Scented candles are now one of the most coveted home fragrance items; from budget votives to luxury splurges, they’ve before a self-care staple beloved by all. With the launch of our newest candles into The Scented Home, we take a look back at the beginnings of this fragrance star.

Group of scented candles

Scented candles have been around nearly as long as candles themselves, which have been used since thousands of years BC. Candles were a necessity before the days of electric lighting, but many were made from the fat of various animals, including cows, sheep, whales and even squirrels, which gave off an unpleasant smell. Several solutions were created to combat the nasty odours, including adding incense sticks to the wax and wax made with boiled cinnamon. In China, several different fragrances of incense were layered inside candles with the change in fragrance indicating a new hour.

A fixture of day to day life for thousands of years, candles became nearly obsolete following the invention of gas and kerosene lamps and later the electric light bulb in the nineteenth century. No longer needed to light the home after dark, candles experienced a massive drop in popularity. It wasn’t until the 1980s that candles popularity began to rise again and they began to evolve into the candles we know and love today. No longer a practical necessity, candles became a luxury item and decorative candles with coloured wax and patterned vessels were introduced. New wax blends like paraffin no longer needed scents added to cover up the unpleasant smell, instead fragranced candles were designed with aromatherapeutic benefits to complement modern life, their scents were relaxing, uplifting and created a cosy home environment. With more than a quarter of British households now buying scented candles, their comeback is complete.