Why do soy candles make the best scented candles?

Candles have always been an important part of people’s lives.  Originally used to provide light before the invention of the electric light bulb, now candles are generally used to improve the fragrance of a room or house.  It then follows, that today, people are after an environmentally friendly scented candle that allows for an excellent scent throw, without the harmful contaminants that can be present in some commercially available scented candles.

Enter the soy candle, one of the cleanest burning scented candles.  In comparison to other types of scented candles, for example candles based on paraffin wax, soy candles have a number of obvious advantages.  Firstly, soy comes from beans (that’s right beans!) and so are 100% environmentally friendly and burn without producing any soot.  Paraffin candles, on the other hand, can emit harmful toxic chemicals, like benzene which is obviously not what you want scenting your home. Secondly, because of the chemical makeup of soy, these scented candles burn for much longer than paraffin based candles, yielding a better return per unit scent (yes I made that scientific metric up).  Finally, studies show that soy candles burn at lower temperatures, which helps to distribute the fragrance.

Another practical advantage of the soy candle is that if a spill occurs (fingers crossed that doesn’t happen) it is not a national disaster, since hot soapy water is enough to clean up the spill.  Unlike most other scented candle types, i.e. paraffin, where the clean up can be quite arduous (those who have tried know what I mean).

For the morally inclined there are ethical reasons to choose soy candles over paraffin scented candles. Paraffin manufactures are almost always large multi-national conglomerates whose business practices often involve exploitation of workers in third world countries.  On the other hand soy is a vegetable that can be easily farmed and its production can be traced back to domestic farming which if done correctly is good for Mother Earth.

So to conclude, there are a number of advantages to making soy candles your scented candle of choice.  They are clean, soot free, burn for longer, release no harmful toxins, provide a wide scent throw and are environmentally friendly. Mood Alchemy, strives to produce a quality scented soy candle that not only looks good but aims to affect your mood. Note Mood Alchemy also produces Mood Reed Diffusers - if you are not familiar with reed diffusers, they are excellent for fragrancing a room without the need for burning a scented candle.cropped_logo

2012 Home & Giving Fair

The team at Mood Alchemy recently attended the Home and Giving Fair in Melbourne. This annual Trade Fair is the largest for the Gift and Homewares Industry, and showcased a comprehensive collection of products specific to this rapidly growing and diverse industry.
The outcomes of attending this Trade Fair were very positive for Mood Alchemy as we identified some major points of difference that define the Mood Alchemy brand  :

Mood Alchemy soy candles and reed diffuser products are proudly “Made In Australia”

cropped_logoMood Alchemy  soy candles and reed diffuser products contain only natural eco- friendly ingredients

cropped_logoMood Alchemy soy candles and reed diffuser products are fragranced purely with Essential Oils – No synthetics

cropped_logoThe range of Mood Alchemy Essential Oil Fragrances are defined by Mood Groups – potentially offering psycho-therapeutic benefits

cropped_logoMood Alchemy Mood Altering Candles are created using precision handmade techniques to produce the most perfect  product possible – free from defects such as colour zoning and frosting.

cropped_logoOur soy candles and reed diffuser products are very competitively priced

So – our valued customers can rest assured they are experiencing the most innovative in Mood Altering Aromatics – and a high quality Australian Made product as well.

Enjoy!

The Mood Alchemy Team

 

The Power of Natural Fragrance

The ability of natural aromatic fragrances to affect our moods and enhance aspects of our lives is well documented. Throughout history, numerous civilisations have utilized these scents for their healing and cleansing properties, in addition to the simple pleasure that a pleasant fragrance can bring.

A significant revival of interest in the healing properties of plants occurred in the early 20th century – when a French chemist coined the term “aromatherapie” in 1937 as a result of his investigations into the therapeutic benefits of natural aromatic plant extracts, also known as essential oils.

Today, these properties are rediscovered as our approach to health and wellbeing is reconsidered in response to the pressures of modern life. Using natural essential oil fragrances in our daily lives is one way of countering some of the negative effects of stress. These scents may help us to relax and unwind, energise and restore balance by ministering to our metal state and our emotions.

The word “Perfume” stems from the Latin “per” – meaning through, and “fumum” – meaning smoke. Early perfumes were produced by burning natural plant materials to produce a fragrant smoke – known as incense.

More recently, the fragrant ingredients used to create contemporary perfumes are categorized by their “notes”. A well balanced fragrance consists of Top, Middle and Base notes – just like music!

Top Notes: These are small molecules and are the first notes that you detect on smelling a fragrance – hence they create the first impression. Top notes are typically fresh, sharp and bright scents – initially powerful and intense, stimulating the senses – but they are also the first notes to disappear.

Middle Notes: These start to come through after the disappearance of the Top notes. Middle notes are generally warm and mellow essential oils that provide the heart and soul of a fragrance. They give the fragrance complexity and pave the way for the emergence of the Base notes.

Base Notes: These are the “theme” of the fragrance, and are usually heavy, exotic and sensual – typically derived from woody or resinous plant materials. These scents will be the last to be detected and they “fix” the whole fragrance. They slow down the volatility rate of the top and middle notes –so these earlier notes don’t evaporate too quickly.

All Mood Alchemy soy candlesreed diffusers, room fragrance mists, and goats milk soaps are fragranced with pure and natural essential oils – blended harmoniously with compatible essence families. Each Mood Altering Aromatic fragrance is perfectly balanced using top, middle and base notes.

Remember to keep an open mind when choosing your Mood Alchemy Mood Product, as individuals can respond differently to a particular fragrance.

Natural aromatic fragrances can be a powerful tool in countering the stresses of modern life – they are nature’s gift to our mind, body and spirit.

The secrets of a perfect soy candle

Here at Mood Alchemy we strive to bring you the most perfect product possible.

After extensive testing and development by our research chemists, we have discovered the secrets to making a perfect soy candle – and now we have unlocked them for you below……….

 

 

Problem: The glass candle container appears to have areas of different colours on the container sides.

 

 

 

Secret : The colour zoning is caused by “shrink back” of the soy wax from the container wall. This occurs when the temperature differential between the container and the wax is too high – and the wax does not adhere to the container sides. It can also occur if the candles cool too quickly after they have been poured. The secret is to have the containers and the soy wax at similar temperatures when pouring.

 

 

 

 

Problem: The soy wax has cracked around the wick.

 

 

Secret: This occurs because the coefficients of thermal expansion are different for different materials. So the soy wax and the wick material will expand and contract at different rates when subjected to a temperature change – resulting in a gap between the two materials. The secret is to insert the wick into the soy wax slowly and at alower temperature – in order to allow the system to reach thermal equilibrium. This will reduce the differential rate of thermal expansion between the soy wax and the wick material.

 

 

candle

Problem: A chalky white substance has appeared on the top of my soy candle.

Secret: This is known as “frosting” and is indicative of a change in the crystal structure of the soy wax. This structural change can occur under these conditions:

(i) The soy wax pouring temperature is too high.
(ii) The soy candles were cooled too quickly.
(iii) The soy candles were stored at too cold a temperature.

 

Problem:  The flame is large and smoking.

Secret: The wick is consuming the soy wax at too high a rate. The secret is to keep the wick trimmed to approximately 5 mm for each burn session of the soy candle.

The Chemistry of Soy Candles

Long ago, candles were a necessity of life, providing a source of lighting after sunset. Today, scented candles are a luxury – using fragrance to create different moods, while their flickering flame relaxes the mind.

Candles consist of two basic elements: 1) a fuel source eg soy wax and 2) a wick. The wick is crucial to the candle function as it serves as the fuel delivery system.

A naked flame is used to ignite the wick, which then melts some of the soy wax at the candle surface. The liquefied soy wax is drawn up through the wick fibres by capillary action – this action occurs due to the cohesion between soy wax molecules and their adhesion to the wick fibres.

After the soy wax travels to the top of the wick, it vaporizes upon contact with the burning flame. Combustion occurs as hot soy wax vapour combines with oxygen, producing the candle flame. The combustion of hydrocarbons is a rapidly occurring exothermic reaction that produces heat and light.

Only the very tip of the wick actually burns. The rest of the wick is involved in capillary action, and is shielded from burning by the vaporisation of the fuel. This has to do with a chemical property called the heat of vaporisation, whereby the fuel absorbs much of the surrounding heat in order to change states from liquid to gas. This vaporisation, in turn, keeps the wick cooler than it would otherwise be.

The flame continues to burn – producing more liquid soy wax, which is used as a fuel and vaporised. This releases the highly fragrant essential oils into the air.

The benefits of natural soy wax candles

Soy is a native East Asian plant that is both a renewable resource and biodegradable – hence it is an eco-friendly choice for the responsible consumer. The soy plant can be continually produced without damaging the natural ecosystem.

To make soy wax, the soy beans are harvested from the plant and processed into oil, which is then purified and hydrogenated. This converts unsaturated fatty acids into saturated fat – producing a solid creamy white wax.

Soy wax has the advantage that it is slow burning due to it low melting temperature, resulting in longer burn times for soy candles. It is also a very clean burning wax, and does not release hazardous chemicals such as toluene and benzene like paraffin based candles can.

The consistency of soy wax allows for candles with a stronger scent and a purer scent throw.

Mood Alchemy Mood Altering Candles are made from 100% natural soy wax with a centrally embedded wick and fragranced with pure essential oils – for your ultimate enjoyment.

Aromatherapy – an ancient art for modern lifestyles

The healing art of aromatherapy uses essential oils, extracted from a range of aromatic plants and trees, to improve mental well-being. These highly aromatic oils have unique therapeutic properties, which can trigger mood changes by association with positive memories.

Literally thousands of years ago, Ancient civilizations used essential oils to cope with a variety of emotional ailments. The Ancient Egyptians had a highly advanced civilization, which recognized the potential of fragrance to uplift the human spirit. They employed aromatics for religious, cosmetic and medicinal purposes – and in particular as a mood altering incense to improve mental well-being.

Now the natural benefits of Aromatherapy are experiencing a renaissance in popularity as this ancient art is being married with modern scientific knowledge to aid in the relief of stress related disorders, such as depression, anxiety and insomnia.

But How?

Our sense of smell is one of the major senses. It responds to the chemical nature of air-borne substances breathed into the nose.

When we inhale an aroma, scent molecules enter the nostrils and pass into the nasal cavity where they dissolve in nasal lining mucosa. This stimulates sensory cells which send signals to the olfactory bulb.

From here, nerve signals travel along the olfactory tract to the cortex, limbic system and hypothalamus in the brain. This is where smells are identified and the body’s response is coordinated.

The limbic area of the brain is primarily involved with our emotions and memories – hence our sense of smell is directly related to how we feel.

Certain aromas can stimulate the limbic system to activate the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, triggering positive emotional responses such as happiness and pleasure – and hence improving our mood.

Aromatherapy can improve our mental state, helping us to cope better with the pressures of everyday modern life and reduce stress levels.

Put simply – Aromatherapy has the power to make us feel good