Handmade Scented Candles: What You Absolutely Need to Know

Dawn Mayo

One of the questions I get a lot is, “What’s the difference between a handmade candle and a store bought candle?” It’s funny that people are really asking this question, but, believe it or not, I’ve been at craft shows and expos where people have made statements such as, “They look nice, but I like Yankee Candle, I won’t buy anything but Yankee Candles.”

There are so many candle companies out there, both manufactured and handmade that I thought it’d be a great idea to really get into the differences between the two.

First of all, bigger isn’t always better.

Big manufacturing companies produce in higher volumes. This, unfortunately, gives them a disadvantage in their quality control. Candles that are manufactured tend to have a poorly distributed amount of fragrance.

Huh? What do you mean, exactly?

Well, here’s the deal. Manufacturers use huge machines to process candles. When mixed in large batches, scent oftentimes doesn’t completely bind to all of the wax, causing the scent to be poorly distributed. One result of this mass production is that black smoky substance (or soot) you see when you burn your candle. Another result would be a scented candle that only burns fragrance through parts of the candle and seems to lose its scent while burning the candle.

Check out this Infographic on Manufactured Candles Compared To Handmade Candles:
Infographic Manufactured vs Handmade Candles

What makes the big guys more popular isn't necessarily their quality and good looks. It's more their ability to spend more marketing dollars to be seen. Reality, however, is some people love paying $30 a pop for a large candle that loses scent halfway through, probably because those big marketing dollars can really put out enticing ads! However, in the end, the $30 spent for 26 ounces of scented candle quickly becomes $30 for 13 ounces if all you're getting is half the candle burning true scent.

So, while you may pay a little more for a handmade candle, you’re paying for quality, creativity, individuality, and skill. Fact is, luxury and quality both have a price. It's up to you if those things are more valuable, if either is even important at all. What's most important to you when buying candles?

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