Setting the Mood with Wax

Okay, right now you are probably thinking about something other than candles.  Perhaps you are thinking of wax figures filling a room to set the mood but if that is what you have in mind I have to ask, are you setting up a Halloween mood?

All joking aside, candles, which is the wax I am talking about, have been used for years to set a mood.  Whether you are trying to unwind, trying to be romantic or simply trying to scent the air for a party, you are using them to set a mood.

Once upon a time, candles had a pretty basic smell and although the candlelight could do wonders for the mood, the overall effect of a candle was somehow lost if it really started smoking.  Today, candles come in a wide range of shapes, colors and, yes, scents.  With all the selection that we have with candles, it is a surprise that it hasn’t ruined the mood we are searching to create.

When you are setting a mood with candlelight and scents, it is important to look at what you would like the candles to do and also what you want them for.  If they are there to provide a scent, then you need to focus on what smells you would like.  Harsh smells while you are trying to meditate can detract from your focus, earthy smells when you are trying to have a nice home cooked meal may blend negatively with the smell of the food.  There are as many factors to take into account with candles as there are choices in your wardrobe.  Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but only a little.

The Dinner Party:

Setting the mood for a dinner party can be a difficult task.  If it is a romantic dinner, you will probably want to have some candles in the center of the table.  Of course, I have never been a fan of the centerpiece candle, simply because I hate having to chat, romantically or not, around something.

My recommendation for using candles for dinner parties or romantic meals is to place the candles around the room, either with tall candle holders, on mantels or in wall sconces. Once you have the candles lit, dim the overhead light slightly.  This gives the illusion that each guest is bathed in candlelight and they are not sitting in the dark looking into it.

It can create a very dreamy and romantic atmosphere and if you add a matching sent to the scene you can really set a mood.  Make sure your smells complement each other.  For instance, you won’t want to use an Apple Spice candle if you happen to be eating Chinese.  Maybe a nice Green Tea Candle would suit it better and the Apple Spice can be saved for a roast dinner.

The Romantic Evening:

Romance and candles really are made for each other and there are very few things that I could suggest that could make romantic candles even better.  Again, the only part that I would suggest is having the candles up and out of the way.  Have a glass of champagne on the floor with the candles on a coffee table above you –preferably beside those flowers that you received.

The other suggestion that I would make is to avoid a lot of cloying scents.  Anything that will feel heavy to your stomach should be avoided and I would recommend avoiding any of the heavier floral scents.  Instead go with fragrances that are considered to be sensual, things like chocolate or strawberries.

For Relaxation:

As with romantic evenings, there is very little that I can say about candles for setting the relaxing mood.  Everyone has their own scent that relaxes them, strangely Pina Colada is mine, and each prefers using candles in different ways.

But since I am here, I would recommend playing with threes when you use candles for relaxation.  I have found this to be an excellent method to setting a tranquil mood.  A grouping of three candles in various spots of the room provides you with pools of soft light.  They are excellent at dispersing the scents across the room and they offer you something to focus on.

So whatever your mood is, the best advice I can offer is to play around with the placement and the scents until you find your perfect balance.

-MJ Plaster

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