National Fragrance Day is observed every year on 21st March and celebrates the memory of our favourite fragrances. It reminds us of all the scents and smells that carry memories of different things in our lives.
For some, it might be the smell of the flowering cherry blossom in springtime or freshly mown grass in summer, bonfires and crackling fires in autumn or the smell of freshly baked scones around a log fire in winter. Its a day to appreciate scents and fragrances and the pleasure of being able to savour our sense of smell. Even the simplest everyday smells make us feel good - a freshly brewed coffee with a plate of croissants or the smell of freshly laundered cotton sheets.
Candles now play a large part in creating lovely scents and fragrances both inside the home and out. When I was growing up in the Fifties, we only had candles at Christmas! My mother took the two long tapering red “Christmas” candles and placed them in a decorative Christmas table centrepiece and it made our Christmas dinner look festive and special. We raised our glasses amidst the flickering candlelight, thanked the “cook” and wished each other a Happy Christmas.
And then of course we had candles on our birthday cakes, another candle added each year. Nowadays we don't need to wait for Christmas or birthdays to light a candle and find lots of reasons and occasions to light candles in our homes and even in our gardens. We can celebrate Easter Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Grandparents Day, Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas and all the birthdays of family and friends.
A special meal either at home or in a restaurant is always enhanced with a candle on the table - it creates an inviting intimate atmosphere in which to relax. An evening at home relaxing and sharing a glass of wine with friends is cosier with the flicker and scent of a candle. We don't even have to have a special reason to light a candle - is there anything nicer than deciding to have an evening off, chilling out and relaxing, curled up on the sofa with a book you are absorbed in and putting to one side all the busyness of life and lighting a fragrant scented candle to help you slow down and de-stress?
Candles by a log fire in autumn or winter create a feeling of warmth and cosiness during the cold dark days. Candles in spring and summer lift our spirits and refresh us to do new things - maybe brightening up a tired looking room with some new splashes of colour - whether in the form of some new paint or a cheerful decorative throw, attractive accessory or picture - it doesn't have to be a major overhaul!
And then there’s the garden! Time to get out and plan the shapes and colours you want to see as the year progresses and weather permitting, plan on sitting outside with friends and family. A simple outdoor meal will always look nicer with a vase of freshly cut flowers and a candle on the table. It is so often the simple, small touches to things which make a difference, set the mood and just encourage us to enjoy the moment. Which is why the gift of a lovely scented candle is special - it is giving a message from the giver to the receiver to just slow down and enjoy the simple things of life.