The Triple Scented Debate – Soy Candles

22 Sep

Triple Scented - is your chandler comparing apples and oranges

I am a regular stalker and contributor on several candle groups on Facebook – it’s something you kind of fall into when you make candles … it’s sometimes something I wish I had never found, but that’s another post altogether! Anyway, there are a number of topics that come up over and over, and the question of the term ‘triple scented’ is one of them.

Frequently you will find these words used as a marketing pull. It is aimed at making the reader believe the candle they are buying must be superior or more luxurious than other candles. It makes you feel that your candle has been made with no expense spared. And that’s fair enough, but what does it really mean? Actually, it means nothing much at all! Let me share a little bit of candle history with you …

Traditionally candles have been made with a paraffin wax. All waxes act like sponges, i.e. you can only add so much oil to them before they are unable to soak up any more. Paraffin wax is only able to hold around a 3% fragrance oil load. Any more than that and the oil will seep out and give the appearance of sweat. Fragrance oils also have a flashpoint which is the temperature beyond which they will combust when touched by a naked flame. Paraffin wax melts and burns at very high temperatures so it would be dangerous to overload the wax with fragrance oil.

~ In fact it would be dangerous to overload any form of wax with fragrance oil ~

Over recent years the introduction of vegetable waxes has given the candle making community opportunities to use larger ratios of fragrance oil to wax as these waxes soak up more oil. For example, pure soy wax can hold a maximum of 10% fragrance oil load … can you see where I’m going with this? Yes, that’s right! Comparing the new soy waxes with paraffin waxes allowed the makers to claim that their new candles were ‘triple scented’ – they used to hold 3% and now they hold three times that amount at 10%. Yay! Of course the reality is that we are comparing apples with oranges 🙂

So then, the term ‘triple scented’ in that context means absolutely nothing.

However, that said there are candle makers around who use the term to describe something entirely different. For example some will say that their fragrances have ‘top, middle and bottom notes’, which is true of most fragrances. Others use the term to describe their triple coloured candles where each layer is a different fragrance.

And so, it would make sense to clarify with your candle maker exactly what they mean by ‘triple scented’.

Oh, and if they respond with their candles being scented three times as much as others on the market please take great care when burning the candles …

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