At Amaranth we are big fans of candles. We love their fragrance, their glow, and the way they can make you feel warm and comforted or uplifted and energised.
We are however very fussy when it comes to candles and the majority on the market won’t make it into our homes or on our shelves. Most candles are made from paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances. Paraffin wax is a cheap byproduct that is produced when crude all is refined into petrol. Even some of your very expensive candles (sorry, as far as we can tell that includes Jo Malone*) are made from paraffin wax, so don’t let the price guide you.
Although paraffin wax doesn’t sound that glamourous, if the candles look good and smell great, then so what?
Well the problem potentially comes when the candles are burned. Once lit, paraffin candles emit trace amounts of organic chemicals, including acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, acrolein, and naphthalene (Lau et al., 1997). A US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Report from 2001, gathered evidence as to the toxicity of these chemicals from burning candles. The report found that two of the chemicals (acetaldehyde and formaldehyde) measured above the EPA risk level for human health. Now before we all panic, do bear in mind that this test involved burning many more candles than we would do in a typical home and is highly unlikely that you will have incurred adverse health effects from burning synthetic candles. That said, for me I have made the choice that I don’t want these chemicals in my home and I therefore choose only natural candles made from plant, sustainable soy or beeswax with a high portion of natural essential oils and cotton wicks.
As with everything you need to do a lot of digging to really understand what you are buying. Palm oil, for example, could be classed as a plant or vegetable wax but as we now know, unsustainable palm oil is having an enourmous effect on deforestation, natural habitats and climate change. The Amaranth team have hopefully made your job easier, over the last few years we have investigated, tried, tested and smelt natural and organic candles so that we can offer our favourites in our shop. Our votes for top natural, organic and ethical candles go to:
1. Jonathan Ward. With a blend of soil association certificated organic plant waxes and beeswax, these natural candles are hand poured by Jonathan into Italian crystal whiskey glasses (which can be reused). The scent comes from 80% natural essential oils and 20% fragrance. Each candle has a story to tell and their fragrances are just divine. View Jonathan Ward here.
2. Nathalie Bond Organics. Nathalie Bond candles are made from 100% natural plant waxes and essential oils. With COSMOS and cruelty free certifications, Nathalie bond create beautiful products (we love the packaging as well) without a compromise to our planet or animals. These candles are made to suit your mood – Sunshine, Bloom, Revive, Unwind and Glow. View here
3. NEOM Organics. Perhaps the most famous natural candle brand and one our customers will always love. NEOM organics use a blend of soy and beeswax and then a high percentage of essential oils so that the candles provide treatment like properties. You can choose the NEOM candle for you whether you want to Sleep, Refresh, DeStress, or be Happy. The NEOM Organics Christmas collection is incredible. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the Christmas Wish or Perfect Peace candle burning. View here
If you are inspired to learn more about organic candle making, why not join our workshop with Jonathan Ward on Monday 10th Dec. Read more and book here.
We would love you to come along and see the candles instore so you can tell us which is your favourite. Find us at Amaranth 19 Bramhall Lane South, Bramhall SK7 1AL.
Any questions? Ask the team 0161 439 9856 firstname.lastname@example.org
* Jo Malone don't disclose their ingredients on the website which is usually a tell tale sign. Natural candle makers will always want to shout about it.