Wax and wicks

The key to long-burning candles: healthy wax and good wicks.

soy wax burns cleaner than paraffin.

Soy wax is composed of sustainable ingredients, while paraffin candles contain several carcinogenic compounds.

A quarter inch is the magic wick length.

Wicks that are too small will wind up drowning in a pool of wax. Wicks that are too large devour, rather than melt, the wax. For a stronger scent, use scent oil, but add it to the wax just before pouring and not a moment before.

candle making is science and art all wrapped up in one.

the most difficult step for me in the process is choosing a scent. The shop boasted a 100-fragrance library.

Our noses sniffed leather and wood, floral and ocean, champagne and vanilla and multitudes more.

Candles have been around a long, long time. Historians have traced them back as early as 300 BC. The Chinese used beeswax and animal fats to fashion them. Candles in Japan were made with wax mined from tree nuts.

In Europe, candles were created from fat saved in kitchens. Makes sense to me.

In their heyday, candles were what illuminated and, oftentimes, heated the world. I can hear the old timers now:

candles were as essential then as electricity is to us today. And it was electricity that blew out their reign on flame.

Still, in our what is hot and what is not society, candles are hot. Pun intended. You can find two or three or five in nearly every home and even more in gift shops.

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