Why do candles cost so much?

  • October 28, 2022


I loved blackouts as a child.

At that time, power outages were common: one or two candles were lit in a dark room, and the world suddenly became enlarged, quiet and warm. In the era of the absence of a mobile phone and an iPad computer, candles are now almost the only means of entertainment. Facing light and shadow, the family draws with their hands butterflies, puppies, peacocks, doves... Chasing and fiddling with shadows on a white wall is a rare tender moment in life.

Candles at that time were the main attribute of the house. The candles were white and thin, with thin cotton wicks, five or six in a row, or a bundle wrapped in kraft paper and lying in a drawer. When it came time to use, there was no candlestick, a match was lit, a few drops of wax oil were dropped on the table, and then the candle body was pressed against the soft and sticky wax oil. In just a few seconds, the candle was even and straight, standing on the table, blazing with heat.

As he was going to make vinegar to buy soy sauce, when the family was in a hurry and could not find anything in stock, the child was sent to the store for candles. The price is naturally very low, and a few cents in your hand can be exchanged for two candles, which is enough to create several nights of wavering light and shadow.

Later, the power supply system became more stable, power outages became less frequent, and candles became less frequent every day. Last year, I read a news story that in an experimental class at an elementary school in Hangzhou, 95% of the students didn't know matches or white candles. Then it only surprised and amused me, but now, when I think about it, I don’t blame the children for “no life”: the last time I saw such a white candle at my house was many years ago.

I recently saw it at IKEA. Several white candles are neatly packaged in a transparent box, and on one side are beautiful and openwork Western-style candlesticks that seem to silently instruct nostalgic and impatient buyers: pay attention to the combination.

The history of the candle function is changing: the former emergency product, now 800 yuan, like burning money.

This candle is not another candle. I thought to myself. Daily necessities in the past have now become life's accessories, and the price is certainly not what it was before. A box of candles costs tens of yuan, but considering the price increase, compared to all kinds of scented candles on the same shelf, it's still good. Just and cheap.

Until I was pointed out by a girl who could be called a "living house": IKEA products worth tens of dollars are not real scented candles. This city employee with a delicate and refined life has a side business of making handmade scented candles. Although she knows little about the quality of the essence, the choice of wax base, and the use of candle wicks, I still get the key points from her science-fiction materials: even if the cost handmade candles in excess of a hundred, she is much lower than the brand of scented candles she usually chooses.

The history of the candle function is changing: the former emergency product, now 800 yuan, like burning money.

Thanks to her support, I opened several websites of well-known aromatherapy brands and silently crossed off the page. A bottle of mini candles that can burn for 60 hours costs more than 800 yuan After counting, every minute sincerely "burns money."


However, if you look closely, the fact that candles "burn money" doesn't really matter.

Candles have been used for lighting for thousands of years. Take China as an example, yellow wax is obtained from bee hives, and white wax is obtained from white wax worms. When raw materials are scarce and craftsmanship is lacking, the cost of obtaining light is very high. The most typical example is the "wealth candle display" event. "Shi Shuo Xin Yu" reports that during the Western Jin Dynasty, Shi Chun and Wang Kai fought for wealth: "Wang Junfu used yingtong to make a teapot, and Shi Jilong used candles to cook."

Candles can be a tool to show off wealth. The value of candles is not inferior to today's famous cars. Although burning candles for firewood sounds mundane, if you automatically bring in a scented candle worth almost 1,000 yuan, you can still experience the pain of "burning money."

Another story - an inspiring version. The allusion to "cut the wall to steal the light" is well known, but what kind of light Kuan Heng stole has always lacked textual research. The original text states that the protagonist "studies hard but has no candles" so he "brings light through walls". The good knower Zhihu asked if the "candle" was the light of a candle or the light of an oil lamp. The questioner believed that those who could afford to light candles in the Han Dynasty must have been large families, it was rare to be a Neighbor, and it was too difficult to be a Neighbor to dig a wall.

While netizens have big holes in their brains, they are not without reason. During the Western Han Dynasty, candles were a tribute, and only officials above the marquis could be awarded, which is extremely rare. In the Tang Dynasty, there were officials in charge of candles in the internal affairs of the palace. Even during the Ming and Qing dynasties, raw materials were not rare, but candles were still not used by ordinary people.

Not only in China, but also on the other side of the world, candles are also very rare. In the early 18th century, in order to finance the Spanish War, the Queen of England imposed a tax on candles and other necessities, which pushed up the price of candles and forced many families to return to the era of homemade candles. . One of the classic scenes from the British musical The Phantom of the Opera is that the Phantom's private area is heavily adorned with candles.

The history of the candle function is changing: the former emergency product, now 800 yuan, like burning money.

The French are romantic, they not only know how to scent candles, but they also developed the royal brand Cire Trudon. This 400-year-old candle brand is the exclusive supplier of candles for the Palace of Versailles. Everyone from Louis XIV to Louis XVI is said to be a fan.

Jagged like Napoleon, he actually ordered a candle with a gold-encrusted head when his son was born, who can be considered a tough guy and gentle; , it is this brand of exquisite candles. Candles have also made a number of appearances as the backdrop for a luxurious life in films the Queen starred in a few years ago.

No wonder the brand is still selling for a lot of money and proudly swears on the embossed print on the bottle that it serves God and the king.


People who have a deep understanding of the function of lighting a candle, such as myself, have started updating their concepts from American TV shows.

In "Friends," Chandler finally agreed to try a bubble bath under Monica's seduction, along with a bath, bath salts, and scented candles occupying the bathroom. Chandler, who initially resisted the bath, eventually succumbed to the singing, the candles and the scents, not only fell in love with the bath, but became a master of bath grabbing. Candles have finally fulfilled its zest: when you propose, a house full of candles is undeniably a romantic blessing. Interestingly enough, the word Chandler itself means "candle merchant" in English, which is also compatible with scented candles. In recent years, the stem of the candle has also been frequently used in Korean dramas. In "Ghosts", Gao Jinyin's secret to summon Kong Liu is to blow out the candles (please bring me a box of such candles); in Descendants of the Sun, Qiao Mei's use of candles can be described as very insidious: women need illumination. It looks beautiful, so the angles of scented candles are strictly calculated.

While the end of love is both sad and happy, the use of candles in many films and television conveys an obvious message: as well as serving as lighting, candles are also an emotional tool for creating atmosphere, relaxation. body and mind, and convey love.

People are familiar with the connection between candlelight and emotions. When a candle is just a candle, the poet endowed it with gentle intentions. Li Shangyin "Why should we cut the candles at the western window together, but talk about the night rain in Bashan" is naturally affectionate, but I love Du Fu even more "Today and night, let's share this candlelight", the vicissitudes and emotions of Half a Life all in one the light of candles.

In the Western world, candles are associated with religious rites and therefore have more connotations. In Les Misérables, the bishop redeemed the soul of Jean Valjean with two silver candlesticks, since then the candlestick and the light of the candle have become messengers of ideals and light, accompanying him until the last moment of his life.

Candle, a small light can become a binderthem as a link between feelings and beliefs, or is inseparable from a person’s own desire for light and warmth. The Danish science of happiness may be a footnote to the mystical role of candles. As one of the countries with the highest happiness index in the world, the study of happiness in this small Scandinavian country is called “hygge”, and hygge is about creating a harmonious atmosphere, warm feelings and a satisfied mood.

Candles evoke that warm and bright feeling of true healing. In a country with long, cold winters, hygge scenes are always associated with candlelight at the dinner table, candlelight reading at night. The light and warmth brought by a dancing flame can simply connect a few of the closest people - warmth and solitude, what could be more suitable for those who are shivering in the cold?

The aroma certainly enhances the impression.

The German writer Patrick Suskind wrote in his book "Perfume": "Smell is more convincing than language, appearance, emotions or will." It influences people's emotions and memories, and can even reconstruct patterns in memories using scent.

In Rhino in Love, Malu's impression of Mingming is "lemon flavored"; a piece of scented rubber can also evoke familiar memories of life on an elementary school campus; remembering a loved one, many at that time, it was not his eyebrows and eyes that came to mind, but the smell of some kind of fabric softener on his body.

Manufacturers of scented candles pay attention to the human attachment to smells. In addition to the conventional classification of floral, fruity and herbal fragrances, perfumers also explore the complex and sensitive world of the human sense of smell with all sorts of whimsical ideas.

Exclusive to Royal Nobles such as Trudon, there is also a scent of fresh linen, lavender, orange and soap, reminiscent of gay Parisian washerwomen and sheets; tomato-scented Carrière Frères scented candle lit an orchard, and niche brand d.s&durga invented the fireplace scent, “imagine you have a fireplace”, but it satisfies the human desire for light and incense.

Some also have utility functions. Rewined, a perfume brand in the United States that uses recycled wine bottles, not only uses the bottom of a cut red wine bottle as a candle container, but also has a certain degree of scent: Cabernet, Mojito, Chardonnay... I'm afraid. that he will be ignited Intoxicated by the fragrance. Fortunately, one of the main functions of scented candles, apart from purifying the air, is to improve sleep. Last year, a Chinese sleep research report said that people in East China like to use scented candles to help them fall asleep.

However, there are fragrances that cause drowsiness. An alternative aromatherapy brand called Stinky has released not only the smell of chlorine (reminds you of a swimming pool), the smell of fart (which can help youhide your embarrassment), the smell of a car tail (which can satisfy your car cravings) and... ...the taste of money.

"Those who have always wanted to burn money, this time you can make your dreams come true!" - advertising slogan from the official website. After listening, I really wanted to try it.