Old Flames: Why Are Candles Associated With Romance?

old flames why are candles associated with romance

In the wake of our blogs in the past few weeks about Valentine’s Day, it got us thinking about the place of candles in romance. We’ve talked before about the long history of candles, but no one seems quite sure where in history they started to be associated with love and romance. What we know for certain is that they definitely are today – where else would we get the phrase “an old flame”?

Light Of Your Life

 flickering flame

Bear with us while we get a bit sciency for a second – there aren’t too many studies published specifically about candlelight, but science says that the human circadian rhythm (the one that maintains our day/night cycle) is very sensitive to changes in light. Low light tells our bodies it’s time to relax, making us more at ease and reducing stress – and that’s just the start! Candelight is a wonderful for a dinner date for two because it provides just enough light for you to focus on your food and each other, while dimming your focus on any other of your distracting surroundings.

And there’s another, even lovelier part, too; the darkened environment allows our pupils to dilate, which is a subconscious signal of attraction, especially from a woman to a man. Studies have shown that our pupils dilate wider than normal when we’re excited about something – or someone! What’s more, that dilation is often found attractive by others. (This is where we get ‘bedroom eyes’ from, by the way!) Obviously we can’t overtly control someone else’s pupils, but we can set the mood with a flickering candlelight – the reduced light means that someone’s eyes are more prone to dilating, which sets the mood for love. With that in mind then, it’s no wonder that candelight is such a natural pairing for any and all romantic settings.

Scent From Heaven

love scented candle

It’s not just the light from candles that sets the mood, either. Specific fragrances are known to have a powerful effect on human feelings. The part of our brain that deals with smell is part of the limbic system, which is basically also the part of our brain that processes feelings and emotional associations with certain memories. That’s why the smell of freshly cut grass can make you think of standing in a meadow, for example, even if you’re not anywhere near one. And while, again, we can’t actually control a person’s emotions, certain scents can nudge us in the right direction. Patchouli, for example, is a very common element in aromatherapy known to make a person more prone to that lovin’ feeling. (As an aside, it’s also a very common ingredient in many of our own luxury scented candles. Fancy that!)

At Melt, we’ve got a fantastic range of scented candles for whatever you need – whether that’s to set the mood, or just to unwind at the end of a long day. Or, you can read our blog on exactly what makes candles perfect for the art of relaxation – it’s all up to you!

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