At Queen’s Five, we offer a variety of ways to further compliment your interior design needs. In addition to exceptional luxury candles and home fragrance, we provide a selection of wonderfully designed luxury lighting fixtures to brighten your home. But for now, take a look at the history and essence behind luxury candles and home fragrances.
Candle making is something that has been popular throughout history, but over the last 50 or so years it has become a true industry, with luxury candles being something that people use to recreate scents that are special to them - whether that's childhood memories, favourite foods, or reminders of exotic trips.
Candles were traditionally made from paraffin wax, and most still are today, but some higher end candles also include a blend of vegetable wax as well as paraffin, so that they burn smoothly, evenly and cleanly, and can absorb the scent that the candle is augmented with. The slow burning blend can last for as much as 60 hours, or longer, depending on the size of the candle.
The best luxury candles are handmade, with a specific blend of wax depending on the scent it is to be augmented with. Each candle is then made with a cotton wick, which will burn evenly. Even the wicks will be made specifically for each candle, based on how readily the wax melts. If the wax in a luxury candle doesn't melt easily then the wick will be doubled up to burn hotter and longer. The wicks are inserted into the glass and then the glass is filled with the scented wax. While the wax is still soft, the wicks are straightened out and trimmed one by one, then the candles are ready to ship.
Candles made by companies such as Michael Aram are packaged in luxurious boxes and jars with clever covers that match the theme and the scent. This makes them great gifts, because they don't just smell nice and burn well, they look stunning on the table or mantelpiece too.
Candles can be used for meditation, relaxation, or decoration. They have a lot of significance religiously as well. Hanukkah, a Jewish festival of lights, includes a ceremonial lighting of candles, and this ceremony has been followed since 165 B.C. The lighting of candles appears several times in the bible, and during the 4th century, Emperor Constantine called for the use of candles too, as a part of the easter ceremony.
In Europe, candles were used as a functional form of lighting for many centuries, with the original candles being made from animal fat. These produced a smoky flame and had an acrid odor. Later, in the Middle Ages, beeswax candles were developed, and these burned more cleanly and produced a nicer smell. In a way, beeswax candles could be called the first true luxury candles, because they were expensive and they were used only for religious ceremonies.
In the 13th century, householders would save kitchen fats, and have chandlers come to make candles for them out of that leftover fat. It wasn't until the 18th century that there were any big changes in how candles were made. Spermaceti, the wax that was made from crystallized sperm whale oil, proved to be a clean burning wax that produced a bright light, and that was hard enough to not warp or go soft in the summer. The whaling industry took off in the 18th century, creating broader availability of the wax.
Stearin and paraffin were developed during the 19th century. These are cleaner burning, less strongly scented waxes that are ideal for the mass-production of tealight candles and other basic candles. Scented candles are a more modern invention, and they are used for yoga and meditation, relaxation, spas, religious ceremonies, romantic evenings, celebrations, and simply to freshen places up.
Floral fragrances are popular, as are herbs. Cinnamon can energise, lilies can help relax, lavender and other essential oils can improve your mood, and there are scents for almost any occasion.
With luxury candles, the presentation matters almost as much as the scent. The goal of the candle makers is to create something that makes a great gift, and that improves the mood of the user. It's not easy to find the perfect scent, but the options are out there. If you've ever tried some of the mid-range scented candles, and found the scents were too artificial or just not satisfying enough, then it's well worth trying a more artisanal make, because they will offer you a much more enjoyable scent, and will likely burn brighter and for longer too.
High quality scented candles should produce very little in the way of soot. They burn clean and with an even flame, and help to effectively freshen the air. Place them on a flat surface where they are unable to be knocked, and keep them away from pets and children to reduce the risk of them getting injured, or of a fire starting. Never leave a candle unattended, even if it's on a table in the middle of the room.
Be inspired with interior ideas for your home.
Sign up now and get 10% off your next order.*