Sustainability and Candles - Why I Prefer Soy Wax
Guest post by Ellie from The Greenish
Candles are such an important part of my home. I light them to make it feel cosy in winter and extend the light on a summer’s evening. I have candles to warm a room when guests are coming, and to snuggle up with the kids for a story.
They also have important memories. I remember the first time I went to Diptyque in Paris and smelt La Figuier - it changed everything. Candles went from being tea lights on a plate in my student halls to being a feature of light, smell, and feeling - as important as cushions and blankets. I even take them on holiday.
It’s a bit of a cliche nowadays, but when one of my besties moved to Copenhagen in 2014 I absolutely loved the way they used candles to create an atmosphere every evening. I try (and never quite manage) to recreate that at home - things like that never match the original though!
It was a bit of a surprise when I was reading an air quality strategy for work last year that candles came up as something to be careful within pollution terms. Not only is paraffin linked to some serious health issues, but it seems some candle manufacturers are also using a metal core for their wick - presumably to keep it upright - which releases toxins.
Since then I’ve been on the hunt for the most lovely scented and natural candles which are well priced and long-lasting.
On that search, we’ve tried plant, soy, beeswax, and vegetable wax. They’ve all got pros and cons. Beeswax carried too strong a base-scent for me, and vegetable waxes seem to burn quicker than others. Most are hard to find (particularly with branding I actually like!)
Overall, I’ve definitely found that soy candles are best for my home. And much easier to get hold of. They burn for hours, are completely natural, and seem to hold scent better than their paraffin peers.
I recently did the Yougi online candle-making workshop. It was really lovely. I learned a lot about candles and the materials but was really fascinated by the scent and natural oils teachings that Emily shared. It’s a great course and not too long.
My homemade Yougi ‘Happy’ candle is our fave - my kids take a smell every day!
By Eleanor Besley- Gould, founder of The Greenish.