It’s obvious, well, in a way, that difference to candles will hold different amounts of fragrance. This is mostly dependent on the type of wax used to make the candle. The popular types of wax are paraffin wax, soy wax, coconut wax and beeswax. Wax blends can also be used to make candles.
Some manufacturers blend different wax types together to make something unique and new. The aim is usually to combine the characteristics of one with the other and sometimes, it works out.
The ability of a candle to hold a fragrance depends on the fragrance load and the fragrance content. The fragrance load or scent load of a candle is the ratio of oil to wax in a candle. Oil here meaning the fragrance oils being added. The scent load describes the amount of fragrance a wax type can be loaded with; how much fragrance you can add to a candle before it begins to bleed.
Fragrance bleeding is shown by oily spots on the surface of the candle. It usually happens when the fragrance has not bonded well with the wax or when too much fragrance is used. The fragrance content is the amount of oil in the candle mix. These two parameters are calculated in different ways and either one can be used to determine the amount of fragrance oil to add to the candle mix.
The fragrance load is the most related to the topic of this article. It is the major determinant of how much fragrance a candle can hold. Different candles are made from different waxes and different waxes have their unique fragrance loads.
TYPES OF CANDLES BASED ON WAX USED
The types of candles lead us to the types of waxes and the commonest ones are:
- Paraffin Wax: This is an inexpensive wax derived from crude oil(petroleum). It is used in candle making, skincare, cosmetics manufacture, as a lubricant and as an electrical insulator too. It is popular among candle manufacturing brands as it can hold a high amount of fragrance. This means that its fragrance load is very high. It also holds a high amount of colour. Despite all of these, it really is not the healthiest candle option, especially for homes. It contains alkanes so, burning it produces toxic fumes which are harmful to the lungs. You definitely don’t want that around children or anyone at all. Since it’s a secondary product of the oil industry, it is not eco-friendly at all. It’s harming the environment’s health and harming yours at the same time.
- Beeswax: This is a 100% natural wax made from the honeycomb of honeybees and other bees. It is eco-friendly and even purifies the air in your homes. Beeswax is harvested alongside honest and for this reason, it has a sweet aroma with a hint of honey scent in it. It can be used in the manufacture of container candles and unscented pillar candles. It can also be used as a fragrance in the making of soaps and perfumes. It is used in several formulations as a thickener, emulsifier and stiffening agent but, on to its usefulness in candle making. Unlike paraffin wax, beeswax doesn’t hold fragrance well. It presents issues when it comes to scent-trapping. The addition of coconut oil to the candle mix helps to trap the scent of essential oils added. Yes, natural essential oils are always the best choice when it comes to fragrance additives used with beeswax in making candles. Although it has many advantages, it is quite expensive.
- Coconut Wax: This is a plant-based wax. It is also 100% natural wax as you may have deduced from the “plant-based” part. It is a colourless, odourless wax derived from coconut meat. It can also be made by mixing soy wax and coconut oil. It is eco-friendly since as long as the coconuts being harvested keep getting replaced, the environment will be fine. It burns cleanly and holds fragrance real well. It also holds colour well. It’s quite sad that this is the most expensive type of wax to produce and work with. In spite of this, coconut wax is probably the healthiest type of wax to use in making candles. It burns with way less spot than all the other types of candles.
- Soy Wax: Soy wax is another plant-based wax. It is made from the hulls of soybeans. Although it is 100% natural, it does pose some problems. It is difficult to handle in candle making. It is easily affected by temperature. It also experiences something called ‘frost’, a thin white layer of wax on the candle’s surface. Soy wax candles burn cleaner. They also result in less soot. Soy wax holds fragrance well, but not as well as paraffin wax. Soy wax poses a threat to the world’s green percentage; plant life. If more soybeans plants are planted as they’re harvested, a balance will be struck and this will help with the threat.
Paraffin wax is, without a doubt, the best fragrance holder. Although soy waxes hold fragrance well, they can be very picky about the fragrance oils they choose to be compatible with. Paraffin waxes provide a better scent throw. The scent throw of a candle is its fragrance strength, how strong it smells. The cold throw is the fragrance strength of the candle when it is cold(not lit). The hot scent throw is the scent strength of the candle when it’s is hot(lighted). It also describes how much aroma the candle gives off when unlit or lit.
Fragrance oils consist of organic compounds like alcohols, aldehydes and esters. Organic compounds are hardly ever soluble in inorganic solvents. Since paraffins are made up of organic compounds too, the two dissolve in each other easily.
So, that’s it! Paraffin waxes, as bad as they are, as toxic as they are to you and the environment, have their advantages. Great scent load, but is it really worth the toxins?