The World of Fragrances: A Guide to Candles

For the longest time, human beings have been receptive to smell. It is one of our primary sensory activities and has assisted us greatly in survival. Early civilisations had tribes that could smell the earth and predict the weather, smell the air and locate the source of food, and perform other marvellous tasks using smell alone!

Today, although we do not use our sense of smell to detect things, we are still sensitive to the surrounding fragrances that waft in the air. Research reports that rich aromas not only make one’s day significantly better, but they also help in mental and physical improvement. Today, many companies manufacture themed candles like Christmas scented candles in Australia to invoke in people the nostalgia and happiness of festivals as and when they please.

The scented candle and other aromatic homewares market in Australia have spiked amid the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, the market carried a value of almost $530 million! Statistics predict that the trends and sales will only increase in 2021. Exports of candles are also expected to improve in Australia from 2021 through 2026.

Scented Candles

Candles were first used as early as the tenth century BCE. Early candle models were simple: just a wick stuck into flammable material. Romans were the first people to make candles out of animal fat and use them to provide light. These tallow candles soon gave rise to the candle-making market in the 15th-century guilds.

Candles were previously used as table-top lights, street lights or even guild tools. However, today, candles are added to birthday cakes; they are used as decorations in a candelabra and come in various shapes and sizes! The concept of scented candles has been a recent phenomenon.

Nascent origins of scented candles were observed in 500 BC when candles were made by dipping rolled papyrus. However, the early concept of scented candles came up in the Victorian era, where they were commonly used in ceremonies to mask unpleasant odours. Today, the need has been inverted. Scented candles are not used to mask odours but are instead used to enjoy pleasant aromas!

Types of Candle Wax

Candles that were made from animal fat have slowly been replaced and replicated into more sustainable options. Earlier candles that were reserved for the elite were made of beeswax as well. But these were options that were not only expensive but also harmful. Wicks, too, are slowly transforming from cotton to wooden. Wooden wicks promote slower and safer burning than cotton wicks.

Modern Christmas scented candles in Australia are popularly made of paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is cheap and found in abundance. It is used to sustain the mass market demands. However, it is not environmentally friendly and has been gradually replaced by plant-based candles. A mixture of hydrogenated soy and palm oil burned without soot was found to be environmentally friendly!

Types of Candles

Candles come in various sizes and shapes. They also differ in form and content based on the occasion they are used for. Here are a few popular types:

  • Taper Candles: These are the most basic models when it comes to candles. They are window candles that offer a classic look to any room. They are typically unscented and are used only for lighting purposes.
  • Votives: Votives are candles specially used for decoration during events. These are compact and easy to use. They come in small glasses and are typically scented. Nowadays, votives are infused according to the occasion! For example, one can easily find Christmas scented candles in Australia to light up their home–be it during Christmas or when one’s missing the Christmassy vibe!
  • Fuel Cartridges: These are candle lamps filled with wax with a burning duration of 8 to 100 hours, based on container size. Typically, these are models used in aromatherapy and come in mild scents like vanilla, hazelnut, etc.

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