Ingredient Feature: Paraffin Wax
Scented Candles Burn Bright
What’s better than a gift that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving? Thymes scented candles bloom beautifully when wicks are lit, and even when they’re not.
That’s because our candles are created without compromise to make the most of your fragrance experience.
Candles have deep resonance for humankind. Indeed, the ability to create fire separates us from all other creatures. What’s more, candles have been used in ancient rites since time immemorial. The scent of wax pervades European and Latino cathedrals, Hindu temples and Buddhist altars. Candles have illuminated the study areas of scholars’ libraries. And candlelight has kindled more than a few romances.
In home fragrance, the flicker of a wick can spread a delicious, evocative aroma throughout the living space, making it a welcoming enhancement to any environment.
At Thymes, we take that home fragrance experience personally. According to Suzy Dupont, R&D manager, our aromatic candles go through rigorous testing to optimize their quality. Those tests determine which wax base—paraffin, soy, beeswax—will best relay the scent’s unique characteristics, while delivering a long-lasting, clean, safe and satisfying burn.
The flicker of a wick can spread a delicious, evocative aroma anywhere.
After extensive testing of many wax options, Thymes chose to use FDA-approved food-grade paraffin. That’s because it allows fragrances to remain truer, bloom more brilliantly and burn cleaner.
“We try to have all the nuances of a Thymes fragrance come out,” Suzy says. “The scent of soy wax influences the fragrance,” lending an odor she describes as “buttery.” Beeswax, she adds, also has a distinct smell, “so it would possibly compete with the fragrance notes.”
Though paraffin is a petroleum byproduct, it consistently delivers the most enjoyable product experience.
Food-grade paraffin wax—meaning it’s safe enough to eat, not that you would—is fully refined, containing less than 1% crude oil. As a result, the wax has little odor and color. Refined waxes release less smoke and soot and allow the intricate notes of a fragrance to bloom clearly.
The combination of food-grade waxes and a well-designed burn result in high-quality Thymes scented candles.
Still, with Thymes ever eager to pursue the best available options, the quest for improvement is always on. Says Suzy, “Every year, I’ll ask, ‘What’s going on in the natural wax world? Any new developments we need to evaluate?’”
Suzy recommends trimming the candle wick before each lighting and keeping the candle away from drafts; this is very important to reduce smoking and sooting.
Suzy explains the process of formulating an aromatic candle as one of try and try again. First, Stacy Brown, Thymes Fragrance Specialist, develops a composition to expand our perfumery palette. Next, the candle manufacturer we work with blends that the fragrance into a wax base.
Then, about a dozen Thymes team members will sample the candle—in the office, at home, both lit and unlit—to evaluate its every facet.
“We’ll decide on the fragrance level based on how those samples bloom,” Suzy says. “We look at both the cold throw, the fragrance from the candle when it isn’t burning, and the hot throw, the fragrance that is released into the air when it’s burning.”
Finally, the candle is “optimized,” Suzy says. “We’ll make sure the wax is fully consumed within the glass, make sure the flame height is appropriate, that it doesn’t smoke or soot, among many other details.”
Scented candles that have survived the painstaking process—and thrive in the marketplace—include those offered in Indigenous, Offerings, Wildwood and Frasier Fir home fragrance lines, as well as an aromatic candle for every Thymes bath and body collection.
After 10 years perfecting candles, which is Suzy’s favorite? After thinking a moment, she names Indigenous Verbena Bamboo. “It’s a lemon, light, clean, fresh scent that I like,” she says.
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