Though it may not be the easiest word to pronounce (“hoo-gah”) and it’s a bit nebulous to define (a mashup of cosiness, gratitude, and enjoyment of the everyday), the hygge trend is undeniable, and its influence is far-reaching. In décor, cuisine, home lighting, and most definitely in fragrance, hygge is hot.
Denmark’s Biggest Export
Why is hygge such a big deal? Is it because the Danish are so happy? Well, happiness surveys of residents of countries all over the world reveal that the denizens of Denmark are the most content. So much so that the rest of the world wanted to know why. It turns out that Danes quite simply decide to be happy. And that’s hygge.
Hygge is mindful, deliberate living. It’s taking the time to enjoy simple pleasures and to cultivate gratitude. It’s savoring an everyday moment along with warmth and authenticity. The opposite of conspicuous consumption, hygge can be as simple as enjoying a candlelit evening with friends and family.
Warmth and Light
In fact, if hygge had a symbol, it would be a candle – the life-sustaining warmth and light that banishes the dark and cold. So how does hygge play out in consumer goods? Though it is more of an attitude, it’s also a trend, which means you can find hygge throughout the marketplace.
A slew of books about hygge are already on the market, and more are slated for publication in 2017, promising formulas for happiness based on simplicity. From cookbooks to decluttering guides to knitting patterns, there’s no shortage of advice on ways to incorporate hygge into our busy lives.
It’s no surprise that hygge candles are a hit. From Skandinavinsk’s iconic Hygge candle, cleverly labeled as “Danish DNA,” to Paddywax’s Hygge collection that features simple ceramic vessels in muted pastels, topped with gleaming copper lids, hygge candles feature earthy, homey, natural scents.
Notes of tea, amber, honey, cinnamon, clove, and musk are commonplace in hygge fragrances, as they conjure a sense of home, connection to the earth, and simplicity.
An Enduring Trend
Hygge isn’t just a fad, though the popularity of this previously unknown and oh-so-foreign term has been nothing short of meteoric. But the notion of hygge is, perhaps paradoxically, the sort of thinking that resists being a follower of trends. Rather than creating slaves to fashion, hygge encourages us to embrace quotidian beauty and to find contentment in what we already have.
This search for happiness in simplicity isn’t going away. It’s a yearning for our roots. It’s a nostalgia for less complicated times. In what can be seen as an antidote to the paralyzing, dizzying array of technology, media, and messages that compete for our attention, embracing hygge gives us permission to be happy with less, to be more selective about how we spend our time and our resources.
As trends go, hygge represents an inspiring mindset, not just an array of commodities. It champions authenticity and inclusiveness, and it encourages us to find – rather than defer – our happiness.