Scented candles have become increasingly popular over the past few decades, providing soothing aromas and ambient lighting to homes and offices. But where do these delightful candles come from? Let’s take a look at how scented candles are made and some of the major manufacturers producing them today.
The Candle Making Process
While methods vary between manufacturers, the basic process of making scented candles is fairly straightforward. It starts with selecting the wax, which serves as the base and main component of candles. Common types used include paraffin, soy, and beeswax. Paraffin wax is a petroleum byproduct that is odorless, colorless, and inexpensive. Soy wax comes from soybeans and is also odorless and colorless. Beeswax is made by honey bees and has a natural honey aroma.
Once the wax type is chosen, fragrance oils are added to give the candle its signature scent. These oils are usually synthetic or essential oils blended together. Popular scents include lavender, vanilla, apple cinnamon, fresh linen, and mahogany teakwood. The fragrance oils are carefully mixed into the melted wax at percentages between 5% to 15% of the total candle mass. Too much oil can cause issues like marbling, sweating, and shrinking in the final product.
Dyes may also be added to give the wax color. Common colors are red, blue, yellow, green, and brown. The melted wax is then poured into containers, allowed to cool and harden, and the wicks are inserted. Wicks are typically made of braided cotton that serve to deliver the melted wax via capillary action. The final steps involve trimming the wicks, applying labels, and packaging the finished candles.
Major Scented Candle Manufacturers
Many companies worldwide manufacture and sell scented candles. Here are a few of the major players:
Yankee Candle – This Massachusetts company is one of the most well-known candle brands globally. They offer over 200 scents and have an extensive catalog of jar, votive, pillar, and tealight candles. Popular options include Clean Cotton, Pink Sands, and Lemon Lavender.
Bath & Body Works – This retailer is known for their fragrant body care products, but they also have an impressive candle collection. Top-selling scents include Mahogany Teakwood, Fresh Balsam, and Vanilla Bean. Their 3-wick candles burn evenly and provide great ambiance.
Village Candles – Based in Virginia, this company offers soy-blend candles with unique scent options like Blueberry Pancakes, Ocean Breeze, and Mulberry. They have an eco-friendly focus and use renewable resources in their candle making process.
IKEA – The Swedish furniture giant offers a range of quality yet affordable scented candles. Popular picks are the Vinterfest pine and cinnamon scented candles that evoke cozy winter vibes. Their generic scents like floral, fruity, spicy, and woody are also solid options.
Voluspa – Hand poured in California, Voluspa candles have innovative fragrance blends like Santiago Huckleberry, Mokara Peppercorn, and Baltic Amber. Their elegant packaging and clean-burning coconut wax makes them ideal gifts.
Crafting Your Own Candles
Beyond purchasing manufactured candles, many candle enthusiasts also enjoy making their own creations at home. The basic steps are similar to industrial production, but on a smaller scale. Hobbyists can find candle wax, wicks, jars, and fragrance oils at local craft stores or online. Popular projects include putting dried flowers in the wax for appearance, or blending custom scented oil combinations. With some practice, homemade candles can look and smell just as amazing as professionally made ones.
The popularity of scented candles continues growing, driven by their soothing ambiance and therapeutic aromas. Consumers have ample options between the major candle companies and crafting their own. Whether looking to unwind after a long day or make a house smell seasonal, scented candles are the perfect accessory to brighten up any home. Light one up and enjoy the warm glow and pleasant fragrance.