Candles 101

Published July 19, 2012

We tend to purchase candles to mark special occasions, celebrate holidays or just to create a soothing atmosphere in the evening.  It’s important to know what kind of candle you are purchasing before you use it because not all candles are created equal.

With all the choices available today, here are a few tips to help you choose the right candle for you.

Once in awhile, its nice to splurge on high quality candles that are made from food-grade paraffin wax. This high grade of paraffin is the best quality and best burning type of wax. Inexpensive candles are not made from a high quality grade of paraffin and therefore tend to burn quickly and spill a large amount of wax on your table. The price of the candle may be an indication of its quality.

Secondly, always choose unscented candles for your dining table. Scented candles will interfere with the aromas of the foods you are serving. Save the scented candles for your powder room and living room.

Setting the “burn pattern” of the candle is very important. When burning any type of candle, the first burning is the most critical. For example, a 3″ diameter candle should be lit for at least 3 hours. There should be a pool of liquid surrounding the wick of at least 2″ or more before you blow it out. The reason for this is because it will ensure that  the candle will  burn down evenly during subsequent lightings.

Another important point is to always keep the wick trimmed down to approximately 1/4″ long. Long wicks will result in too large a flame and therefore too much heat.

So, why do we pay for more scented candles?

The reason is simple. You are paying more for fragrance and essential oils, which are often blended like perfumes by the finer candle makers. These candles are produced in such a way as to make them unique.

The most heavily fragranced candles usually come in a glass jar. This is because of their high oil content. Prices for these candles range from $25 for a 3×3″ size and tend to have a 50 to 85 hour burn time. A candle of this size would easily scent a whole living room.

Lastly, keep the size of candle in mind when you are out doing your shopping.

Long and slim taper candles suggest refinement whereas votives are more warming and comforting. Tea lights are wonderful for simple elegance and large pillars are beautiful on mantles and coffee tables to create ambience.

For more information contact Christin at DaVinci’s on Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver.