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Making Candles Just For Fun

With a good supply of beeswax on hand (for making solid perfumes), I thought it would be interesting to turn some of that wax into candles. I've written about this project on my Learning To Make Perfume blog. You can find that article here.

On this page I've added some photos of the project and some comments on the process and the results. Start by reading the blog article here. Then check out the comments and photos below.

Finished candle burning smoke free, drip free
Here's the finished candle burning smoke free, drip free. The wax was pure beeswax given to me by a bee keeper friend. The wick was square braid cotton wick, size 2/0, from Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles, LLC.
beeswax straight from the hive used for this project
Here is some of the beeswax I had on hand. So far I've used only yellow wax for my project. As you can see, some of the wax is gray. There are also small, solid impurities in the wax as it came right from the hive. Some looks "dirty." Blame it on the bees.
The equipment laid out for this project
This is the equipment I worked with: a 2-burner electric hot plate, a Pyrex measuring cup partially filled with water, a can to serve as a melting pot fashioned by me with a spout for pouring, a smaller can for wax that has been cleaned up by running it through a metal strainer, a short, narrow can for dipping, tongs to move the melting pot, a wooden spoon to manipulate the melting pot, and a pitcher of cold water to cool and set the wax after each dipping. The metal strainer can be seen at the left, almost out of the picture.
The wax begins to melt
The wax in the can is beginning to melt. The water in the Pyrex measuring cup helps bring the heat up the side of the metal container to help warm the wax. It takes a while for the wax to melt and you don't want to walk away and leave it while it is melting. Both the burner and the wax are hot.
Wire mesh strainer used to remove solid impurities from unprocessed beeswax
This is the wire mesh strainer I used to get the larger impurities out of the wax. The wax I was using can come to me straight from the beehive so it needed a little filtering to get out some junk.
Adding scent to the wax with a solid perfume
To add scent to the wax I used a block of this solid perfume. I didn't bother to measure the ratio of perfume to wax. As it turned out, I could have used a good deal more fragrance to bring out the perfume scent (mostly rose in this case) but when beeswax burns, it has a lovely scent of its own.
Now the dipping begins
Here I'm just starting to dip the wick. I'm holding one end of the wick in my fingers and the weight of the nut and bolt are pulling the wick straight. The can with the hot wax is shorter than I would have liked but it was the best I could find in the studio that day. You want to use a can that's only a bit wider than the candle you want to make. Otherwise you'll need too much wax to fill the can to the top. Here the width of the can was fine but I would have liked more height.
cooling candle in water prior to next dipping
Here I've just dipped the wick in wax and I'm dipping in water to cool the fresh wax and get it ready to dip again. I'm dipping from wax to water, wax to water, not rushed but with no real lag between dippings.
Using second burner to re-heat wax that was cooling
Here I'm using the second burner on the hotplate to re-warm the wax in the dipping container as it had begun to harden.
Scissors used to snip off top and bottom of wick
I used the scissors to snip off the bottom of the wick with the nut and bolt after the wick had enough wax on it to hold it sraight without the weight. When the candle is finished I'll use the scissors again to trim the wick at the top.
Candle is beginning to build
Here you can see the candle looking more like what will be in the end result. You can decide for yourself how thick you want your candle to be. The width shown here would have been nice for a longer taper but since my can was so short I opted for a thicker candle.
Three finished candles
Three finished candles. The wicks have been trimmed at the top. The bottoms are pointed from the dripping wax but could be cut off clean with a thin, sharp blade. I left them as they were so I could fit them snugly into the opening of an empty wine bottle.

A few comments

Overall this was just a fun project. I had beeswax on hand, I purchased some wicking, and I improvised the rest.

If I was to go deeper into candle making (and I don't plan to) I would look into some molds and the cost of beeswax, so that when my supply runs out I'll be able to get more, even if I have to pay for it. Working with beeswax that has already been cleaned up would be nice as I wouldn't have to deal with the impurities, and the candles might come out a bit more uniform.

The surprise here was that the candles I made really burned very nicely. They were as good as any I've ever purchased. No smoke. No wax drip. All very pure and clean.

Candles always worry me a bit due to the fire hazard and I did find myself forgetting when a candle was burning. Still, it was a beautiful sight and I have enjoyed this project.

Again, you'll find more details on this project on the blog.


Memory Cross 200 Perfume and Fragrance Test Strips for Testing fragrances, Essential Oils

Sturdy 17 point cover paper which is 2X as thick as a playing cards so will hold up. This paper is specifically designed to absorb fragrances. Five inch length x 0.5 inches wide and tapered for room to write notes at the top.


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Stainless Steel Funnels for Kitchen,Small Metal Funnels (1.7Inch/ 2.2Inch/ 2.9Inch) No Spilling Food Grade Kitchen Funnels for Essentail Oil, Spices, Flask, Perfume

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Karter Scientific 214T2, 3.3 Boro, Griffin Low Form, Glass Beaker Set - 3 Sizes - 50ml, 100ml, 250ml

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SUPERLELE Glass Graduated Cylinder Set 10ml 25ml 50ml 100ml, Thick Glass Beaker Set 50ml 100ml 250ml with 2 Droppers

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Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin

Steffen Arctander's Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin was first published in 1960 and is the classic, authoritative reference for natural products used in perfumes, scents, flavorings, foods, and medicine throughout the world. Part One defines and describes processing methods used to extract or refine the products into usable form; Part Two includes more than 500 monographs on the natural raw materials used to produce perfumes, flavorings, etc. Appendices include a classification of important materials by their scent, and worldwide production figures for major products. Fully indexed, the book also includes 62 pages of photographs, making this the standard reference work on natural materials for perfumers and flavor chemists. The preface contains practical descriptions of available materials, their origin, production and processing methods, appearance, odor and flavor type with brief notes on their main constituents, replacements and common adulterants.


Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup! (3rd edition)

Perfume is famous for the markup it can achieve, even for a middle market fragrance. While "everybody knows" that perfume costs next to nothing to make (not completely true) the making of it is often considered an esoteric secret. "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" details how a 3-person company with no experience created their own fragrance in response to a marketing opportunity that was too good to pass up. The book explains exactly what was done to create a fragrance for that opportunity but it is far more than a history of the author's project. "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" lays out every step in the process of creating your own perfume, either as a do-it-yourself project – and without the benefit of automated equipment some compromises and workarounds are required – or full bore professional production under your supervision. Either way you will be producing a quality fragrance at a remarkably low cost. Do you have a marketing opportunity that would be wildly profitable if only you could obtain your fragrance at a ridiculously low cost? "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" is the guide you need to do it.


Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name

A really great name, a special name that is just right for a particular perfume or perfume marketer (or entrepreneur with money to invest!) can be worth a ton of money. But few individuals with great ideas ever manage to cash in on those brilliant ideas. Instead they wait while others "discover" their idea, acquire legal rights to it and make all the money while they are left out in the cold without a penny having been earned for what was once THEIR idea.

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How To Launch Your Own Perfume Company: A Simple Business Plan

You can build a perfume business of your own using this business plan as a guide. By following its detailed strategy you learn to identify motivated groups of potential perfume buyers. Members of these groups are near the tipping point of desire for a new perfume. You don't know these people and they don't know you but you know a marketer they trust, one who does not currently sell perfume and might never think of selling perfume were it not for your approach. Here is where you step in with a professional plan, promotion, and perfume to take advantage of this ripe opportunity for mutual profit. Before your first promotion has peaked, you will already be developing a relationship with your next marketing partner. Following this plan, you will gain more and more profit with each new marketing partnership.


Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics

Now when you make your own perfume you can make it fully "commercial" meaning you will be creating a product ready for regular, continuous sales to friends, relatives, and the public! If the fragrance you've made has already won praise, why not share it with others? Some might pay you for it and want it for their web stores or retail boutiques! Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics guides you through steps that can turn your hobby project into a perfume business. Discover how close you are now and how little more you must do to take what you made with essential oils and dropper bottles into a business of your own! For an introduction to this book, watch this video.


How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume

When you name a perfume you create a valuable asset – the name itself. To sell your perfume you want the most effective name possible. But a good name can have value beyond the edge it gives your sales. In naming your fragrance you are creating a trademark and a trademark can have value independent of the product. The value of that trademark can vary. Much depends on how well, in naming your perfume, you follow the trademark "rules." How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume first helps you develop a name that will be effective in selling your perfume. It then prods you to make use of certain techniques that can turn a good name into a great trademark, strong and valuable. If you have questions about how to protect a name, How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume will answer many such as:

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