Beauty / Society

This is why burning scented candles has emotional benefits

By Fiona Embleton
cotton poplin byredo candle

Photo: Byredo

No longer just considered a centrepiece, scented candles are now lauded for their mood-enhancing powers and fashion house appeal

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Scented candles do more than just bathe your skin in a flattering soft-focus glow. Research shows that candles gently puff scents into the air that have the power to alter your mood and impact the way you feel, in much the same way as a spritz of perfume. Those scents with essential oils, in particular, have been shown to be absorbed by smell receptors in the nose that are linked to the limbic system – the part of the brain controlling our emotional responses.

Take Amoln candles. “Each of our scents has a strong tie to memories,” says co-founder Jonas Bergholm, who also notes that they tap into the comforting emotions elicited by nostalgia. The brand’s cult candle Kassett — a blend of patchouli, Icelandic woods, water jasmine and roses — allows you to self-soothe with an ode to “the cassette tapes and underground music scene from the 1980s and 1990s.”

Given scent is increasingly becoming a wellness pursuit, the global market for candles is expected to be worth $574.4 million by 2021. “Throughout the pandemic and beyond, scent has become a lifestyle for many consumers,” says Bergholm. “People have realised that they want to make their indoor environment positive, cosy and creative. Home fragrances can effectively enhance that feeling. Scented candles have relaxation benefits; they can create a positive and energised mindset, as well as trigger cherished life
memories. By changing scents, or having different scents in each room, you can change the mood and expression of your home.”