Next came the ever popular Voluspa – a fun back story about the name Voluspa. The company was founded 20 years ago in Traci and Troy Arnsten’s kitchen. The name originates in an ancient Norse poem about the creation of the world from chaos – as the chaos in the kitchen signified, great beauty is often born of great passion. If you own any Voluspa candles you already know – it is no ordinary candle. They are made with coconut wax, which is why it burns so clean. What’s a clean burn? It’s when a candle is burning and there is not a lot of smoke coming from the wick (more on wick care soon) and there is very little soot. Coconut wax holds fragrance beautifully and also has the longest burn time of all the waxes.
Another great line we have is Himalayan. These are a stand out for their fragrances in particular. They have a fragrance called Sunlight in the Forrest – not sure how they do this, but if you were to conjure in your imagination being in a beautiful, sun dappled forest (heck, while we are in the fantasy of the perfect forest moment – for me, no insects and the temperature is a perfect 75), anyhow with all the magic they can muster Himalayan has captured the fragrance of that moment. They have dozens of fragrances, but I wanted to highlight Sunlight in the Forrest and also Manor House. Manor House smells like you would think a manor house would smell like. But like a non-musty one. Himalayan is also well known for the unexpected vintage vessels, they select them with the idea that they will be re-purposed when done burning the candle.
With all of the mosquitos having a big presence the past couple summers we started carrying a line of citronella candles by Skeem. They are a soy wax blend, I personally light mine every morning in the backyard (a great morning ritual) – the fragrances are different because it’s not solely citronella, they have combined the citronella with night jasmine, citrus and basil and a few other scents that make the candle not smell medicinal, but still do the job of keeping the critters away.
On a personal note about fragrance – I only choose the best candles for Kingfisher, I just hate being hit with that fake smell of cotton candy or root beer float when you walk into a store. Those candles usually are made with paraffin and signal –“ you will have a headache shortly”. If you do purchase a candle that is inexpensive, it usually is made with inexpensive ingredients and will not burn clean, and does not have a long burn time.
As I mentioned, my summertime ritual includes lighting the Skeem Citronella candle outside. During the other seasons I light at least four candles inside. I love to use unexpected vessels for holding them. Something is just “off” without that warm glow. I might have one that has a fragrance, usually I like a good pillar candle or something with a mild fragrance in a beautiful container that can give reflection and I can see the slight flicker. I also use the candles for a focal point during my morning meditations.
And don’t get me started on what fire represents. Okay, I’m started - when I think of fire I think of re-birth, new beginnings, the end of something. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I love lighting candles in the morning. It’s the end of night time, it’s the promise of a brand new day. New possibilities, new memories to be made, and even new friendships and another day of work where I get to face challenges and have a fresh attitude.
Besides morning time I love to have a candle or two on the dining room table at dinner. There is something for me that makes the dinner more “official” - is that the right word? Not sure - but also, I just feel if I’ve taken the time to make a nice meal - it’s kind of a gift to the meal and just makes everything more special. Who’s with me on this? On the other hand am I actually saying the food appreciates the ambiance of a candle? Does the food say thank you for the decoration?
Actually, it’s simply another way to honor the food prepared and to set the mood for the gathering. While we are on the subject, never have a candle on the dining table with any fragrance. It is there to compliment the atmosphere, not fight with the star of the show - the meal.
Candle care and instructions that I’ve learned along the way...
1. The First Burn
The first time you light a candle, make sure it can burn for a few hours. If you light it only for a few minutes the first time, even for just under an hour it will “tunnel”. You really want the entire top layer of the candle to liquefy from edge-to-edge.
2. Wick Trimming
When going to re-light your candle trim the wick to about ¼” - this will prevent soot and extend the life of the candle. You do not need to get a fancy candle trimmer – just grab a small amount of tissue and wrap it around the wick and pull up. Easy, peasy.
Re-purposing Candle Vessels
1. Freezer method
When the candle is done (I know, so sad), place the candle in the freezer overnight. Once frozen – lightly tap the vessel on a soft surface until the wax pops out. You can also try and pry it out with a butter knife. Using a cloth, remove any remaining wax, give it a good cleaning.
Personal favorite for re-purposing is as a vase. But it’s really endless – plants, remote controls, make-up brushes, it goes on.
I recently repurposed my Skeem citronella candle – I let the last part liquefy, and cool slightly – and just scooped out the remainder and gave it a good wash.
My name is Kelly, I’m an admitted candle addict. It’s a great addiction and I’ve loved sharing with you my love for candles. Would love to hear how you re-purpose your candles, your ideas to re-purpose them and of course your favorite candles.