Riverview Scent Shop – Fragrance for home, body and soul

September 3, 2008

Candle Lore

Filed under: Candles,Weekly Specials — by riverviewscentshop @ 8:03 pm
There is no recorded history of candle making. However, references to lighting candles date back to ancient times as early as 3000 BC in Crete and Egypt. Candles are mentioned in Biblical writings as early as the tenth century BC. A fragment of a candle from the first century AD has been found in Avignon, France.

In the fourth century B.C., candles were developed by the Ancient Egyptians by soaking the pithy core of reeds in molten tallow (animal fat). Called rush lights, they had no wick like a candle.

The early Romans are credited with developing the candle with a wick which was made from papyrus (a tall, aquatic, Mediterranean grass like plant) .

In the Middle Ages, beeswax, a substance secreted by honey bees to make their honeycombs, was introduced. Beeswax candles were a marked improvement over those made with tallow since they did not produce a smoky flame or emit an unpleasant odor when burned. Instead, beeswax candles burned pure and clean. However, they were expensive and, therefore, only the wealthy and the church had them.

In fourteenth century England, servants of the Royal household were paid partly in beeswax candles. Through to the reign of George III, the ends of used beeswax candles from the royal palaces were given to the Lord Chancellor as a valuable benefit of his position.

From the sixteenth century onwards, living standards improved as evidenced by the increasing availability of candlesticks and candleholders and their appearance in households. At this time, candles were usually sold by the pound and sold in bundles of eight, ten, or twelve candles. Everyday candles were made of animal fat (tallow), usually from sheep (mutton) or cows. These candles were usually a dark, yellowish color and probably gave off a nasty smell.

Early Chinese and Japanese candles were molded in paper tubes. They were made out of a wax made from an insect known as a “Cocus” and were mixed with seeds from various trees. The wicks were made of rolled-up rice paper.

In India, the use of animal fat in candles was prohibited by religious decree so candles were made from wax skimmed while boiling cinnamon.

Along the Northwest coast of North America the Indians produced light by inserting oily dried smelt into a slit at the end of a stick and lighting it.

In the Shetland Islands ( Scotland) the Stormy Petrel as well as other birds known to have a high content of fat in their bodies were hunted, killed and dried. They then had wicks put down their throats which were lit to produce light.

America ’s Colonial women discovered that boiling the grayish green berries of bayberry bushes produced a sweet-smelling wax that burned clean. However, extracting the wax from the bayberries was extremely tedious.

In 18th century England, candles were taxed and common people were forbidden to make their own. There were two guilds of chandlers, one for tallow chandlers and one for wax chandlers. They were the only ones licensed to produce candles until 1831. At that time the law was repealed.

Also in the 18th century the growth of the whaling industry brought the first major change in candlemaking since the Middle Ages. It was then that spermaceti, a wax obtained by crystallizing sperm whale oil, became available in quantity. Like beeswax, the spermaceti wax did not elicit a repugnant odor when burned. It was also harder than both tallow and beeswax which meant it did not soften or bend in the summer heat.

It was during the 19th century when most major developments affecting contemporary candle making occurred. In 1834, inventor Joseph Morgan introduced a machine which allowed continuous production of molded candles. A cylinder which featured a movable piston ejected candles as they solidified.

In 1850 the production of the first paraffin wax made from oil and coal shale began. It was made by distilling the residues left after crude petroleum was refined.


August 20, 2008

Candles – Symbolism

Filed under: Candles — by riverviewscentshop @ 8:02 pm
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Candles have always had a distinctive place in our society, and as such they represent an incredible link that taps into our past. In their own unique way, candles radiate messages of romance, passion, security, warmth, hope, spirituality, and mystery, to name just a few. Today, candles are used mainly for their aesthetic value and scent, particularly to set a soft, warm, or romantic ambiance, and for emergency lighting during electrical power failures. Scented candle are used in aromatherapy. Deeply rooted in almost every religious and spiritual practice, creed and nationality, there is something peculiar and symbolic in a solitary flame and the aura of light surrounding it. It communicates with our souls. It speaks beyond words.  Candles symbolize enlightenment,inspirations, religious clarity, and comfort.  No matter how thick the darkness, the light of one candle conquers it. No matter how solitary one flame is, it is never alone or lonely for its light knows no boundaries and touches eternity. People of all faiths and walks of life, and many different creeds, have been joining together in a candlelight vigil to grieve, pray or celebrate. Candles are an integral part of our identities, they have been playing an important role in both our collective and individual consciousness.

Although we are live in modern times with electricity and such, very few of us haven’t had contact with candles. From the very first blazing encounters on a birthday cake, where candles are introduced as a magical agents which help our wishes came true, to every possible ritual and practice of social initiation, rite of passage or pleasure lubricant, candle flame has been our constant companion. Our initial enchantment with birthday candles is precursor to our belief that magic and candles naturally go together. Symbolism of birthday candles is not the only candle symbolism we are exposed to from the earliest days. No matter what religion we are born into, there are sanctuaries and special places to light a candle for health, protection, blessing and loving memory of departed ones. Candles are believed to connect people with divine, and with the deceased. They send our message beyond the boundaries of the visible and material world. In a candle light, the material world and the world of the Spirit are met.

Many couples have a Unity Candle at their wedding. Two outside candles are lit by the couple’s mothers to represent their lives to this moment. These distinct flames, each burning alone, represent the faith, wisdom and love received from their parents. Together, the couple lights a center candle, symbolizing the union of their lives. Their thoughts shall be for each other, and they will share both joys and sorrows. The flames of the two smaller candles remain lit to show how although they are now one, they are still each unique individuals.

A candle represents love which can light our spouse’s world.

A candle wipes out darkness and shows us how love can brighten our beloved’s life.

When we are near a candle, we feel warmth, just as we feel warmth from the love of our spouse.

A candle can give a sense of direction, and can draw people together, reminding us of how our love is a binding force also.

When a candle burns, the melting wax on the candle in a way disfigures the candle, representing the risk and element of pain that exists in a love relationship.

A candle, in order to fulfill itself, must burn itself out. If a candle is never lit, it never fulfills it’s purpose.

Newest Yankee Candle Fall Scents

It’s that time of the year…new fall yummy scents from Yankee Candle!

Well kids are back to school, just for one day due to the Tropical Storm Fay. Lots of rain, little sun, bot other than that, not too bad.  I figured I would sit down and keep you all informed on the newest of the new. I have worked my way through the tarts on all and will give you a brief description of what my sniffer smelled.

  • Orchard Pear – Ripe, succulent pears, fresh from the tree, warmed with notes of jasmine and cognac. I thought it was a nice warm spicy pear. Not at all like the old spice pear. This has more of an out in the fields smell to it.
  • Blueberry Scone – Yummy! The delicious aroma of English quickbread with sweet blueberries, rich cream and a hint of vanilla. I love scones and this scent is pretty true. It is very blueberry with a touch of sweet scones.
  • Candied Apple – From the county fair … crisp red apples coated with a mix of melted sugar, orange, pear and vanilla Very sweet, and a good renditions of a candied apple from the fair or halloween.
  • Cinnamon Sugar – A warm, sweet sprinkle of heaven … brown sugar and cinnamon with notes of nutmeg and vanilla. This one has been one of my top sellers for the new ones. Anthingcinnamon is popular year round for me. A nice, warm, cozy smell that I find my enjoy.
  • Evening Air – The crisp breeze of a fall night warmed with notes of clove, geranium, basil, cedarwood and musk. My customers who like Cottage Breeze and Midsummer’s night are enjoying this one. Masculine Undertones to it.
  • Mulling Spices – Autumn cheer … the warming aroma of hot apple cider infused with cinnamon, clove and vanilla. I ahve lots of customers asking me of this is similar to the old Baking Spices, it is in the fact that it is a spicy scent but this one does not use the warm spices as much as the deep, earthy baking spices. You can definitely smell the clove in it and the apple adds a sweetness to it.
  • Green Bamboo – The exotically sweet freshness of green bamboo leaf with notes of freesia, pear, teakwood, and musk. This one is a bit weak for me but the people who like Jasmine Green Tea will like this one.
  • Chocolate Cupcake – This creamy sweet aroma of cocoa, buttercream and vanilla is an irresistible treat. Very rich, very chocolaty. there is no subtle sweetness to this one. If you are looking for a strong, sweet bakes smell…this is it.
  • Cafe’ Au Lait – So warm and enticing … rich, fresh brewed coffee topped with milk froth and a dash of cinnamon. Not as good as the old coffee to me, a bit creamier and warmer with the cinnamon added. Think Starbucks!
  • Autumn Gold – A treasure trove of fall favorites … spicy cinnamon and clove with notes of cranberry and vanilla. The color is deceiving on this one. It will be great for cooler weather when family & Friends are coming over.

The last 3 on the list, Autumn Gold, Cafe’ Au Lait and Chocolate Cupcake are Yankee Candle store exclusives. I don’t think that is too important as they are the weaker of the new ones.

Try them out in tarts and samplers if you do not want to go into all large jars. Then go back and buy your favorite! Riverview Scent Shop always offer buy 10, get 1 free tart and samplers year round but we also have several tart and sampler specials coming up!

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