Picking Out a Scented Candle
My ex-husband loved scented candles as much as I do. In fact, it was usually me dragging him away from the candle aisle when we went shopping.
What I have discovered is that we liked some of the same scents, but we were always initially drawn to very different scents.
He enjoyed the more masculine woodsy smells like fir, pine, sandalwood, and other musky, manly scents. I'm always drawn to citrus, sweeter and fruity smells like orange, berry and pineapple.
We discovered that we could agree on smells like Woodwick's Currant and Woodwick Cinnamon candles. Don't you just love how Woodwick candles give you that extra dimension to candle enjoyment by incorporating the crackling sound of the wood wick? Woodwick candles utilize a wood wick that crackles like a fireplace when you burn it which tends to add to the coziness.
Tips for Choosing a Scented Candle
Having purchased a number of candles, I have a few tips for buying scented candles, or candles in general, that I'd like to share with you.
- You really do get what you pay for. Cheap candles generally produce cheap results. Sometimes a cheap candle will work if you don't really intend to burn it and only want to display it.
- The scent of a candle comes from the essential oil. If you run your fingertip over the surface of the candle it should be greasy, not waxy, if you're expecting the candle to produce a nice fragrance. For this reason, the most highly scented candles will always be in a jar or container. They will be too oily to stand alone as a pillar candle.
- All candles are not created equal. Some simply burn nicer than others.
- Make sure the wick is in the center of the candle. I am bad about forgetting to check this. If the wick is off-center the candle will not burn properly. Many times the candles found on the clearance racks will have off-center wicks. You can still use these candles on a candle warmer if you end up forgetting like I do.
- Pay attention to the shape of the jar. Have you ever had a candle that seems to just burn straight down through the middle leaving a wall of wax along the side all of the way around? That's because the jar it is in doesn't allow it to heat evenly. Experiment with brands. All is not lost if you end up with a candle like this. Assuming the candle is in a jar or metal container, you can then place it on a candle warmer and continue to enjoy the fragrance that way long after the wick is gone. If it's not in a container that can take the heat you can try to break up the pieces and put them in a container that is. My experience has been if they're not in a good container, the pieces probably aren't worth salvaging anyway.
- Pillar candles may be good for looks but they aren't much for fragrance.
- Monitor the wick height as you burn the candle and trim as needed. Too much wick and the candle will smoke. Too little and the wick will be smothered by the pool of wax.
Candle warmers are nice to use when you have remnants of candles or want to experiment with mixing scents. Or, as mentioned above, when you have an off-center wick that doesn't allow the candle to burn properly.
You can also buy highly scented melts that contain no wicks and place them in proper votive cups for heating on the candle warmers. Make sure whatever container you use can withstand being on the heating element of the candle warmer.
Caution When Using Candles and Candle Warmers
Caution should always be used when using candles and candle warmers. Some tips include:
- Candles and candle burners should be monitored regularly to make sure everything is ok. Glass can have hairline cracks or imperfections that can worsen when heated. You don't want to leave it unattended only to find it has broken and hot wax has run everywhere, or worse yet, started a fire.
- Never ever leave candles or candle warmers burning while you are asleep or away from home.
- If you have pets or children, you have to be doubly cautious. Make sure candles and cords to the burners are well out of reach of children and pets. Pets can easily knock things over.
- Always know how many candles or burners you have going and make sure you've accounted for them all when you're turning them off or blowing them out.
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