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From Wick to Wax: Everything You
Need to Know about Candles

Illuminating Insights

The art of candle making dates back as far as the first century AD. In the beginning, candles were mostly made out of animal fat, called tallow. This material was cheap and easy to get by, so its use pertained for centuries. Eventually, tallow candles were superseded by candles made out of beeswax. Such candles not only burn brighter, but they also last longer, smell better and produce less smoke. All in all, beeswax candles are just more pleasant. However, not everyone could afford beeswax. Therefore, only the nobility – and the Church of course – enjoyed the privilege of less smelly candles. So, these were basically the first luxury candles. But that is enough about the past – history lesson over.

Crafting candles has become a wildly popular enterprise in the last couple of years. Since handcrafting in general has recently regained popularity, it comes as no surprise that creating your own fragrances and making them into unique, artisan wax candles is also something more and more people are showing an interest in. Now, of course there are different dimensions to this. Some enjoy making just a handful of candles and occasionally gifting them to their friends and family. Others, however, have recognised the immense business potential of candle making. Whichever group you might belong to, this blog entry was written for you. We would like to dive deeper into the process of making candles, and present the most important things to consider, from choosing fragrances to marketing your candles to large audiences.


Does that Make Scents?

With the growing interest in candles, the selection of possible scents and fragrances has gone through the roof. So, how can you possibly choose between the hundreds of nuances available to create your own, perfect scent?

#1 First of all, ask yourself: what do I want to achieve with my candles? Do I want to set a relaxing, meditative ambience or do I want to create an uplifting, energetic kind of atmosphere? You’d be surprised at the impact smells can have on our mood or even our productivity!

#2 If you are going for a relaxing effect, herbal notes such as lavender and jasmine are a great starting point, since they are known to have a calming influence on our nerves. Of course these scents can also be combined with complementing fragrances to give your candles a truly unique character.

#3 For those who are aiming for a more invigorating effect, more zesty and minty fragrances are best suited. Scents such as Bergamot, Lemon and Spearmint inspire an uplifting and fresh environment which can help elevate the mood and enhance focus.

#4 One of the most popular contexts for the involvement of candles is romance. (After all, love is in the air). The most natural and effective choice for setting a romantic mood is Rose. The smell of rose can not only contribute to a romantic atmosphere, but it also reduces stress and anxiety. Double win!

Candle making is supposed to be fun and creative. So, do not be afraid to experiment a little. Enjoy your creative freedom!

What's with the Wick?

The wick is an essential part of your candles. Especially its placement and its length are factors to take into consideration to ensure the best possible result for your candles.

Wick is too small:  If your wick is too small for the candles, the wax might not burn down evenly. It can also cause “tunneling”, where a candle leaves wax residue on the sides of the container. The size of your wick mostly depends on the diameter of the container you use.

Wick is too big: If the wick is too large then so will be the flame. This can cause an excessive amount of soot to build up. This phenomenon is called “mushrooming”.

Wick is not centred: With a wick that is not centred properly, your candles may also not burn down evenly. To prevent this from happening, we recommend using a wick bar or another centring tool of your choice.


Bringing the Heat!

Temperature plays an important role in the crafting of your candles. Depending on when and how you add the fragrances to your candle wax, the smells become weaker or stronger. Be sure to do some research about the melting temperature of the candle wax you use and choose the time to add your fragrances accordingly. For example, the ideal temperature to add scented oils to candles made of soy and paraffin wax is between 82° and 85° Celsius. With palm wax candles however, you should add your scents between 93° and 96° Celsius.

Sell Your Candles

Time to be creative again! (Or have us be creative on your behalf, if you like). Now that you created the perfect candle, it is time to tell the world about it. The best way to promote your candles is a stunning label. A well done label acts as your candles’ canvas and communicates the most important characteristics with its design. Choose colour palettes to complement the scent of your candles. Incorporate shapes, forms or pictures to emphasise their components. The sky is the limit!

In case you have several scents you would like to promote, feel free to design a label for each and every one of them, according to the elements you would like to highlight. With you can have different designs printed in one job, as long as the dimensions of the label (i.e. size and shape) are the same across all varieties. This can save you real money! Just make sure to choose a shape and size so that the label seamlessly fits your container. We are happy to provide you with advice on this, if you need it! You can check out our web page on candle labels for more detailed information, or simply get in touch with us. We are happy to talk to you on the phone or correspond with you via e-mail. Whatever suits you best!

Make sure you know your target audience and try to make your design fit their expectations. Ask yourself the question: who do I want to sell my candles to? Take the answer to that question and use it as a red thread for your designing process. But most importantly create a design you are proud of and that you feel really captures the spirit of your candles!

For all those who prefer to leave the creativity part to others, we offer a design service!