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Botanicals on candles - A risk that’s not worth taking

Botanicals on candle tops: yay or nay?

For us at The Cornish Scent Company, it’s an absolute no go..

I often see candles with all sorts of flower buds and petals, wood chips and other highly flammable items. I can see why they are popular but as someone who makes candles professionally and tests them extensively before launching them, I can only see them as a risk that’s not worth it.⁠

Why it’s simply not worth the risk

Inevitably. They will float about in the wax pool, drawing near the flame and possibly burn.

You may get lucky and they’ll just burn and create unpleasant smoke, or you may be unlucky… and they will increase the heat of the candle significantly wreaking havoc.⁠ ⁠

Wax has a flashpoint (it catches fire at a certain temperature). Essential oils and fragrance oils have a flashpoint. The container can only take so much heat before it cracks or bursts.

If the flammable extras increase the heat levels, the whole thing could catch fire.⁠ ⁠

A well-tested candle would never have such unpredictable & flammable elements added to it.

For kicks I tested this. Extensively.

I made many a candle with all sorts in. In moderation and excess just to see. I used all the tricks I’ve heard of and thought of… such as using a harder wax blend for the outer side so it doesn’t melt and putting in a wick that won’t burn the full wax pool to the edge.

Here’s what I found: every once in a while the day was warmer, the wick leans one way more than the other or isn’t dead centre, or as the candle goes in deeper the top comes down too and the pool widens because when a candle goes past the halfway point it usually gets hotter, and the botanicals start leaning in, drawn to the fire like moths to a flame.

I actually bought a few at random too. No luck there either. Unpleasant at best on lucky burns.⁠

Maybe it’s ok if you buy candles just to look at them? ⁠ ⁠

Not really because either way, candles are supposed to be sold with insurance setup and I don’t know of any insurance that covers adding highly flammable items to a candle for sale.⁠

First and foremost, candles must be safe to use. Misuse of anything creates risk. As a chandler (candle maker), I see candles being burned for too long, near flammable objects (on a windowsill near curtains for example) and all sorts all the time. I work hard to make candles that are as safe as possible and when I see an obvious added risk added to a candle I cannot help but feel that it’s style over substance. It’s not worth it.

I’d love it if it were safe as I agree they are pretty but you will never see a Cornish Scent Company  candle with flammable stuff on it. Honestly, I care way too much about your safety for that. ?⁠

Wishing you cosy and safe candle-lit moments,

Until next time 

Sarah xx