A look back at the history of candles
The ancestor of the candle is… the candle! Dating from 3000 BC, it was then mostly composed of a stick dipped in animal wax called tallow. The candle is then used to light up the environment, but there is a major inconvenience: the tallow gives off a very unpleasant smell…
In the Middle Ages, its composition will then gradually evolve, and the tallow will be replaced by beeswax, especially for the lords and the clergy, because of its rarity.
In the XIXth century, the discovery of kerosene and stearin is at the origin of the industrialization of the candle, and the origin of the perfumed candle.
What is a scented candle?
A scented candle is composed of a wick and wax containing perfume.
When the wick is lit, it creates a molten bath by melting the wax. The fragrance in the wax will then evaporate with the heat, and diffuse into the atmosphere.
When we choose a candle, we often focus only on the scent present in the candle and smelled cold, while it is the quality of the wax and the wick that will be responsible for its diffusion.
A poor wax will deteriorate the smell of the perfume, and reduce its range. A bad wick will create smoke, and reduce the life of the candle.
So here are our tips for recognizing a good candle, taking into account the wax, the wick and the fragrance.
The wax of the candle, an element not to be underestimated
Let’s start by reviewing all the different types of waxes used for scented candles:
Beeswax: increasingly rare, and therefore expensive
Vegetable wax: it comes from different types of plants (rapeseed, palm, soy …), its quality is very variable.
Mineral wax (paraffin wax)): it allows the best diffusion of the perfume, but as for the vegetable wax, its quality can vary greatly.
Each type of wax can therefore have different virtues, and the chandler’s job is to find the right mixture by ensuring the quality of the raw material. The wax will become one of the elements creating the differences in price between the scented candles.