It's officially candle season and we've had an exciting new arrival from Plum & Ashby called Fireside Embers. It's perfect for autumn and winter, its scent fills the room with the warming scent of a crackling fire which is ideal as the days get shorter and the urge to hibernate takes hold. Especially given how dismal 2020 has been so far!
I'm a self-confessed scented candle enthusiast and as you'll have guessed, I sell a fair few at Tailor Made Living. It's fair to say that I know my onions where good quality scented candles are concerned and I want to help you make the most of yours.
Be aware of what you are buying
Generally speaking, with scented candles you get what you pay for although not always... look out for things such a the type of wax and the type of the fragrance.
You might be surprised to learn that some well known high-end brands use paraffin wax to make their candles which is petroleum based and not what you want to burn inside your home.
It's a similar scenario with fragrances which are often synthetic, as a general rule, if you don't recognise what is listed on the ingredients label it's unlikely to be natural, often this goes hand in hand with a poor scent throw (i.e. doesn’t smell of anything) so consider what you spend your hard earned cash on. I personally recommend scented candles made from a naturally derived wax (soy, coconut, rapeseed) and a blend of essential oils.
Give it time to burn
Deciding to light your candle is a big moment, I know it’s tempting to blow your candle out soon after lighting it to prolong its life but it is THE worst thing you can do!
Some manufacturers recommend burning the candle for two hours when you light it for the first time. This allows the top layer of wax to melt fully, ensuring an even burn next time you light it. Crucially this prevents tunnelling, ever seen a tunnel appear around the wick of a candle? This is a sign that the wax hasn't been given enough time to burn. Aim for about about a half a centimetre layer of melted wax on the top of your vessel before you blow it out.
Trim the wick regularly
Trimming the wick is really important for a number of reasons - the longer the wick the faster your candle will burn, so trimming it will definitely make it last longer.
A neatly trimmed wick also prevents 'mushrooming' which as the name suggests, is a mushroom like residue that forms at the top of the wick. Mushrooming is usually a sign of a good scented candle as it is simply an accumulation of essential oils.
Keeping the wick short before each burn prevents black smoke from occurring and ensures the glass isn't overheating. Use a wick trimmer or pinch it with your thumb and index finger once it has cooled.
Don't place your candle in a draughty area
Sounds obvious but draughts will make your candle burn faster!
Look after your glass jar
Wiping the edges clean of any black residue after each burn is advisable, gently wipe away with a soft cloth and warm soapy water. Make sure it's completely dry before you light your candle again! Finally, why not give your jar a new lease of life, they work well for storing makeup brushes as well as pencils. You can also repurpose it as a plant pot or tea light holder.
I hope you find some of my tips useful and don't hesitate to get in touch if you want to swap notes!
Explore Tailor Made Living's scented candle collection here