Candle making – an ancient
tradition with a new purpose
Ever since man learned to handle fire, candles have been used in various forms, from the beginning as a source of light and for warmth and security.
Today, candles are not only used as a source of light but also to symbolize a celebration, ignite romance, soothe the senses, honour a ceremony, and accent homes.
The origin of candles dates back to around 3000 years ago: at that time, they consisted of straw, hemp, reed, or other similar materials, which were soaked in resin or tallow. As a result, the odour was not very pleasant.
During the Middle Ages, beeswax was introduced in Europe. It was much more efficient to burn and had a pleasant smell of honey. They were widely used in churches, but few others besides the wealthy could afford them because they were expensive.
The Growth of the whaling industry led to the introduction of spermaceti – a wax made by crystallizing sperm whale oil. It had similar qualities to beeswax, but it was harder, making it more resistant to the summer heat.
In the 1820s, stearic acid was extracted from animal fatty acids, leading to the development of stearin wax. It was hard, durable, and burned neatly.
Paraffin wax was introduced in the 1850s. It was odourless, burned cleanly, consistently, and was more economical than any other candle material previously made. The drawback was the low melting point, which was fixed by adding stearic acid. Stearin and paraffin candles remain popular in Europe to this day.
After the introduction of the light bulb in 1879, the demand for candles began to decline.
Demand for candles remained relatively stable until the mid-1980s when candles became decorative items, mood-setters, and gifts. A broad array of sizes, shapes, and colours popped up, and demand for scented candles grew significantly.
During the 1990s, new types of candle waxes were being developed. In the US, soybean wax was developed, a softer and slower burning wax than paraffin wax. In Asia, efforts were underway to develop palm wax.
Candles Scandinavia was started with an ambition to manufacture the best 100% natural wax and sustainable scented candles there is to buy and disrupt the market of scented candles.