6 Surprising Benefits of Candles

You know that candles smell good, but did you know that’s not all they have to offer? Yep, candles provide all sorts of benefits, from helping you to relax to promoting concentration. Read on to discover six surprising benefits of candles that you might not know about:

candle on seaside table

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Calming Ambiance

There’s a reason why massage therapists and yoga studios often burn candles during appointments: They’re extremely calming. The soft light provides just the right amount of illumination while allowing you to relax. Meanwhile, the scent soothes you and helps you let go of your daily worries. You can get the same ambiance at home by lowering your overhead lights and lighting a bunch of candles instead. Just make sure to space them out and keep them away from a draft, as well as anything that might catch fire (i.e., curtains and tablecloths). You’ll have your whole home feeling like a boutique yoga studio in no time.

Aromatherapy Fragrance

While you might not even be aware of it, you engage in aromatherapy whenever you light a candle and inhale its scent. “Aromatherapy” may sound fancy, but it really just refers to the practice of using scents to encourage positive feelings and relieve negative ones. For example, lavender scents can help ease anxious tension, while citrus scents promote energy and alertness. Aromatherapy can help you wake up in the morning, focus during the day and wind down at night. Whatever effect you’re looking for, there’s a fragrance—or a combination of fragrances—that can help you encourage it.

woman smelling candle

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Memory Jogger

While you might mostly associate memory with sight, such as looking at old photographs, smell is also a powerful trigger for memory. A whiff of a campfire scented candle can take you back to childhood nights spent around bonfires, while a floral scent might remind you of your first Valentine’s Day with your partner. Smell can also be an important component in forming a memory in the first place–for example, if you’re burning a very distinct candle smell during an important event. Seek out candle scents that you associate with pleasant memories to help you relive your recollections every time you light them.

Meditation and Focus

If you’ve tried meditation before, you know it can be hard to maintain your focus during your routines, especially if you’re new to meditation. To help them meditate, many people like to light a candle to clear their minds and promote focus. Choose a scent that helps you concentrate, but that you don’t find too distracting. Lavender, vetiver, ylang ylang and sage are some popular options. As you will likely be closing your eyes during meditation, take extra care to place the candle in a safe, secure place where it can’t be tipped over and the flames can’t touch anything. If you’ve been meditating so far without a candle, we highly recommend adding one to your routine!

candles burning on table

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Tasteful Decor

Your room decor could always use a few more candles. Candles are a versatile decorative object that goes with any decor, not to mention they come in many different colors and scents to suit any aesthetic. Candles are the perfect thing to fill up that weird empty space on a side table or shelf, or to create a low centerpiece for your table. Rotate them seasonally, or choose versatile scents that you can use all year round. Once you’re finished burning the candles, you can keep the jars and repurpose them into still more decor ideas.

Romantic Atmosphere

Nothing says romance like a candlelit dinner. If you’re trying to recreate a romantic atmosphere at home, you should definitely set up some candles and light them up. Choose scents that are meaningful to you and your partner—for instance, a beach cottage scented candle might recall your first vacation together. When in doubt, you can also go for classic romantic scents like roses and champagne. You might be surprised how much a small thing like candles can help set the mood, but it really does make a difference.

Burning candles just because they smell good is perfectly valid, but they also do so much more than just that. Keep these six surprising benefits of candles in mind whenever you go to light your next wick. If you’re looking for more ways to make the most of your candles, check out our guide that explains how to burn a candle all the way down.