Why do I use essential oils in my candles?


Many candles are made using synthetic fragrances (loads!), they are usually pretty easy to identify from the unnatural scent names such as "cotton candy" etc. Synthetic and artificial fragrance is optimised to work really well with wax - which sounds great! But the down side is the scent can sometimes be overpowering and not received well by those with sensitivities. They can trigger allergies, bring on headaches and in some cases even nausea. Sometimes if someone is suffering from these symptoms they blame other contributors as it doesn’t occur to them that that the lovely sweet smelling candle they are burning could possibly be the cause!

I am not for a minute saying that all synthetic fragrance is bad! There’s some really good stuff out there, and more natural versions too. But you don’t always know what you’re getting. It was only when I started making candles for fun that I started looking more carefully at the ingredients and realised how ambiguous some labelling is. The candle industry is unregulated after all.

Synthetic fragrance makes the cost of candle production cheaper, is very versatile and there are an incredible number of fantastical scents that can be created. But there is another option:

Essential oils have been used medicinally for hundreds of years and are a very powerful and potent form of plant medicine. Aromatherapists prescribe the therapeutic use of oils to treat or influence the mind, body and spirit in the pursuit of health and wellbeing. Their mood lifting properties are well known, lavender is commonly used to help with relaxation whereas citrus scents are bright and energising.

Essential oils are significantly more expensive because of the cost of extracting them from plants. For example, approximately 5ml of rose essential oil requires almost 10 kilograms of rose petals! That’s a lot of roses. That’s why the cost of each different oil varies significantly. They can be expensive and also limiting - oils aren’t as versatile as synthetic fragrance and are therefore restrictive in use. That’s why I only make container candles - you won’t find any lavish candle sculptures or candle artwork around here. I keep it simple and my focus is always about the mood I’m creating and quality of the ingredients I’m using.

I don’t pretend to be an Aromatherapist nor do I make any recommendations regarding the therapeutic use of oils. When asked, I do strongly encourage people to see Aromatherapists and do their own research, rather than taking advice from a social media essential oil enthusiast. I use essential oils in my candles for their genuine mood enhancing properties and I believe nature holds beautiful energy far better than any synthetic man-made fragrance or additives.

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