We will be publishing all things ‘candles’ etc here, please feel free to email us with any comments or ideas for new blogs.

This first blog is all about candles and what they mean to me x

What is a candle?

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha

History

The word ‘candle’ comes from the Latin word ‘candēre’, meaning ‘to shine’.  Earliest surviving candles date back to Han China 200bc, which were used from ‘whale fat’!  Since then, the manufacture of candles has been industrialised from their original purpose in lighting, to becoming mainly decorative with their aesthetic and scent values, in all shapes and sizes, from small tealights to 12inch circular pillars.  The largest ever recorded was 80ft tall by 8ft 6inch diameter in 1897 Stockholm!

“Always stop to smell the roses.  If there are no roses available, a scented candle should work.” Arthur Longmore

Aromatherapy

With a scented candle, the aromas of the essential oils permeate the air filling the nostrils and the sinuses with fragrances that can ignite a thousand memories, taking you back to yesteryear, that perfect night or a time from childhood.  It is then, safe to say that certain fragrances can enhance moods and arouse feelings and emotions.  Putting together these scents is not as straightforward as you think, you have to know your oils, know which oils blend well together, what type of group or note do they belong to. Top notes (first scent you smell) are light and fresh, middle notes (enhance the blend) are classically floral with a slightly fuller body and then there are the base notes (heavier scents that round out the experience) which are the musk’s and the woody fragrances.

Benefits   

Whenever I look at a candle, deep into the heart of its flame, I feel inner peace and contentment, being mesmerized with its dancing colours of yellows and whites, nothing quite like a lit candle, watching the flame flicker about without a care in the world. 

There is much to be said for the ambience that candles can create and the healing benefits of that flame. We seek peace and clarity lighting a candle in memory of our loved ones, hoping they will see the light in the darkness.  Having a lit candle can bring peace and harmony to a room and to ourselves, with adding essential oils increases our moods/behaviour exponentially.  Depending on the mood we want to create, there are a plethora of oils we can use, either to uplift us or to envelop a calming and soothing ambience. Not only using oils for mood enhancing benefits, the colour of a candle can also play a part.  White or ivory is the most popular representing purity and peace, at the other end of the scale, red can be used for that romantic or passionate feeling and some people like black candles, which can be interpreted as dark magic!

Soy, beeswax, or paraffin

A candle can be made from soy, beeswax, or paraffin or any other numerous other ingredients, it is up to everyone to decide which they prefer.  For me, I prefer soy and beeswax as they produce less ‘soot’, this means that when the candle is lit, it burns much cleaner than other waxes as it doesn’t produce much smoke.  Soy wax is made from soya beans and like beeswax for example, is organic and natural which is detrimental to the environment. 

Whatever you like your candles made from or what scent they throw, they all produce the same effect, that single flickering hot light of calmness and relaxing source of contentment, regardless to the world outside.

Helen Richardson

Originally published 26/03/2021