|Home Improvement Information|
Strongly Scented Candles: Use your mouth, nose and eyes to tell
Triple scented, heavily scented, strongly scented - these are all phrases candle manufacturers are using to tout their claim that their candles have more "smell" for your buck. In reality, these claims only act to confuse most consumers. Candles are made with so many different wax blends, it can be difficult to know for sure how well a cold candle will perform until it is lit. That means, in most cases, buying the candle first. So what can you do if you're eager to try a new candle scent or candles form a new company? Use your senses to make sense of the scents!
A primer on candlemaking: for traditional paraffin candles, while the ingredient list may differ from maker to make, the concept is the same: refined petroleum distillates (paraffin wax) is combined with additives and a wick is incorporated to make the finished candle product. The more refined the paraffin, the fewer impurities there are in the wax, which helps reduce sooting or contamination in the candle. Many companies tout "food grade wax" which means that the wax (not the additives mixed with it) is suitable in food related uses (like canning). Once you throw additives into the mix, that claim doesn't mean as much.
Additives like vybar, stearic acid, translucent and lustre crystals all have a different effect on the wax. Some are hardeners, while others cause the product de-mold more easily, and others still give the candle a different glow quality. Fragrance and color, which are also wax additives mind you, can further affect the burn and, obviously the fragrance, of the candle mix. Ultimately, the wick is what carries all those chemicals to the flame, releasing your favorite aroma into the air. It is the combination of these additives that give each candle a distinct character.
As for "triple scented" and the like, this stems from old candlemaking wisdom that suggests using approximately 1/3 - 1/2 ounce of fragrance per pound of your wax recipe. this is called your fragrance load. Those additives can serve as an oil binder, helping to lock in fragrance and color, depending on the oil content of the same. Thus, a "triple scented" candle is one that uses roughly 1 to 1.5 ounces of fragrance per pound of wax.
Depending on the wax blend, however, a candle may or may not be able to hold that much fragrance without leeching or burning improperly. Leeching occurs when the oils from the fragrance or coloring seep from the candle. It is more apparent in a tealight, because it has a greasy appearance inside the cup. It will also tend to soot more because of the excess oil that is burning. Candles that hold in too much of that fragrance just won't have the wonderful aroma you desire when it burns.
So how do you combat all this? First, use your mouth. Ask questions about how the candle is made, or visit the website of the candle maker. While you're not likely to get their secret recipe from them, you should be able to get candle basics like burn times, wick content and fragrance load. Ask for a sample. While you may not get a department store to oblige, many on-line retailers will be glad to let you sample their wares, especially since you may not feel comfortable trying a product you've never smelled before!
Next, use your nose. A cold candle should have a good scent throw (a normal nose should be able to smell it about an arm's length away). Compare the cold throw of your new fragrance to ones you've previously tried. This is the way most people select their candles, and on the whole should be a fair indicator of the relative strength of the fragrance when it burns. Further, use your mouth again. When you smell the candle, can you taste it? Fragrance that lingers will usually leave an aftertaste in your mouth. If you're comparing several scents, sniff back and forth several times using deep inhalations. Try not to get light headed, and after a while, one fragrance should become more prominent. Your brain is processing out the weaker fragrance, and all you'll be able to smell is the stronger one. This works for food scents as well as other non-food fragrances.
Now look at the candle. According to a national survey, color is one of the least important reasons for buying a candle (scent is number one). While color may make a difference in your choice, what you're really looking for are three things: texture, leeching and wicking. Does the candle appear smooth and glossy or rough, even bubbly? With the obvious exception of novelty candles (like "snow" candles), a well-made candle should be smooth, with no pockets, bubbles or mars. It shouldn't look like an oil slick, either - a sure sign of leeching. Finally, look at the wick, if you have a 3 inch pillar in your hand, you should have roughly a 30-ply wick in there (certainly not a votive sized wick!). The candle will burn too slow, and eventually drown out if the wick is too small. Too big, and the wax is consumed too quickly, creating lots of smoke and soot. Cotton wicks burn hotter than zinc cored wicks, and nearly all metal cored wicks in the US are zinc, not lead. This is another misconception the candle world has foisted on consumers. Lead wicking was all but done away with in the US, when a pact was signed by US candlemakers decades ago. Foreign manufacturers may still use them, however, so know teh country of origin for your candles. Basically every US candlemaker should be using lead-free wicking, so that claim doesn't mean much anymore.
With a little practice, any candle connoiseur can become a pro at sniffing out the strongest scents. This method also works with other candle types as well. Soy and gel candles both burn slower than traditional paraffin and can hold more fragrance. A recent addition to the candle market, resin-based candles, hold even more fragrance such that scent throw on a cold candle can be significant even from a few feet away. In any case, trust your senses. If you doubt your own, borrow a friend! Between you, the real scent sleuthing will become clear.
Lisa Robbin is the Director of Product Development for the giving candle, the maker of Heavenly Gems resin-based clear candles. Lisa writes articles on all things candle related in an effort to educate consumers about making the most out of their candle purchases. You can email her directly at email@example.com
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Non-profit launches low interest loans for home improvement just in time for hurricane season - ABC Action News
What is Design Psychology and How Will it Help Me?
In this article, we'll be taking a look at the most basic aspects of Design Psychology, first asking a question, and then addressing the various concepts, in abbreviated form."I wish I had learned all this before we bought our first house 25 years ago, and before we had our children.
Got Attic Mold? Lets Talk Energy Conservation!
It happens to countless homeowners around the end of the year - you make the annual visit to your attic to collect the holiday decorations and what do you find? Spots and blotches covering the bottom of the roof sheathing.Worse yet - it turns out to be attic mold!What does energy conservation have to do with mold in the attic? Well if you take a step back and consider how the house behaves as system, they are often directly related.
The Ten Most Important Feng Shui Design Tips
If you wish to learn how to manage interior design according to feng shui design guidelines, there are some major tips you must know. We wish to help you achieve a balanced and harmonic feng shui design for any environment you wish it to be.
Baking Soda for Cleaning
Baking soda is a common, inexpensive household item that can be used for many kinds of cleaning projects. In an era when we are all exposed to many toxic chemicals, it's nice to know that something so mild can be effective.
Building Permits and Inspections
Probably the most intimidating part of building your own house is the permit process. Not only do the the requirements vary from township to township, but at times the decisions made seem so subjective that we find ourselves seething in frustration.
An Interview with Design Psychology Expert Jeanette Fisher
Interview with Jeanette Fisher by Gary Anderson, of www.abciowa.
Bathroom Remodel - The Plan
Planning a bathroom remodel? Each home project of this nature can be broken down into 5 distinct steps. Following through each step will help this often confusing process make more sense and produce a better outcome.
How I Got A Robot To Vacuum The House
Like most people I really hated to vacuum the house. I thought anyone who enjoyed vacuuming was close to insanity.
Change The Style Of Your Interior With A Minimum Of Costs
The style of your interior depends for a great part on the decoration on the walls. Using the right picture on the right place can make your room look bigger.
What To Look For In Persian Rugs
Selecting a Persian rug can be a daunting task for most people. There is a lot of misinformation out there as to what to look for.
Sliding Glass Door Replacement
This article is going to be about replacing an old sliding glass door with a modern Vinyl frame sliding glass door. If you currently have french doors and you want to replace them with sliding doors, or vise versa, future articles will cover that topic.
Five Ways to Create a Healthy Home
Have you ever thought of your home as being healthy or unhealthy? While the concept of a healthy home may be new to some of us, it is steadily gaining popularity with homeowners. A healthy home can include a number of elements from building materials used to construct your home to using non-toxic cleaning products.
Why Hardwood Flooring is a Good Investment
Hardwood flooring has a timeless air of qualityHardwood floors have decorated some of the most exclusive mansions and estates in history and still exude a feeling of permanence and classic quality compared to manufactured floors.Hardwood floors are naturalHardwood floors bring the natural outdoors inside, and do not contain man-made chemicals in the wood itself.
Planning Your Replacement Windows Installation
Windows are the eyes of a home. From inside, you see the outside world through them.
Chairs, Rocking Chairs and Other Comfortable Places To Park It!
A chair is one of the best inventions ever made. If you've been standing a long time what can appeal more to the eye than a comfortable chair.
Designing With Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are suited to both casual and formal environments; they feel at home with modern or traditional and will compliment the decor of both minimalist and eclectic designs. Hardwood can be classic, rock, jazz, country, or hip hop.
Geothermal Heat Pumps 101
It seems like about three million of you have asked me to explain how a geothermal system works. Well, maybe not three million, but it's a bunch of you and I'm honored that I have the opportunity to do it.
Remove Carpet Stains - The How To
Your short lesson on how to remove carpet stains: act fast. Carpets today (most) come with stain-resistant treatments, so spills can be removed if you get to them quickly.
Hardwood Floor Care Will Keep Your Hardwood Looking Fantastic
Hardwood is still the homeowner's favorite choice of flooring and caring for it takes minimal effort. Unlike laminate or engineered wood, hardwood can be refinished many times, and will add years of beauty and warmth to your home, as well as increase its value and speed its resale.
Save Money On Home Improvement Projects
Many of us avoid home improvement projects due to their expense. Granted if you are contemplating a "second-story" addition to your home, or the construction of a new "game-room", then most likely you will need to hire a general contractor to complete this task.
|home | site map|