[Sca-cooks] candle spices

Craig Daniel teucer at pobox.com
Sun Jul 11 04:39:52 PDT 2010

On Sun, Jul 11, 2010 at 1:22 AM, Stefan li Rous
<StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:
> I asked:
>> Lol. ?I read that title as "FW: Ca N dle spices" and my first thought was Oh! so there might be some evidence that candles were
>> actually spiced in period!"
>> I doubt it though, since most candles would have been tallow candles and beeswax candles are nice enough smelling as is, but
> does
>> anyone have evidence to the contrary?
> To which Jaume de Mon?? replied with a lot of info about aromatic candles, not specifically for creating a sweet smell.
> Oh! Oops. I did forget about incense. However, a quick look through what I have seems to show incense being burned by itself, as in
> wood splinters or by simply exposing the incense to air or by heating it in a burner, not by putting it into a candle itself, so this is s
> some interesting, new info.

When candles and incense are being burned together in some of those
instructions I have no idea whether they are simply burning incense
and candles next to each other or even in the same censer, or if in
fact the candle is actually burning the incense.

Given that in at least one case you seem to have coals, candles, and
incense all in the same censer, it seems more likely that if the
incense can't burn on its own (as some can't) it would be on the coals
rather than being burned by the candle. At least, that's how modern
incense burners for incense that isn't self-sustaining work; do we
know if it was always like that? For all I know there could have been
incense that you were supposed to burn by means of an open flame and
that's why they have candles and incense being employed together in
places. If so, I'd expect there to be documentation or at least hints
of this in non-magical sources as well, though; do we have anybody
that's paid enough attention to period incense to comment?

> But I'm not sure what a "grimoire" is.

Basically, it's a spellbook. Belief in magic has been common for most
if not all of human history, and apparently the desire to practice it
was widespread enough in period Europe that there are surviving
instructional texts on the matter. (How often anyone actually followed
the instructions, I do not know.)

 - Jaume

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