Psychology of candles

Psychology of candles

We all know that candles have been with us for thousands of years and their popularity is still not declining. Apart from their practical use, they are amazing decorations as well as a tool to maintain our emotional, mental and psychological well-being. If you’ve ever wondered how lighting a candle can be so great for relieving stress, this article is for you. Let’s see what you should know about the psychology of candles.

Key Takeaways - Psychology of candles

  • Candles with calming scents like lavender and chamomile can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, promoting relaxation.
  • The soft glow of candlelight signals the brain to wind down, aiding in better sleep quality and improving overall mood.
  • Aromatic candles featuring scents such as rosemary or peppermint are found to enhance cognitive function, increasing focus and memory retention.
  • Choosing specific candle fragrances tailored for desired psychological effects can create a positive atmosphere for well-being.
  • Incorporating candle rituals into daily routines acts as a mindfulness practice that contributes to emotional balance and mental clarity.

The role of scents

The most obvious fact is that candles have an amazing psychological effect because of their scents. Most people know that certain smells can stimulate that part of our brain which is responsible for memories and emotions. We’ve all experienced that a scent can easily trigger deep memories. Therefore, using your favourite scented candle will stimulate your brain in an amazing way. This phenomenon has several positive effects on your overall well-being.

Stress relieving

First and foremost, using scented candles can help you relieving stress. By triggering good memories and feelings associated to those memories, your body can automatically relax. This is true even if you have a really stressful and draining day. So, lighting a candle after a long day could be one of the best solutions.

benefits of aromatherapy candles

Enhancing mood

Understandably, triggering happy memories with candles will also help your brain produce more happy hormones. With this, you can easily understand how your favourite candle will enhance your mood almost instantly. So don’t hesitate to use it whenever you are feeling a bit down. It will do wonders!

Helping with sleep issues

We also know, that candles are widely use to help with sleep issues. This is also connected to scents, as there are certain ones which have similar effect with most people: improving sleep quality and helping with insomnia. Just to give you a few examples, lavender, chamomile, bergamot and jasmine could all be great choices in case your sleep quality has worsened for some reason.

Connecting them with calming activities

Candles have been a part of society for years but what makes them special.

Apart from the effect of scents, candles are also great for your psychological health simply because we connect then with calming activities. Lighting a scented candle for a romantic dinner, a long hot bubble bath or while enjoying a good book in bed can make the experience even more relaxing. With this, it is easy to see how we automatically associate candles with stress-relieving activities. This connection in our brain can even work subconsciously if you make a habit out of it. This means that even without the activity itself, your brain will associate lighting candles with a calming time.

All in all, using your favourite candle – whether it is scented or not – can definitely help fighting all the negative effects of stress that we all have to experience from time to time. If you learn which scent has the effect you mostly need, you can even treat physical symptoms, such as headaches or insomnia.


1. What is the psychology of candles?

The psychology of candles connects to how candlelight therapy and aroma psychology can affect our moods, often used for mood enhancement, stress relief, and as part of healing rituals.

2. How does candlelight improve mood?

Candlelight creates a calming atmosphere that can soothe the mind and enhance mood through its gentle, flickering light often used in relaxation and therapeutic settings.

3. Can scented candles really help with stress?

Yes, scented oils in candles release fragrances that can provide scent therapy, helping reduce stress levels and promoting a sense of well-being through their aroma.

4. Are there benefits to using scented candles during meditation or yoga?

Using scented candles during activities like meditation or yoga adds an element of aroma psychology which aids in creating a tranquil environment conducive to relaxation and mental clarity.