Scented Candles: Are They Causing More Harm Than Good?
The gentle flickering glow from a candle flame creates a warm, peaceful ambience which helps to relax and calm our minds, as well as adding a touch of luxury to our evenings. Candles are a popular gift option for many people, but did you know your favourite scented candle could be causing more harm than good?
We have all become accustomed to strong artificial scents in the past few years. Strongly scented candles and perfumed products are all around us, whether we like it or not. The problem is that over time we can become sensitised to strongly scented products, and they can begin to have negative effects on our health and also on how we feel.
If we fill our immediate environment with strong artificial or synthetic scents we are essentially controlling not only our environment, but the environment of others around us. If others do not like or tolerate the scent we have imposed upon them, they suffer.
Most Scented Candles Contain Synthetic Fragrances
Did you know that most scented candles you can currently buy are scented with synthetic fragrances? Yes that’s right! Even the most expensive, popular scented candles, that are named after your favourite flower or fruit, are likely to have had their fragrance made in a lab from synthetic chemicals that are potentially harmful to your health, and to our environment. Don’t be deceived, if a label says ‘natural essential oil blend’ or ‘contains natural ingredients and essential oils”, it may have a small percentage of essential oils but the main component of the fragrance will be synthetic! Also, ‘fragrance oils’ are NOT natural, they are synthetic. Even though your favourite candle scent may sound natural it does not mean that it is. Popular fragrances such as French Pear, Raspberry, Champagne, Chocolate, are all synthetic. Other than citrus peel, it is not possible to extract essential oil from fruit. Unless a company states that their scents are produced entirely from 100% essential oils then they will more than likely contain synthetic ingredients.
What is so bad about synthetic fragrances you may say… well everything in our opinion!
Synthetic fragrances are man-made in a laboratory, often from petrochemicals, in an attempt to replicate the smell of favourite foods, flowers, fruits, etc. Don’t get us started on petrochemicals! Apart from being toxic to our health, they are catastrophic on our environment! Synthetic fragrances are much cheaper to manufacture than essential oils, they have greater staying power, and there are endless possible scents that can be created, hence the reasons why most companies choose to use them over essential oils.
There is much controversy over synthetic fragrances as their potential health and environmental hazards become more evident. Many studies have reported that synthetic fragrances have the potential to cause “possible mutagenic and genotoxic effects.” Synthetic fragrances have also been found to contain possible hormone disruptors which have been linked to abnormal cell reproduction. Phthalates are dangerous chemicals often found in synthetic fragrances. They should be avoided at all costs.
Many popular candle companies are converting to soy wax as opposed to paraffin (a petroleum by-product) as evidence grows around the potential health risks associated with petroleum-based products, however, they continue to use synthetic fragrances to scent their products.
Essential oils, on the other hand, are derived from natural raw materials obtained from the leaves, flowers, bark, and seeds of plants using steam distillation, expression and extraction techniques. Essential oils are the ‘essence’ of the plant.
Not all essential oils are suitable for use in candles. There is much to take into account when developing a pure essential oil scent. First and foremost it needs to be safe. Just because it is natural it does not mean it is safe, and not all essential oils are safe to use. It takes a lot of research to understand how an essential oil behaves and whether it has any potential side effects. Secondly, it needs to have a good hot and cold scent throw. Every essential oil has its own unique ‘flashpoint’ which determines how well the candle throws off scent when it is lit. This needs to be carefully considered and tested when developing a pure essential oil scent for a candle. It is not just a simple case of pouring some essential oil into candle wax, there is so much more to it than that.
The Scent of Nature
Enjoying a well-made essential oil candle is one of those eureka moments in life. Once you have experienced it, you are unlikely to ever want to go back to synthetic fragranced candles again. The authentic natural essence, extracted straight from the plant itself, is as close to the scent of nature that you can get. It is essentially what a scented candle should be.
Keep the Scent Subtle and Keep it Natural…
When scent is desired, natural subtle scent is what we should be aiming for. When we light a candle it should only scent the immediate area around it, it should not scent an entire room, furniture, or clothing.
As consumers become more informed about the negative effects of synthetic chemicals on our health and the environment there is a growing desire to seek out natural alternatives. It is so important that consumers educate themselves and understand what is contained in the products that they use on their bodies and in their homes, so they can make informed decisions before they purchase. Ultimately knowledge is the only control we have over our health.
…It Makes Good Sense
Overall, when choosing a scented candle keep the scent subtle and keep it natural. Choose candles scented with 100% essential oils over synthetic fragrances. It makes good sense 😊
Scenturie Essential Oil Candles
You can rest assured that ALL Scenturie candles are scented with 100% Essential oils only. We never use synthetic fragrances or chemicals. Our essential oil candles may be a little more pricey than those with synthetic fragrances but you can trust that they will not have a negative effect on your health or the environment. Our candle scents are natural, subtle, and they do not overpower a room. They have been extensively tested to ensure that they are safe as well as being beautiful.
Visit our website to view our beautiful candle range and learn more: www.scenturie.co.nz