A typical early spring evening... I create the right atmosphere and begin to contemplate words about a thought that wakes up every time I want to relax - scented candles.
I like to use them almost daily, with the thought of creating an atmosphere and relaxing after a long day, deadlines, to-do lists and background noise. For a while, I have embraced the Danes concept - Hygge, a word for a mood of cosiness, feelings of wellness and contentment... And this where candles have a significant role of making my life that little bit more beautiful.
That Hygge light...
Hygge was named one of the words of 2016 by Collins English Dictionary. It is a term that cannot translate into a single word, but it refers to the feeling of comfort or the way we can make our lives more beautiful.
Hygge is a concept of old age, the first appearance in Danish texts dating as far back as the 19th Century, but which became famous with the release of books like "The Little Hygge Encyclopedia: The Danish recipe for happiness" by Meik Wiking. Immediately after its launch, the idea of hygge lifestyle became more and more popular around the world and quickly adopted by those who are looking for as many relaxing and detached moments as possible.
However, there is no definition to accurately explain this concept. A walk through the woods on a colourful leafy path is a hygge moment, a steaming cup of tea or coffee accompanied by jazz sounds is a hygge moment, a good book enjoyed on a bench in the park is another hygge moment. The warm light of a scented candle is... sooooo hygge.
Candles, a valid symbol for the hygge concept, transform the space they lit, a rapid metamorphosis, bringing not only fragrances and light but also a deeply relaxing ambiance. In fact, this is where the magic happens. The warm glow emanating from the candles makes us feel better than artificial light, usually too cold and firm. In Danish, candles are called 'levende lys' - which can translate into bright light. When I first found this translation, it stuck in my mind and stayed with me. I find truly inspiring as I believe it flawlessly describes why candles are an antidote to the cold artificial light that surrounds us. Although there are warm light options for our electric bulbs and smart bulbs can change their colour with the help of an app, nothing compares to the light emanated by the flame of a candle.
I sometimes light the candles in groups of 3 or 5 and I discovered - through trial and error (yes, even in creating the best ambiance it is necessary to practice) that if I light more of these clusters, I can both read more easily, and shroud myself in the most intense fragrances; all of it whilst being transported somewhere far far away, in a secluded mountain cabin. For sure... my hygge moment.