I've always enjoyed candles, but when we lived in Denmark I came to appreciate them as more than an accent to a cake or an extra on the dinner table. Once daylight savings time ends in Denmark, darkness descends pretty early in the day and that's when candles start to appear in houses and businesses. It was magical to head home in the dark and see candles glowing in every window. When I parked the car and looked up at our flat, I could see the candles in our windows and I knew that very soon, I would be walking in to a place where everything was just as it should be. The people I loved, a cup of tea or glass of wine, a chance to catch up on the news of the day. The candles were a sign that everything was ok - people I loved were waiting for me to come home.
When I started to create candles for Gratitude, I set out to capture those emotions. Candles that remind you that this moment right now is just as it should be. It's full of love and hope and things remembered and the promise of tomorrow.
Since I wanted these to be special, I searched a long time for the right wax. Although soy is popular and common in candles, I wanted something that is more environmentally friendly. (I grew up on a farm, so I understand how much water, fertilizer and fuel it takes to grow a bushel of soybeans). I also wanted a wax that would burn at a lower temperature and provide great scent throw whether or not the candle is lit. I settled on a blend of coconut and apricot wax. It's creamy and smooth, takes scent well and burns beautifully. Then, it was time for wicks. Again, I searched for a wick that would make these special and ultimately settled on a wooden wick. There is a bit of crackle, like a fireplace, and a beautiful wide, tear dropped shaped flame. They don't burn faster than a traditional wick, so you don't need to worry your candle will flame out. (get it? Flame out?). Then for scent. Again, I wanted candles to create an emotional connection to the best moments. Those moments when everything seems to flow easily. We're starting with four scents. I've chosen four names that go match the scents and the emotions I wanted to recreate.
Clarity, Grace, Patience and Serenity. Each is a complex mix of top, middle and base notes. The combinations may surprise you and the moments that I recalled as I was mixing may as well. Patience, for instance is a blend of citrus and lilacs, reminding me of summer afternoons that I wanted to stretch on forever. Clarity combines palo santo and sage with lavender and balsam. As the candles burn you can catch a different part of the fragrance. That's intentional. Just as each moment is a unique reflection of the past, the present and our dreams for the future, these scents remind us to embrace the whole moment.
And, since there's more to burning a candle that just striking a match and setting a wick on fire, we've got some tips on how to keep our candles, or any candle, burning brightly.
1. Keep the wick trimmed. Long wicks create soot and they drop little bits of black stuff in your candle. The soot is frustrating and the little bits of stuff are unsightly. And speaking of debris, keep the surface of your candle clean to insure and even burn.
2. When you first light the candle, let it burn until you get an even pool of melted wax across the top of the candle. That could take up to four hours, the maximum amount of time a container candle should remain lit. The even melt pool keeps the candle burning evenly, so you get to enjoy every bit of goodness.
3. And although it should go without saying, we'll say it anyway: keep children away from lit candles, keep candles on heat-safe, stable surfaces and never leave a burning candle unattended.