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A Peek into When Were Scented Candles Invented

Scented candles are energizing, relaxing, and mood-lifting. Imagine the sweet smell of cinnamon or jasmine filling the air as you relax in a cozy space. We’re used to having these lovely scents around, but do you wonder, “When were scented candles invented?” because we do.

Let’s have a brief look into their long history, including when and how our ancestors came up with this wonderful idea of making them.

The Start of Candle Making

Candle-making began in an unknown place or time, but many civilizations have been making candles for over 5,000 years.

Ancient Egyptians and Early Candles

Around 3,000 BC, ancient Egyptians made candles using a mix of animal fat and reeds. Although their wicks weren’t like the ones we have today, the idea was the same: the animal fat fueled the flame through the reed.

Romans and Wick Candles

Around 500 BC, Romans made candles by continuously dipping rolled papyrus (made from the pith of the papyrus plant) into melted tallow or beeswax. This is considered the earliest form of wick candles.

Candles in Other Civilizations

  • Evidence suggests that other civilizations around the world were also using candles with wicks.
  • Chinese used rolled rice paper for wicks and wax made from insects, seeds, or whale fat.
  • Japanese-made candles from wax taken from tree nuts.
  • In India, they used wax from boiling the fruit of the cinnamon tree, possibly the first scented candles.

Middle Ages Candle Use

During the Middle Ages, candles became common across Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire and the shortage of olive oil for lamps. Tallow, an animal byproduct, was the main material, but it didn’t smell pleasant when burned. Many European cities even banned tallow candle making.

Beeswax as an Alternative

To avoid the unpleasant odor, Europeans started using beeswax, which smelled better. However, it was costly, so only the wealthy, churches, and royalty could afford it.

Introduction of Scented Candles

Candles were popular until the invention of the light bulb in 1879. Then, candles became more of a decoration than just for light. They came in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and scented candles were introduced to the public. By the mid-1980s, candles were known as great mood boosters, gifts, and decorative items.

Scented Candles Advanced in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Scented candles have been around for ages, starting with beeswax creations by the Egyptians. But in the 18th and 19th centuries, they got a tech upgrade. Candle-making improved, making it easier to mass-produce wicked candles. Plus, new technologies like steam power made the process faster.

In the 18th Century, they started adding scents to the wax, giving us a variety of smells we enjoy today. They switched to cheaper paraffin wax, making scented candles more affordable for everyone in the 19th century.

Mass Production in the 20th Century

In the 1900s, mass production of scented candles took off. Before, candles were mainly made at home or by churches. But with factories and paraffin wax, making candles became big business. Adding fragrances made them even more popular as home decorations.

Modern Trends and Innovations

Scented candles are a hot-selling item compared to ever before. They are not just wax and a wick anymore; they are like little works of art. One big trend is using eco-friendly materials like soy wax and essential oils instead of synthetic stuff. These candles can also have different purposes, like helping you relax or keeping bugs away.

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Bottom Line

Regular candles have a rich history. However, when were scented candles invented? It is an interesting story. Thanks to the inventors, the scented candles we use today have come a long way to achieve a relaxing and mood-lifting effect.

They are a great therapy for our mental health. Contact our certified Dementia and Cognitive Support Specialist, Sloane Wendell, at Salty n Southern Mercantile to get one for yourself. Call us at (979) 429-3719 for more information.

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