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How to choose a scented candle ?

Luminous, warm, evocative of well-being and decorative objects… Scented candles are nowadays very important in homes. But what differentiates one candle from another? Discover the know-how behind scented candles, and our tips on how to choose them!

A look back at the history of candles

The ancestor of the candle is… the candle! Dating from 3000 BC, it was then mostly composed of a stick dipped in animal wax called tallow. The candle is then used to light up the environment, but there is a major inconvenience: the tallow gives off a very unpleasant smell…

In the Middle Ages, its composition will then gradually evolve, and tallow will be replaced by beeswax, especially for the lords and the clergy, because of its rarity.

In the XIXth century the discovery of kerosene and stearin is at the origin of the industrialization of the candle, and the origin of the perfumed candle.

origine de la bougie parfumee - Galimard

What is a scented candle?

A scented candle is composed of a wick and wax containing perfume.

When the wick is lit, it creates a molten bath by melting the wax. The fragrance in the wax will then evaporate with the heat, and diffuse into the atmosphere.

When we choose a candle, we often focus only on the scent present in the candle and smelled cold, while it is the quality of the wax and the wick that will be responsible for its diffusion.

A poor wax will deteriorate the smell of the perfume, and reduce its range. A bad wick will create smoke, and reduce the life of the candle.

So here are our tips for recognizing a good candle, taking into account the wax, the wick and the fragrance.

cire de bougie parfumee - Galimard

The wax of the candle, an element not to be underestimated

Let’s start by reviewing all the different types of waxes used for scented candles:

  • Beeswax: increasingly rare, and therefore expensive
  • Vegetable wax: it comes from different types of plants (rapeseed, palm, soy …), its quality is very variable.
  • Mineral wax (paraffin wax)): it allows the best diffusion of the perfume, but as for the vegetable wax, its quality can vary greatly.

Each type of wax can therefore have different virtues, and the chandler’s job is to find the right mixture by ensuring the quality of the raw material. The wax will become one of the elements creating the differences in price between the scented candles.


The various wicks of scented candles:

  • The synthetic wicks: they are not natural, and are thus not recommended for the scented candles (especially when they come from a country outside Europe which perhaps does not respect the same standards).
  • Wooden wicks: they can be recognized by their crackling sound when you light them, reminiscent of a fireplace. They are not the best vector to diffuse perfume because it is difficult to manage their burning.
  • Cotton wicks: this is the best type of wick for scented candles! 100% natural, braided or woven, they guarantee longevity to your candle and a good diffusion of its perfume.

To choose your scented candle and make sure of its quality, check that the wick is made of cotton.

And finally... The scent of the candle

Do you remember our article on the olfactory pyramid?
The scent of a candle is obviously not composed of these three notes since its smell is linear, but it is still the result of the inspiration of the Perfumer, always looking for quality essences and the perfect balance of the composition.

But as we make the difference between perfume, eau de parfum and eau de toilette, for the candle, a good smell does not necessarily mean that once lit, it will embalm all your interior. Indeed, some low-end manufacturers tend to put perfume only on the surface of the candle, in order to encourage purchasing. As a result, once lit, the candle has almost no scent…

matiere premiere bougie parfumee - Galimard

Finally, make sure that the manufacturer respects the standards in place for scented candles. In the EU and especially in France, the legislation protects the consumer from toxic products that some candles may contain.

Hygge bougie parfumee - Galimard

Little bonus: How to keep your candle longer?

  • The wick: it should never measure more than 1cm to avoid creating smoke, do not hesitate to cut it. Also avoid blowing out the candle: you can put a cover or a cap on the top of the candle so that it goes out naturally, without damaging the wick. Finally, don’t hesitate to remove the deposits that accumulate around your wick with a tissue when it is extinguished.

  • The wax: wait until the entire surface of the candle is liquid before extinguishing it to avoid it to be hollow. For the candle to burn evenly, do not place it in a draft.

Our Galimard scented candle:

Presented in a beautiful Galimard branded glass, it releases a shimmering light and reveals its generous fragrances to perfume your home. To be associated with the room spray and/or the scent diffuser.

Bougie parfumee Galimard
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