The video above is a free learning resource that we made for you! We offer DIY candle-making kits with everything you need, but you can source the materials anywhere you'd like! It has all the information you need to get started on your candle-making journey.
If you get stuck, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Aromatherapy?
It’ s the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils to help balance emotional and physical well-being.
How do we process smell?
Many molecules produce smell and they exist everywhere. As we breathe, air enters upwards through our nostrils. Odor molecules are swept into the nasal passages and caught by a mucous membrane where olfactory neurons are embedded. These neurons collect information from their receptors and fire a signal to the olfactory bulbs if the right conditions are met. The combination of different signals from the bulb to your brain is what we register as smell. The human nose contains more than 10 million receptors.
Why do we like different smells?
There is no universal bad smell. Seriously! Preference for different smells is often based on culture and personal experiences. The olfactory bulbs have a direct line back to the amygdala and hippocampus, where we process emotion and associative memory. If we have a positive association with a smell then we will like it. The human nose has roughly 400 different types of receptors, but one person can have more and another can have less. The difference can change what odors we detect within a bigger smell.
Now, on to making candles!
Materials you will need:
- Hot Plate + Pot for Water
- Pouring Pots
- Soy Wax
- Essential Oils
- Stirring Sticks
- Cotton Braided Wicks
- Candle Tins and Tea Lights
- Herbs for Embellishing
Soy wax is derived from a vegetable product, meaning it’s a renewable and natural resource. They burn slower creating a longer lasting candle, they don’t create a plume of smoke or soot, and they are super easy to clean. Using just warm soapy water you can clean up any soy wax spills. Its counterpart, paraffin, is derived from petroleum, a by-product of gasoline that contains known carcinogenic substances. Burning paraffin may release these substances into the air causing poor air quality, especially when supplemented with synthetic fragrances. Soy bean farming is healthy for the environment and for our economy, supporting sustainable farming practices and generating thousands of jobs. According to unitedsoybean.org, the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol was introduced and implemented to gather data from farmers participating in national conservation programs.
“The information serves as proof that the U.S. soy crop is produced under a system of sustainability that includes everything from water conservation to energy use.”
There are other sustainable waxes available out there including beeswax and coconut wax, and both have similar properties to soy wax, so it all comes down to preference. We like the way soy wax melts, how it cures, and how it looks too!
The History of Essential Oils
Dating back to the beginning of recorded history, aromatic plants have been used to scent, beautify and heal the body. Ancient royal Egyptians would use herbs in bathing waters, indulge in luxurious massage and use enchanting oils and ointments as perfume. When pharaohs would die, their bodies would be wrapped in fabrics scented with spices and other resins and oils. Priests would prepare blends of ‘healing waters ’ for the high court using aromatics. They would use them in anointing rituals in religious ceremonies, and would burn incense to protect against evil spirits or to focus on prayer. Similarly, Ancient Romans would use aromatics in their public bath houses, making Rome the most popular bathing capital in the world. Actual extraction of these volatile essences from plant matter first began in Egypt by heating the plants in clay containers. Later, Greek alchemists invented the distillation process, further developing the use of these oils. Even later, an Arabic physician perfected the extraction method by introducing to the distillation process, a cooling system which would create some of the most potent scents to date. In the 1920s, a French chemist accidentally burned his hand while working in his lab and immediately submerged it into the closest cool liquid, which happened to be a jar of lavender oil. He noticed that the pain lessened dramatically, it reduced inflammation, and the blistering subsided. His hand healed quickly and no scar developed. If that isn ’t enough to prove how crazy awesome lavender is...
The Difference Between Top, Middle, and Base Notes
Essential oils that are classified as top notes tend to evaporate really fast, have an uplifting or stimulating energy, and a sharp smell. These include citrus fruits such as orange and lemon, plus other leaves like tea tree. Middle notes are softened around the edges and give harmony to the rest of the smell profile. These notes come from flowering tops and herbs such as rose, chamomile, jasmine, and lavender. Base notes, as you can deduce, are slower to act, leaving a relaxing, heavy or grounding scent. Some examples are resins, woods, roots and certain blossoms. Some essential oils can overlap in these notes depending on their source; the part or type of plant. So always remember what sort of feeling you are going for!
Practicing the Proper Pour
Now it’s time for the fun part! When melting, it is always important to use a double-boiler method, or heating water and placing your melting pot indirectly from the heat source. Another reminder is that water and wax DO NOT MIX, if your water is at a rapid boil , it is best to turn down the heat to prevent water getting into the melting pot. If it does happen, do not fret! Use a paper towel to carefully soak up any water droplets in the wax. A big factor in proper candle-making is temperature. The main temperatures for soy wax to note are 175-180 F to completely melt the wax, a cooling temperature of 140-145 F to start adding your oils, and a pouring temperature of 130-135 F. This part is crucial to avoid essential oils evaporating. When adding your oils, go from base to top notes to minimize evaporation. Place your wicks in the center, pour slowly to prevent spillage, and secure your wick in place using a clothespin. Try not to move the candle until cured to ensure an even top.
Mindful Ways to Use Your Candle
In this class, you will pour three candles, some small tea lights, 4oz, and 8oz candle. Here are some mindful ways you can use them!
- Relaxing bath
- Resetting energy in a room
- Calming down after a long day
- A romantic dinner at home
- Gifting to someone you love
- Rituals and Intention Setting
Tips to get the most from your candles
- Allow your candle to burn until the melted pool reaches the edge of the container.
- Never blow out your candle! When you are finished burning, use a stick or the back of a spoon to dip the wick back into the wax and suffocate the flame.
- Trim the charred part of the wick before lighting your candle again