Candles are quite simple tools. Made solely from wick and wax, they operate by means of a simple mechanism. And they have been in use for several thousands of years.

For a very long time, candles were one of the major means of indoor illumination and, while that is still the game, it is an undeniable fact that technology has certainly changed the game.

Since the discovery of electricity and the subsequent invention of the electric light bulb, in the late 19th century, candles have faded out of popularity. However, times have changed.



There are different kinds of candles in the world, and they come in all forms of shapes and sizes, based on factors such as the kind of containers they are housed in, the kind of molds used in their making, the types of candle wax used in their production, the types of dyes used, the kinds of wicks they contain and so many other nuances; that have come as a result of several millennia’s worth of experimentation, where candle making is concerned.

It has to be said that humanity has always been innovative and industrious; humans as a species have always been in search of simpler ways of fixing their problems with the technology available at specific moments in time. Several thousands of years ago, darkness was one of the major problems facing mankind, and so great efforts were expended in the areas of indoor illumination. The different kinds of candles available in the world today are simply a product of that relentless, great pursuit.

Well, at least, that much was true until the invention of the electric light bulb in the 1800s. These days, new advances are still being made in the field of candle making, and it has very little to do with indoor illumination. This time around, people are more concerned about the widespread usage of candles in aromatherapy, and the technology is way more advanced than it has ever been; so the products being manufactured tend to be a lot more sophisticated.

Nevertheless, the various categories into which candles can be grouped include the following:

  • Scented and unscented candles

One of the major ways in which candles can be grouped is based on their scent.

Some kinds of candles do not contain any kind of added fragrances or essential oils. They are called unscented candles, and are not normally used in the field of aromatherapy (because they contain no form of aroma or scents within them). There is another kind of unscented candles that manage to emit aromas, despite the fact that they do not contain any kind of additional fragrances or perfumes. This includes beeswax (which produces a subtle type of pleasant scent while burning, even when no additional fragrance has been added to it while it is being manufactured), and tallow wax, which usually smells like burning fat when it is lit.

Scented candles, on the other hand (i.e. the type of candles to which additional fragrance has been added), is typically used in the field of aromatherapy, because they are known to emit pleasant scents due to the inclusion of essential oils during their production.

Scented candles occur in different aromas which include peppermint, cinnamon, lavender, citrus, sandalwood, rose etc. And because they occur in such a wide array, scented candles can typically be purchased based on preference.

  • Colored and uncolored candles

Any way of classifying candles is on the basis of their color.

Candles are usually said to be colored or white. White candles are a lot more common compared to other types, because they do not require the addition of dye (which means that their cost of production is a lot cheaper).

White candles are not always the same as uncolored candles, because some uncolored candles may not always white. For instance, tallow candles have a natural yellow tint that comes as a result of the components of the animal fat used in their making. Such types of candles – that are not naturally white – are usually bleached in order to attain their white color.

Paraffin wax, however, is typically white. It is also one of the best types of candle waxes for making colored candles, because it reacts very well with dyes.

The presence of dyes in colored candle wax may lead to certain effects that may not be favorable to the candle’s lifespan. For example, the dyes may cause the candle wax to burn very hot, and result in the candle burning at a faster rate than normal.

  • Beeswax, Tallow wax, Soy wax etc

The type of candle wax used in making candles is one of the major ways by which candles can be classified. In this category, we have examples such as beeswax, tallow wax, soy wax, and other types of candle waxes (some of which are combinations of other types of waxes, in different percentages). Each of these types of candle waxes has their own unique properties. For instance; tallow wax, which is arguably the oldest type of candle wax in the world, burns with the emission of the smell of burning fat. Its flame also gives off a considerable amount of impurities compared to other types of candles. In contrast, the flames of beeswax candles are some of the cleanest in the candle making industry.


Due to the fact that candles are made in all sorts of shapes and sizes, every type tends to have its own lifespan or burn time. One of the questions people ask regarding this is: “How long does an 8 oz candle burn?”

Well, according to experts, most candles below 12 ounces in weight are likely to burn for 4 – 7 hours per ounce. Therefore, an 8 ounce candle is likely to burn for 32 -56 hours, depending on factors such as the quality of the wax, the type of wick used and so on.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top