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Keeping Candles Lit

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: August 26, 2008, from the October 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Although it may not be clear at first glance, candles are loaded with value-added features.

“Aerosols and electric air fresheners are leaders in the market right now,” Alexandra Monet, a perfumer with drom Fragrances, told GCI magazine in a December 2006 interview. “But candles are the best to create an atmosphere and perfume a room overall.”

According to the NCA, consumers are increasingly purchasing candles as a focal point for their home decor and purchasing scented candles for mood setting. Nearly half of all American women, according to NCA polls, state they specifically use candles as part of their decorating scheme. The growing popularity of “scenterior” design—combining fragrance and color to create a full sensory aesthetic in the home—is a driving force in candle sales.

Jimmy Belasco—creator of an eponymous candle line among others—views the ethereal qualities of candles as more than aesthetic and mood enhancers, citing his belief that candles are vehicles for spirituality.

NCA data appears to support notions that candles are more than mere ambient artifices, demonstrating that consumers purchase candles for aromatherapy-like relaxation and stress reduction.