Which Wax Makes The Best Scented Candle?
New Waxes Mean A Wide Range Of Choices When It Comes To Scented Candles
Which Wax Is Best For Scented Candles?
Candles have been used for centuries to provide light and, to a lesser extent, warmth. The wick candle as we know it today was invented by the Romans, although the Egyptians had something similar. The earliest candles were made of wax – or tallow – fashioned from animal fats, particularly goat and sheep fats. Not surprisingly, these earliest candles were somewhat crude, emitting foul odours and unpleasant soot. Thankfully, candle-making has moved on since those times and scented candles are available today in a range of different types of wax, each of which has a number of distinct characteristics.
Beeswax candles, which are often regarded as the connoisseur’s choice, have been around since the Middle Ages and offer a winning combination of a warm, golden colour and natural honey-sweet aroma. Beeswax candles also offer the purest, cleanest flame of the available waxes with the added benefit of purifying the air, acting like a natural air freshener, a particularly significant attribute where indoor air quality is an issue, for example where someone suffers from asthma or is prone to other allergies. However, beeswax candles tend to be more expensive than candles made from other waxes, although devotees would argue that the initial cost is well worth it for such a wholesome, natural product and is more than made up for by the fact that beeswax candles last longer than the alternatives.
Paraffin wax which arrived around 1850 is still the most commonly wax used in candle-making today. It is relatively inexpensive to produce and as a result tends to be the wax of choice for manufacturers of mass-produced candles. However, paraffin wax is, of course, a by-product of petroleum, a non-renewable resource, meaning, unlike beeswax and other waxes made from plant sources, it does not sit well with the modern consumer’s demand for renewable, green products.
These modern eco-friendly waxes include coconut wax, palm wax and, most popular of all – soy wax, derived from the ubiquitous soya bean. Soy wax is made from hydrogenated soya bean oil and was invented in the early 1990’s by Michael Richards who was looking for a less expensive, cleaner, wax to use in his candle-making. Candles made of soy wax can be scented with a wide variety of fragrances and essential oils. When compared to paraffin wax candles, soy wax candles burn cleaner and with much less soot. They also burn longer and more evenly than paraffin wax candles so you can indulge your scented candle habit more regularly with soy candles.
Another natural product, palm wax was also developed in the 1990s around the same time as soy wax. It burns with almost no soot and makes beautiful scented candles with vibrant colours. Like soy wax, palm wax also burns very cleanly and for longer than paraffin, indeed almost as long as beeswax. It is often used in combination with other natural waxes such as soy wax or beeswax.
When you are choosing scented candles there are number of factors which will affect your decision, including budget, the scents or fragrances available and the candle’s design and packaging. In addition to these considerations, as we hope the above will demonstrate, it is also worth paying attention to the type of wax used to make the candle.