The candle is one of mankind’s greatest inventions and it has been in existence for thousands of years, ever since man started looking for new sources of indoor illumination. However, the discovery of electricity and the invention of the light bulb have resulted in massive changes in the candle making industry, as they have led to immeasurable impacts on the demand for candles across the globe. However, the growing popularity of scented candles in the past decade has led to renewed global interest in candles and many budding candle makers are now beginning to wonder what makes a candle unique.
WHAT MAKES A CANDLE UNIQUE?
The question of what makes a candle unique is not one that can be answered easily. This is because there are a number of factors involved in the uniqueness of a candle, and it is not always easy to determine what particular feature sets one candle apart from others; because even among the same types of candles, differences can occur. However, some of the most common features that can make one candle stand out among others include the following:
- The color of the candle
While white candles are the most common and arguably the most desired, colored candles tend to stand out. Candles in colors such as pink, green lavender, red, white and even black are quite common in the markets today. And these colored candles have the advantage of grabbing the attention of potential customers, right off the bat. So, if you’re looking for one very simple and cost effective way to make your homemade stand out, you might want to consider dyeing them up.
The process of producing colored candles is nearly the same as that of producing normal white candles, other than the addition of certain dyes which would give the desired colors in the required shades. These dyes maybe plant-bases and they are usually added to the candle wax while it is in its melted, liquid form; before it is cooled and solidified in molds, to form candlesticks. After dyes are added to candle wax in this form, it is very important to mix them in properly, in order to produce an even-colored candlestick (i.e. if so desired), in the right shade.
Dyeing a candle does not always affect its scent. However, there are certain dyes that may also result in the addition of a particular smell to the resultant colored candles. Most of the time, this kind of scent is undesirable and these types of dyes should not be used in producing colored candles.
- The shape of the candle
Another thing that can make a candle unique is its shape. Candles typically come in a long vertical and cylindrical shape, with no additional designs. And so any candle that comes in a different shape will automatically stand out from all others. However, the problem inherent in changing the shape of a candle, or deviating from the typical cylindrical shape, is that the normal candle shape serves a functional purpose. The typical shape of a candle aids the proper burning of the candle, as well as the efficient melting of candle wax. And so, producing fancy-shaped candles may not be the way to go if you are not willing to take steps to ensure that these new shapes are also functional in the sense that they would also support the proper burning of the candle and the proper melting of the candle wax. Nevertheless, even without changing the shape of your candles by using atypical molds, simple designs and patterns can still be made on the body of the candle, either by carving or by molding. Doing this will surely set your candle apart from others in the market.
- The quality of the materials
The quality of the materials used in making a candle can make it stand out for good or for bad. When low quality candle wax, coloring agents or dyes and wicks are used, the candle produced at the end of the day is usually of very low quality. Conversely, when high quality candle wax, dyes and wicks are used in candle production, the candles produced are usually of high quality.
Materials of high quality are typically more expensive and less accessible compared to those of poor quality. And so, as a candle-maker (or chandler), you may feel like you should opt for those of low quality, so that you can produce more candles for less and still sell more. However, as with virtually every finished product in the market, candles also have a grade (or grading/rating) system and higher quality candles tend to be more desirable and more expensive than those of lower quality.
Candles of higher quality tend to burn brighter, with flames that are not too long or too small (i.e. about 1.5 cm in length), and they also produce less amount of spot while burning. Also, the melting of wax of candles of high quality tends to be more even compared to that of poor quality candles. Additionally, candles of high quality are less prone to having bubbles on the side or within the solid column of wax along with other common defects. They may also be less prone to tunneling.
- The scent
Scent is a pretty huge deal when it comes to determine the uniqueness of candles, particularly in the case of scented candles.
Unscented candles burn without odor however even that is a requirement (i.e. unscented candles should burn without giving off any odors and in any instance when this is not the case, the candles must be labeled differently).
Scented candles are typically infused with pleasant-smelling perfumes and fragrances (often of the plant-bases natural oil variety) and they come in different fragrances. Some of them are common and typical (e.g. lavender, vanilla and citrus scents). However, others are more unusual (e.g. pancake and sausage scents). A good way to create and market a unique candle, particularly one of the scented variety, is to infuse it with uncommon but pleasant-smelling scents, which are not readily available in the markets and the candle-maker industry as a whole.