Facts about candles

Candles add to the beauty and decor of any room and help to provide a fresh air scent. At night, candles are superb for enhancing the ambience of any setting.

When you first start living with candles on a day-to-day basis, you probably don’t expect you’ll be doing much more than just striking a match, then sitting back to enjoy the candlelight.

Well, there is a bit more to burning candles. For a few of us it’s a science; for most of us it’s an art.

We have compiled some information to help you learn more about candles, provide you with safety information and some simple tips that can extend the life and enjoyment of your JóMel candles.


Why soy wax?

Soy wax is non-toxic and burns cleaner than paraffin, with no petrol-carbon soot which can blacken walls, ceilings, and furniture, contaminate ventilation ductwork, as well as add toxic carcinogens into the air you breathe.

Soy candles burn slower and cooler than paraffin wax, creating a longer burning candle.

Soy candles are simply better for you, your family, and your environment.


Did You Know?
The degree to which we can smell candles when they are burning is affected by at least 10 variables:

  1. The specific fragrance – some scents are stronger by nature than others.
  2. The size of the room – a smaller room will contain the fragrant vapour in higher concentration creating a stronger impression.
  3. Air flow and quality – since fragrant vapour is carried in the air. Factors such as humidity, air conditioning, a fan, an open window, may affect its movement.
  4. The size of the wax pool – the greater the surface area of liquid wax, the more fragrance may evaporate into the air.
  5. The size of the flame – a large flame will burn more of the fragrant vapour before it can escape into the air (keep the wick trimmed to 0.5cm).
  6. The temperature at which a fragrance vaporises – some vaporise more readily, permeating the air to a greater extent.
  7. Other sources of fragrance – our fragrance perceptions are easily confused by multiple scents.
  8. Other burning candles – their flames may burn off the fragrant vapours.
  9. Length of exposure – our noses desensitise to fragrances over time.
  10. The person smelling the fragrance – the sense of smell varies from person to person, much like eyesight, hearing or taste


Enjoy JóMel Candles Safely
Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Keep lit candles away from children and pets.
Burn candles away from drafts, other heat sources, and all flammable objects or materials. Never allow candle flame to touch any glass surface.
Place on protected, heat resistant, dry surface, well away from anything flammable
Keep candles free of wick trimmings, matches or other matter.
Handle the jars with care, as the container is fragile. Do not use if jar is cracked, chipped or scratched.
Do not allow flame to directly touch side of glass container.
Keep wicked trimmed and centred.
Sides and bottom of container may become hot while candle is burning. Handle carefully.


Where there is fire, does there need to be smoke?
JóMel produces fine quality candles, so there should not be problems with smoking.
It is good practise to keep your wicks trimmed to about 0.5cm before lighting. This will ensure clean, smoke-free burning along with a strong scent throw.
Be sure to remove any wick debris that may have fallen into the candle.
If the event your candle is smoking, and you’ve already trimmed the wick, extinguish the candle immediately. Pinch or trim the wick just a little more and the smoking will stop.
Candles need oxygen. If you burn a candle in a small, confined area it will smoke. So consider the size of the room when you arrange your candles.


History of the candle
Candles have been used for light and to illuminate man’s celebrations for more than 5,000 years.
Lighting of candles has been a practice for ceremonies, rituals, celebrations and purposes of healing. Candles bring a new hope to life as their flame symbolises the human spirit.
It is often written that the first candles were developed by the Ancient Egyptians, who used rushlights or torches made by soaking the pithy core of reeds in melted animal fat. However, the rushlights had no wick like a true candle.


Early Wicked Candles

Early Times

The Egyptians were using wicked candles in 3,000 B.C., but the ancient Romans are generally credited with developing the wicked candle before that time by dipping rolled papyrus repeatedly in melted tallow or beeswax. The resulting candles were used to light their homes, to aid travellers at night, and in religious ceremonies.

Historians have found evidence that many other early civilizations developed wicked candles using waxes made from available plants and insects. Early Chinese candles are said to have been moulded in paper tubes, using rolled rice paper for the wick, and wax from an indigenous insect that was combined with seeds. In Japan, candles were made of wax extracted from tree nuts, while in India, candle wax was made by boiling the fruit of the cinnamon tree.

It is also known that candles played an important role in early religious ceremonies. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights which centres on the lighting of candles, dates back to 165 B.C. There are several Biblical references to candles, and the Emperor Constantine is reported to have called for the use of candles during an Easter service in the 4th century.


Middle Ages

Most early Western cultures relied primarily on candles rendered from animal fat (tallow). A major improvement came in the Middle Ages, when beeswax candles were introduced in Europe. Unlike animal-based tallow, beeswax burned pure and cleanly, without producing a smoky flame. It also emitted a pleasant sweet smell rather than the foul, acrid odour of tallow. Beeswax candles were widely used for church ceremonies, but because they were expensive, few individuals other than the wealthy could afford to burn them in the home.

Tallow candles were the common household candle for Europeans, and by the 13th century, candle making had become a guild craft in England and France. The candle makers (chandlers) went from house to house making candles from the kitchen fats saved for that purpose, or made and sold their own candles from small candle shops.


Colonial Time

Colonial women offered America’s first contribution to candle making, when they discovered that boiling the greyish-green berries of bayberry bushes produced a sweet-smelling wax that burned cleanly. However, extracting the wax from the bayberries was extremely tedious. As a result, the popularity of bayberry candles soon diminished.

The growth of the whaling industry in the late 18th century brought the first major change in candle making since the Middle Ages, when spermaceti — a wax obtained by crystallizing sperm whale oil — became available in quantity. Like beeswax, the spermaceti wax did not elicit a repugnant odour when burned, and produced a significantly brighter light. It also was harder than either tallow or beeswax, so it wouldn’t soften or bend in the summer heat. Historians note that the first “standard candles” were made from spermaceti wax.


19th Century Advances

Most of the major developments impacting contemporary candle making occurred during the 19th century. In the 1820s, French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul discovered how to extract stearic acid from animal fatty acids. This lead to the development of stearin wax, which was hard, durable and burned cleanly. Stearin candles remain popular in Europe today.

In 1834, inventor Joseph Morgan helped to further the modern-day candle industry by developing a machine that allowed for continuous production of moulded candles by using a cylinder with a movable piston to eject candles as they solidified. With the introduction of mechanized production, candles became an easily affordable commodity for the masses.

Paraffin wax was introduced in the 1850s, after chemists learned how to efficiently separate the naturally-occurring waxy substance from petroleum and refine it. Odourless and bluish-white in colour, paraffin was a boon to candle making because it burned cleanly, consistently and was more economical to produce than any other candle fuel. Its only disadvantage was a low melting point. This was soon overcome by adding the harder stearic acid, which had become widely available. With the introduction of the light bulb in 1879, candle making began to decline.


The 20th Century

Candles enjoyed renewed popularity during the first half of the 20th century, when the growth of U.S. oil and meatpacking industries brought an increase in the by products that had become the basic ingredients of candles – paraffin and stearic acid.

The popularity of candles remained steady until the mid-1980s, when interest in candles as decorative items, mood-setters and gifts began to increase notably. Candles were suddenly available in a broad array of sizes, shapes and colours, and consumer interest in scented candles began to escalate.

The 1990s witnessed an unprecedented surge in the popularity of candles, and for the first time in more than a century, new types of candle waxes were being developed. In the U.S., agricultural chemists began to develop soybean wax, a softer and slower burning wax than paraffin. On the other side of the globe, efforts were underway to develop palm wax for use in candles.


Candles Today

Candles have come a long way since their initial use. Although no longer man’s major source of light, they continue to grow in popularity and use.
Today, candles symbolise celebration, mark romance, soothe the senses, define ceremony, and accent home decors.

Candles can transform your surroundings into an atmosphere of harmony, peace and tranquillity. With JóMel, your surroundings will smell divine as well.