made when boiling cinnamon. American pioneers used boiled bayberries to make wax.
People in some other parts of the world created candles in various strange and sometimes disturbing
In the Middle Ages in Europe, beeswax was used for creating candles that burned clean and pure with
no smoke or unpleasant smell. By the eighteenth century in England, candles were taxed and so were
bought from chandlers rather than being made at home. Spermaceti wax was also used, and by 1850
the first paraffin wax was made.
Candles were used in many customs. For example:
Churches used beeswax candles as bees were believed to have been created in Paradise
Puritan added gunpowder to Christmas candles to usher in each Christmas with a bang
A candle was lit by the ancients at the time of one’s death to prevent evil spirits from being able
to take the soul
Thirteen candles are lit by a Jewish child at their Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah
Why we Love Candles
Today we use candles for so many reasons – celebrating, relaxation, ambiance, romance, and spiritual
purposes such as meditation. Statistically, seven of ten US household today use candles regularly – and
it’s likely to be a similar statistic here in Australia.
Candles create ambiance, and are the most effective way to improve the mood and feel of your
home, especially when fragranced candles are used. Subtle and beautiful lighting is also created
when you burn a candle, and soft light is calming to both body and mind.
Aromatherapy is very popular as more people discover its effects. AS well as all the
aforementioned benefits of using a candle, an aromatherapy candle uses oils extracted from
flowers, precious woods, herbs, fruits and trees; inhaling the fragrance emitted can impact and
even heal body, mind, and spirit.
The following fragrances have the following effects:
Lavender is calming, soothes the nerves, and stimulates the immune system
Cinnamon, clove and citrus are stimulating
Chamomile is relaxing
Patchouli and rosewood are aphrodisiac
Spice, cinnamon, pine, berry and apple enhance a festive Christmas atmosphere
Home decor is greatly enhanced by candles. An array of candles on a sideboard or table creates
a focal point. Choose different but complementary colours, sizes, and fragrances.
Candles have been used therapeutically for millennia. It unites the mind, body and spirit. The
flame of a candle is seen as a metaphor for the soul, and a candle’s flame is both hypnotic and
tranquil. Those who believe in pagan and other ancient practices will, for example, burn a green
candle for growth and a new beginning; burn a yellow candle for a new life; light a red candle to
set an intention to lose weight; or a white candle for purity.
Types of Modern Candles
The most common types of modern candles are:
Soy wax – slow burning, clean, toxin-free and produces little soot
Pure beeswax – clean and long-burning, is quite expensive and doesn’t blend as well with other
fragrances due to honey aroma. Ideal in luxury Christmas candles
Blended paraffin – very widely used, will survive hot weather conditions. Can cause reactions in
sensitive people due to allergens emitted.
Mineral oil/resin – clean, consistent burning. Great for container, pillar, and free standing
candles. Carries scent well.
Mineral oil – seen in decor accent candles for primarily decorative use. Not intended to be lit
unless housed in a heat-resistant glass container.
Ways to use Candles
Light a fragranced candle to eliminate odours and create a mood – uplifting, energetic, relaxing,
Relax with candlelight to reduce stress
Use candles in the bathroom for luxurious bathing
Add elegance to home interiors
Accent a room with the right candle
Use sensual fragranced candles for their aphrodisiac effects
Candles come in many shapes and sizes, from tiny votives to large cathedral candles. You can choose
affordable candles from you local supplier, mid-range candles from vendors like Hive, or high end luxury
candles from brands like Jo Malone or Tom Ford. Candles are found in many colours and fragrances,
including aromatherapy candles which not only provide romance and warmth or cosiness to a room, but
also work therapeutically.
Whether you are setting the scene for an intimate night for two, enjoying some relaxing time alone, or
planning the style of your wedding, don’t forget to include candles as a feature. And remember, candles
make a wonderful gift!