Fragrance Intensity (Scent Throw) And Our Philosophy
Scent Throw - The overall intensity or "strength" of a candle fragrance. How fragrant is it?
Cold Throw - The intensity or "strength" of a candle fragrance before being lit, for example, when you open the lid and smell the candle, or when you open it up and perhaps can even smell it in the room without lighting it.
Hot Throw - The intensity or "strength" of a candle fragrance after being lit as the scent fills a space.
I'll start out by saying, scent throw is complicated... When we first got into candle making, boy, did we not have a clue! Like so many people, I especially (I'll talk about my husband later) was candle crazy, but found it very frustrating that many of the candles I encountered in the stores smelled okay at first sniff, but once lit, were a big old disappointment. Still, there was nothing more relaxing on days when there was down time than be-bopping around the house in some comfy clothes, listening to music, cleaning with a candle lit and sipping a glass of wine. That was my way to bliss out...
My husband and I like to dabble in little business ventures, namely resale, and during one of these misadventures we opened a tiny store where we sold mostly vintage/antique items and my idea was that it needed to smell amazing all of the time, -but, I thought to myself - weren't those candles expensive, and maybe it would be ok for me to make my own candles, and who knows, maybe others would want to buy them. When we did begin selling candles there, it was difficult to miss that they were flying out of the door a lot faster than our vintage goodies...
Let me backtrack a little and tell you about the day, years before we opened the tiny store, when I visited a cute little beaches area boutique packed with unique items and the holy grail, a candle in a beautiful apothecary mercury glass jar. I won't mention the brand, but let me tell you, THAT was the moment I developed a true passion for amazingly scented beautifully packaged candles that doubled as home decor. In many ways, those candles are still an ideal that I strive for. The fragrances were so complex, with many different delightful nuances for the nose. The catch was and still is, that candle was expensive (not by today's standards though). Would I want to continuously spend that much money on a candle??? There are people who don't ask that question, but I think most of us do.
That explains more or less where I was coming from when the decision was made to make our own candles and eventually, start selling them. I wanted to make beautifully scented candles that always had a complex strong scent throw and didn't necessarily need to cost as much as that candle I fell so in love with. I mean, what's the big deal? It's just a vessel, some wax, fragrance, and a wick, right? I like to laugh, ha ha ha ha!... It's much much more involved than that... Even obtaining a decent vessel can turn the hair gray these days.
Little did I know that I was going to spend the next three years perfecting the craft, and to be honest with you, I am 100% sure that learning journey is still not over. We have tested hundreds and hundreds of fragrances. If not thousands. Ok, maybe not thousands. But sometimes, it seems like it. Fragrance samples have doubled in price since we started, so when I see the expense, it feels like it inside.
One of the most difficult things for me to learn in the beginning is that not everyone is like me. Not everyone wants candles that fill the house with fragrance. There is such a thing as candles that are appropriate for a small room or bedside candles. A lighter scent in a travel candle might be more appropriate for a smaller space as well. The same scent that one person is obsessed with, another will hate, whether it be pumpkin, vanilla, patchouli, etc. The same candle that one person finds overwhelming, another might find is just barely fragrant enough. This is what makes the development of a candle line challenging and interesting. I believe it's important to provide variety.
In the past, my philosophy was that a person could go literally anywhere and obtain a lightly scented candle. It doesn't take much to be underwhelming. But where were they going to go and buy a candle that was like the one I experienced in the boutique that day? And how were they going to afford it and put their kids through college too? I still think about that and the direction we should go.
Ultimately, we identified and carried in our line up a variety of different scents that would appeal to different people. The majority of our fragrances tend to be strong throwers, but, one reason we went with a hybrid wax is because there were some lighter fragrance oils that were so beautiful, we wanted to be able to enjoy them too, and they just weren't strong enough in 100% soy wax. I plan to write a future post on the different waxes and their characteristics. Ours is a hybrid of paraffin and soy that combines the clean and long burning characteristics of soy with the increased scent throw of paraffin. Every wax has it's pros and cons, and although we don't disclose proprietary information, the fact that we use para-soy wax is on all of our marketing and labels.
It isn't a simple matter of adding more fragrance to obtain a more fragrant candle. I've had a customer ask me that before, can you please just add more fragrance? A balance has to be achieved so that the candle burns safely and the wax can actually hold the fragrance you're putting in it (fragrance can seep out of wax when too much is put in). The wick has to be the correct wick for the jar and the fragrance. Too much fragrance can actually clog the wick or burn too hot, which in turn burns off too much of the scent before you can enjoy it. Another thing to keep in mind is that the candle will smell different once a full melt pool is achieved (the wax is melted all the wax across the top of the candle). The hot throw may be quite different from the cold throw, so never judge a candle too soon.
We hope this post was interesting and thank you for dropping in and reading more about our philosophy on the fragrances we carry. Hopefully, this explains what customers can expect from our fragrances. When a fragrance is softer it is disclosed in the fragrance description on the website. Scent samples are also offered and can be requested. We are always seeking to improve our fragrance line and the experience our customers have with our candles. As we begin to formulate our own custom fragrance blends this year, hope you'll enjoy our new creations!