Leave it to Satya to sniff out a shady side
to something as (seemingly) harmless as candles. That’s right—relaxing,
softly glowing, scented candles.
Did you know that most candles emit toxins that can give you headaches
and nausea at best, or worse—be absorbed into your body to accumulate
and cause damage somewhere along the road? Rather than beeswax, commercial
candles are usually made of paraffin, a petroleum product that when
burned, releases carcinogens in a sooty smoke that—blackening
walls and furniture—is absorbed by the lungs. Scented candles
often have synthetic fragrances added, some of which are quite dangerous
when burned. Mix in the chemical fixatives and synthetic glosses that
bind the candles, and bleached cotton wicks and metal-laced cores, and
you’ve got quite a foul stew.
It’s not easy to avoid this, since candles are not required to
have ingredients listed. So what to do? The good news is there’s
a growing number of enlightened candle makers who are creating “clean-burning”
candles made from plant-based renewable resources. So if you like to
relax with softly glowing candles, we discovered a few nice ones, but
there are many others out there.
We were intrigued by this small Portland, Oregon based, woman-owned
business. Greenspace Naturals makes high-quality vegan candles from
soy wax and hemp oil with non-chlorine bleached wicks that are 100 percent
hemp or cotton. Laced with essential oils, these clean-burning candles
come in recycled glass or tin containers (which prevents accelerated
melting). The aromatherapy candles have unusual combinations of essential
oils, like “Lunar Lavender,” a blend of lavender and cinnamon
with a hint of ylang ylang, or “Lemon Squeeze,” with lemongrass
and cinnamon ($8.45 six oz. tin; $13.88 glass square). The cinnamon
adds a surprising and refreshing touch of spice. Greenspace Naturals
does not use paraffin wax, animal products, synthetic fixatives, or
chemical glosses. A portion of their profits is used to help preserve
the environment and fight animal cruelty.
To view or order from their online catalog, visit www.greenspacenaturals.com,
or call (503) 289-4206.
Way Out Wax
Way Out Wax, located in the Green Mountains of northern Vermont, creates
a few lines of handcrafted candles. The vegan aromatherapy candles from
the “Green Mountain” collection are quite heavenly and not
overbearing. “Escentual Love” brightly burns a blend of
rosewood, patchouli, and lavender, and if you’re feeling congested,
“Clear Your Head” with cool and refreshing eucalyptus, peppermint
and rosemary, will take care of that (travel tins: $6.30 four oz.; $10.70
eight oz.; and 3” glass jars: $14.90). To relax and discourage
mosquitoes and other insects from feasting on you, there’s a new
twist on the old cintronella—the “Hemp Cintronella,”
a blend of soy wax, hemp seed oil and pure essential oil of citronella
(travel tins: $6.30 4 oz.; $12.98 12 oz.; 2 lb galvanized tub: $19.90).
To learn more about the candles from Way Out Wax, visit www.wayoutwax.com
or call (888) 727-1903.
Kiss My Face
Most people are familiar with Kiss My Face for their fragrant soaps
and lovely lotions, as well as other body care products. But who knew
they have a whole line of vegan aromatherapy candles? Made from 100
percent soy wax and essential oils, these candles feature unbleached
cotton wicks, are biodegradable, and come in attractive recycled glass
containers. The “Anti-Stress” candle with fir needle, lavender,
rosemary and orange, and the “Sanctuary” with clove and
ylang ylang are quite soothing, and they come at a reasonable $15 each.
Light one to glow beside the bathtub, and you’ll drift into bliss.
(Though lovely, some were a little too pungent.)
Kiss My Face also makes wonderful gels that make a frothy aromatherapeutic
bath. “Early to Bed” bath and shower gel ($9) is a house
favorite, with a relaxing combination of clove, chamomile, jasmine,
lavender, neroli and ylang ylang.
Find them in your favorite health and beauty aids store or visit www.kissmyface.com
to make a purchase.