Your Comprehensive Guide to Handmade Candle Making: A Glossary of Terms

  1. Beeswax: A natural wax produced by honey bees, beeswax candles are renowned for their prolonged burn time and inherent honey scent.

  2. Cold Throw: This term refers to the aroma emitted by a candle when it's not lit. It's an essential factor to consider when choosing the fragrance of a candle.

  3. Cure Time: The necessary resting period before a candle can be lit. This allows the fragrance oils to fully integrate with the wax, leading to a more potent scent during burning.

  4. Dipping: A traditional method of candle making where the wick is repeatedly dipped into wax to build up the candle.

  5. Double Boiling: A preferred method for melting wax. It involves placing a container of wax into a pot of boiling water, ensuring the wax melts without overheating.

  6. Dye Chips/Dye Blocks: These are concentrated colourants used to give candles their distinctive hues.

  7. Essential Oils: These are concentrated liquids containing aroma compounds from plants, often used to infuse candles with natural scents.

  8. Fragrance Oils: Synthetic scents used to give candles a specific aroma. They can mimic a wide array of scents, from the smell of fresh baking to clean linen.

  9. Hot Throw: This term refers to the aroma a candle emits when it's lit and burning.

  10. Melt Pool: The area of liquid wax created by the heat of the candle's flame. A proper melt pool extends to the edges of the candle, ensuring an even burn.

  11. Moulds: Containers used to shape candles as they harden. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be made from different materials.

  12. Paraffin Wax: A type of wax derived from petroleum. It's a common choice for candle making due to its low cost and ease of use, but it can produce soot when burned.

  13. Pillar Candles: These are thick, standalone candles that don't require a container. They're typically cylindrical but can come in other shapes.

  14. Scent Load: The maximum amount of fragrance that can be added to a candle without it seeping out of the wax.

  15. Soy Wax: A popular choice for candle making, soy wax is made from the oil of soybeans. It's favoured for its clean burn and long-lasting properties.

  16. Tallow: Traditionally used in candle making, tallow is rendered animal fat. It's less common today due to its strong odour and tendency to produce smoke.

  17. Tealights: Small, round candles that are typically encased in a thin metal container.

  18. Tunneling: A common issue where the wax around the edges of the candle doesn't melt properly, creating a tunnel-like effect. This can be prevented by allowing a full melt pool to form during the first burn.

  19. Votive Candles: Small candles that are intended to be burned in a cup. They're often used for decorative purposes or in religious ceremonies.

  20. Wick: The cord in the centre of the candle that is lit to produce light. Wicks can be made from various materials, including cotton, wood, or metal.

  21. Wick Trimming: The practice of cutting the wick shorter before lighting a candle. This helps to prevent soot and prolong the life of the candle.