The letter “C” can apply to so many things when it comes to decorating not the least of which is color. But we talk about color so much that I thought we would discuss something a little different for the letter “C”—candles.
Candles are a very important part of decorating. They add light, ambience, color and scent to a room. Let’s take a look at some of the choices you have.
Soy or Wax?
As the name implies, soy candles are made from a wax derived from soy beans. This results in a natural product that is fairly inexpensive and very renewable. Soy candles can last up to three times longer than regular paraffin wax candles and usually burn much cleaner, producing less black soot. Most scents are added through the use of essential oils keeping with the all natural idea.
Paraffin used in candle making is a by product of petroleum. Burning petroleum is probably not a good idea but, to be fair, the amount you burn is minimal so probably no need to worry. Paraffin produces a black soot that you can see on the inside of a candle holder or even on the wall next to the candle. Paraffin is often less expensive than soy but if you take into consideration the amount of burn time you receive with soy it probably all pencils out.
Scented or unscented?
This is strictly a personal choice. It is nice to burn a candle with a scent reminiscent of the season i.e. pine during the holidays or pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but it is not a good idea to use a scented candle to mask odors. I also recommend that scented candles not be used during a dinner party as the aroma can interfere with all the yummy smells of dinner.
Does size matter?
For safety reasons it is important to use a properly fitting candle in any holder. A taper that is too tall may topple over and a pillar candle that allows the flame to rise above the edge of the holder could create problems if left unattended. Conversely, a tiny tea light in a very large hurricane will hardly produce the ambience and light you are looking for.
Keep in mind…never leave a candle unattended and never place them in areas where children will be playing. An easy solution is to use battery operated candles. They are available in sizes that range from small tea lights to very large pillar candles. Some are even scented. This makes it possible to enjoy candlelight without worrying about fire or damage from dripping wax. Use them outdoors in lanterns, place them in the powder room or add one as a nightlight in your child’s bedroom.
Believe it or not there is actually a National Candle Association. Be sure to visit their site for more information.