How to Harness The Power of Burning a Candle
Science-backed facts and a how-to on candle placement for your home.
22 AUG -2022
For the moments when we need a little extra TLC.
There’s no denying that burning a candle is chicken soup for the soul, nourishing the senses with their enticing fragrance and warm ambience. If you have intentions to set a particular mood, shape your living spaces or just have a healthy vice to turn to, lighting a trusty candle can create a world of difference.
The simple act of lighting a candle injects an instant dose of luxury we long for in life - and I’ve got the science to back it. You see, I consider myself something of a candle connoisseur. I’ve smelt hundreds over the years, gifted the best to my loved ones and spoilt myself dearly. So, without further ado, let’s dive into scent science and the top benefits of candle burning.
Current home trends are all about cutting out harsh downlights and creating soft, ambient lighting. And I totally agree with this interior trend - I’ve come to detest most forms of downlights as I love to set the mood for dinner events and my personal downtime.
Candles cast a warm golden glow wherever they're placed and it’s quite easy to become addicted to these small pockets of flame. I find myself reaching for the lighter before anything else when it comes to my evenings. This article I’m currently writing is, of course, supported by my candle’s light.
And the trusty company to provide these goods? We are endorsing Nevé. These hand-poured soy wax candles are made locally in Christchurch and have built their brand on transparency and sustainability. Their best feature are the wooden wicks that create an irresistible crackling woodfire noise. No fireplace required.
To bring a chic and earthy scent to the bedroom before the sun sets, my current favourite is Nevé’s Whisky and Wood Smoke blend for a grounded aura of cedar, oak moss, and amber musk. This candle brings an immediate, rich and hearty scent to the home, which can be effective after a busy day.
In terms of candle placement, you can use them to dress up a bookcase or bedside table. It’s easy to fall victim to assorted ornaments so to prevent clutter, keep the area focused and clean by choosing a singular candle to jazz up your nook.
Another hot tip is to place candles under artwork to really create some magic and capture the eye. Adorably, in Scandinavian countries, it’s common to see candles lit in the windows of homes as a sign of hospitality and that visitors are welcome.
The architecture of the nose is fascinating. When you breathe in through your nostrils, the air travels to the olfactory system where many chemical receptors are held. These receptors send messages to the olfactory bulbs which is what triggers the memories we attach scent to.
Experts say the memories that we associate with smells are often from the distant past. These are smells that the brain stores way at the back of your mind. This means that when the nose picks up a scent from the past, the recollection of that memory becomes vivid. It’s a crazy phenomenon that always happens when you don't expect it to!
Scent, emotion and memory are all closely intertwined and funnily enough, of all the senses, scent has the strongest link to emotion than them all! It’s wild to think how much we underestimate the power of scent. Just like how the aroma of peppermint brings me back to sipping mojitos on vacay, or how bougie woody scents trigger luxurious moments in the marble-clad Four Seasons hotel, burning one’s favourite scented candle has the power to inspire new memories and evoke moments past.
Elevating ‘Me Time’ Routines
Everyone has their own personal rituals. For me, it’s a hot cup of tea before I start my day, walking to work with my favourite podcast and then showering to clear my head before cooking dinner. In one form or another, we all have our own little habits and routines. Once you start acknowledging these moments, you will realise how important they are.
During this precious time, burning your mood-enhancing candles will help set your intentions. Whether it's time to focus or wind down, adding the motion of sparking up a candle (instead of a cigarette) to your routine will help you stay mindful during your personal time.
For the perfect pairing of floral brightness and sparkling notes, have a go with Nevé’s Pink Peony and Prosecco scent. Bursting with top notes of sweet scented pink peonies, wild roses and white freesias, it settles nicely into an earthy base of sweet musk and moss. It’s an ode to the late Issey Miyake as it gives major Pleats Please EDT vibes. And if you don’t know about PP, It’s an iconic fragrance that swept up the world around a decade ago.
Ultimate me time energy.
Clinical integrative psychotherapist Chryssa Chalkia is well-versed in behaviour therapy. We know from studies like Chryssa’s that using scented candles can play an essential role in emotional and physical well-being. Healing with scents, a.k.a. aromatherapy, can be powerful, with different fragrances achieving a multitude of outcomes.
Nevé’s fragrance range has been tailored under these principles. Trying to improve your mood and alleviate emotional stress? Refreshing citrus scents with a zing is what you should turn to. My personal recommendation is the Kowhai Blossom & Lime candle (or room spray if you’re impatient). Orange zest, citron, lime, grapefruit and lemon are paired with a sensual combination of warm ylang ylang, patchouli, amber, and cinnamon to create a clean and fresh scent. It's incredibly revitalising and injects a positive energy into your environment.
Calm The Mind
Whether you’re rushing to finish a project or you’re unwinding for the evening, lighting a candle will provide you with a sense of calm, allowing you to be present and focused. I suggest trying candles as your sole source of light for a few minutes before bed if you find it difficult to fall asleep at night. Melatonin, the body's natural sleep hormone, is suppressed by light, which signals our bodies to stay awake. When it comes to getting some shut-eye, candles are the best way to do it.
Whether you’re looking to relieve stress and anxiety, focus your mind, or just set the mood for a cosy evening in, your favourite scented candle should be your first port of call for an easy full-sensory experience.
Nevé harnesses the power of scent and have tailored each of their candles to bring something uniquely special to your home. They highly recommend adding candles to spaces when you need to warm your work-from-home settings, seek comfort, or need a vice for when you need a change in energy. I’m going to be lighting the French Pear and Brown Sugar candle for a deliciously bright energy boost this evening.