If you’ve read anything about hygge, you’ve almost always seen a photo with a candle attached to it. Candles and Denmark became synonymous after the second world war:
After having been occupied by Germany since 9 April 1940, Denmark became free again on 5 May 1945. When the liberation was announced in the 8.30pm BBC broadcast on 4 May 1945, many Danes spontaneously placed lit candles in their windows. This became a custom that is still kept up by many Danes.Official Website of Denmark
Danish windowsills, sidewalks and corners are filled with candles, no matter what time of year or time of day. I’ve travelled with non-Danes and their general response is that they can’t believe there are open-flame candles burning in public spaces from tourist toilets to tables in cafes. Candles are everywhere and it’s one of the things I miss about being there.
In my family, a candle was lit every morning as a way to not just making the morning cosier, but as a way to think about and honour those close to us have passed. My mum lit them for her parents every day and now I do the same. Generally using a plain, tall candle for this purpose
When travelling, I burn tin-packed candles because they travel so well. Or I’ll stop in a shop or even Whole Foods and pick one up to use just for the duration of my stay. Lighting and burning a candle has become for me routine or a form of meditation. Something simple, easy, and charming to do that always gives me pause and brings awareness to the moment. The total definition of hygge.
I try to burn green candles but there are a few brands I love that aren’t as clean as I’d like. Scent, burn-time, and look (I like simple containers) are my criteria. Cashmere is my winter go-to (and from one of my favourite candle companies). Ojai Pixie Blossom is a tried and true favourite for spring and summer mornings but Jardin du Luxembourg is quickly rising to the top. Tuberose and Rose are lovely year rounds that I love to burn whilst having a bath or getting ready – they make me feel so fancy!
Here are a few of my favourites*:
(*I tend to order my candles a couple at a time online from Terrain, Nordstrom and Candles Off Main during sale times. It saves money plus, knock wood, I’ve never received a broken one. The images linked above are to the places I purchase from and are affiliate links).