The History of the Candle

As you open your newest Bramble Bay Candle Co’s triple scented beautiful soy wax candle, take a moment and reflect upon the history behind the humble wax light.

The Egyptians were the first to use a lighted taper, however, as they were waxed rushes, they didn’t have a wick. A wick determines a “true” candle.  It wasn’t until around 200 BCE that the Qin Dynasty Chinese developed a wicked candle made from whale fat.  From there, the candle didn’t change much, although in some places, the use of the “Candlefish” (Thaleichthys pacificus) was easier than making candles.  This small fish produces an incredible amount of body fat during spawning.  Many just dried and lit the fish and didn’t bother rendering the fat!  Most candles were made from tallow, or animal fat as this was what was the most readily available.

As tallow smelled very bad when burned, it was no wonder that many looked for alternatives.  The Romans used olive oil for burning in lamps, but olive oil was not available everywhere.  When the whaling boom began in western Europe, they found that sperm whale oil (spermaceti) could be used.  Later, paraffin wax became more common as it became harder to catch enough whales.

Paraffin wax is created by distilling coal.  In the late 1800’s this meant a cheap, plentiful, and non-smelly candle, that threw a very bright light, so it became the candle of choice for many.  As candles were so popular, many would add sweet smelling products to the wax such as bayberries.  When electricity became something that every household could benefit from, the humble candle was relegated to emergency lighting and birthday dinners.

It was only in the last few decades that chandlery became more popular and the scented candle became a luxury homewares necessity.  This trend meant that great parfum houses and other artists could create rich scents and beautiful candles.  Bramble Bay Candle Co is proud to continue the rich history and tradition of skilled chandlers.

We use pure soy wax as it burns cleaner with no nasty additives or chemical burn-offs.  We triple scent our candles using a custom blend of fragrance and essential oils to create a candle that perfumes rather than overwhelms.  Our candles are designed specifically to softly scent a space as the candle gently melts.  Fragrance is released even after dousing the flame, as the wax gently cools.

We hope that you enjoy the history and the art of the beautiful soy wax candle just as much as we do.

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