Candles are a familiar and soothing presence in our lives, bringing mood-boosting scents and relaxing light. They can also provide a sense of security and safety.
Before beginning the process of making your own candles, decide what type of market you would like to focus on. This will influence many aspects of your candle production and will help you establish a brand.
Candles have evolved through many different periods and cultures. While the Romans are often credited with creating candles, it is likely that they did not have a monopoly on the invention of this useful tool. Other early civilizations used candles including the Egyptians with their rushlights, the Chinese with rolled rice paper wicks, Indians with a wax made by boiling cinnamon, and tribes in Alaska using oil from eulachon fish.
In the middle ages, beeswax became popular as an alternative to tallow candles. It didn’t emit a repugnant odor and burned brighter than tallow, but was still expensive and only available for churches and the rich. Change came with the growing whaling industry in the 18th century, as it was discovered that spermaceti (an oily substance from the head of a sperm whale) served as an excellent alternative to tallow. It didn’t produce a smelly odor and was more affordable than beeswax.
Candles are used for celebrations and events such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations or as decorations. They are also an important tool for spiritual practices such as meditation or manifestation techniques where people focus on a flame and send their wishes to the universe.
When a candle is lit, the wax melts in a process called combustion. The heat from the flame vaporizes the hydrocarbons in the wax and reacts with oxygen to produce heat, light and water vapor. The vaporized wax also produces the white smoke you see.
The lower, dark zone is known as a laminar burn and the upper, luminous zone is called a gas-phase burn. Both of these types of burns can be reduced by keeping the wick trimmed to the appropriate length.
Candles can be used for decoration, to create a relaxing atmosphere, or to provide light. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be scented or unscented.
During burning, the heat from the flame causes the wax to melt around the wick, which draws in air and vaporizes, providing fuel for the fire. The wick also acts as a guide to keep the flame on the correct path.
While candles are usually made from some type of wax, they can be created from any solid material that will maintain a flame when burned, including animal fats like tallow. Additives can be added to help with consistency and appearance, such as stearic acid.
Candles are popular for mood, ambiance and decoration, but they also offer the opportunity to control the scent in an environment. Fragrance is linked to mood and can help stimulate the brain, change thought processes, and even lower blood pressure.
The best way to ensure that your candles smell great is to use the highest quality fragrances. Vinevida offers an extensive range of high-quality candle fragrance oils, which are blended by master IFRA perfumers and made in the USA using CGMP standards.
To make a fragrant candle, simply add the desired amount of fragrance oil to the liquid wax and stir. Then, pour the wax into the prepared container and allow it to cool before adding the wick. If you are not sure how much fragrance a particular wax blend can hold, check the label or this online calculator.
Candles can create a nice ambiance, but they can also cause fires when placed near combustible materials or when left unattended. They can also release toxic chemicals like toluene, benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons into the air. This is especially true of candles crafted with paraffin waxes sourced from fossil fuels and those infused with synthetic fragrances containing phthalates, which disrupt endocrine function.
Despite this, long term studies haven’t yet shown that the small amounts of these pollutants released by burning candles pose a health risk in most people. Still, if you’re under surveillance for, living with or in remission from bladder cancer or have chronic lung conditions, you might want to limit your use of candles or opt for naturally good-smelling alternatives such as beeswax and coconut.