Using luxury candles and fragrance diffusers in the home is not a modern day invention.
The first recorded use of fragrance in the home comes from the Egyptians. They took scent and turned it into perfumes. They wore these on their skin and connected the practice with religious ceremonies, burials and special events. Certain scents connoted high status – in Egypt it was the Waterlily.
The Persians later used scent as a sign of political status and the Greeks took it to another level, creating perfumes en masse in a factory in Cyprus that archaeologists date at around 2000BC. They took the scents from the surrounding countryside and concentrated them into oils that could be heated in the home in front of the family shrine. This was seen as pleasing to the gods and cleansing for the home. Special favourites of the Greeks were laurel, myrtle, lavender and rosemary. Fragrance was traded and sold around the globe until the dark ages where it became almost exclusively available to the very wealthy and the church.
In 1190, however Parisians began to experiment again and a huge fragrance industry blossomed. People saw scent as not only pleasing to the nose, but also something that cleared out negative energies and illness. It was a way of keeping yourself and your home fresh and healthy.
In recent years the use of scent has become the subject of many scientific studies and from these studies it became apparent that humans respond physiologically to scent – we don’t just enjoy it, we feel differently physically when we smell certain scents. Some relax us. Others revive us. Some make us nauseous and others save us from that same nausea. From these studies has arisen the practice of aromatherapy – an alternative medicine that uses scent to stimulate the body into healing.
Aromatherapy is now used in massage, in perfumes, in beauty products and of course in home fragrance products like diffusers and candles, because it makes sense to bring that healing into the home. What better place to feel revived, relaxed and invigorated than the place where we spend most of our time? An oil burner, diffuser, scented body product or burning candle gives us the same feeling of cleansing, clearing and uplifting that the ancients had, only now, we can enjoy scents not only from our local flora, but from the entire world.