Candles have been used since ancient times for both practical and symbolic purposes. Candles were used in ancient Egypt for ritual purposes, and later in Europe as sources of light. In some places, they are still used as sources of light, while in others they’re used to create warmth, atmosphere, and ambience.
Candles are used in many religions and rituals, symbolizing peace, hope, and other spiritual values. Candles are also used in aromatherapy and to aid with meditation.
Scent is another story. It's often be used to mask lack of hygiene. Did you know the Romans would scent birds in rose water and release them into a dining hall before banquets in order to scent the air? The French were notorious for scenting their powdered wigs to mask body odors.
The combination of candles and scent embraces good scents without the use of live animals...however, scented fragrances added to hair, clothing and skin are still in practice today.
Scent is the strongest trigger of memory, as it is the only one of the five senses that sits next to memory. It can also be a warning of danger or illness. The nose goes "nose blind" to scents it has been exposed to for 3-4 hours in order to let new scents in that could trigger a warning.
Scented candles are used to change a space. Cross burning candles can elevate a gathering to be more unique. Votives around a space will warm up a space, making it more intimate and inviting. It will also be a more subtle way to embrace scent.
When I was developing Whiskey & Woof the goal was to create layered scents that could allow people of all genders to find what they connected with and explore new scents. When I see an order that has only florals, I will usually put in a citrus mini candle as a sample to widen the exploration of our scents. While that was a great way to introduce clients to new scents, I will now be shifting to featuring one scent each month for everyone.