It was a big shock to me when I learnt that regular paraffin candles put toxins into the air when they are burnt. I’m not quite sure why I was surprised by this, after all, they are made from paraffin wax and that is a by-product of petroleum refinery – yep, the stuff that you put in your car. I guess I had never questioned it.
This discovery and the knowledge that every time I lit a candle (which was often) I was putting toxins into the air in my home (no matter how small an amount), meant that I couldn’t enjoy my candles anymore. And I had a lot! Tealights everywhere, scented candles in every room. I loved them. The ritual of lighting candles on a cold winter’s evening, the gentle glow, the romantic flicker of the flames and the scent. All this was ruined for me and I went round the house, gathered them up and got rid of them all.
Thankfully, around this time, my partner bought me some beeswax candles as a gift. What a revelation! Beeswax is a completely natural by-product of honey production (so much nicer than the by-product of crude oil) and in buying beeswax candles you are supporting UK honey producers.
It took me a while to get used to the different scent but actually, we don’t need to be constantly be surrounded by sickly perfumes, natural is just as beautiful. The delicate natural honey and floral scent of a beeswax candle really grows on you.
What I especially love about Beeswax candles is that they give a radiant glow as they burn – this is incredibly warm and comforting. It feels like you’re having a big yellow bee hug.
I’ve found a few suppliers that I like (The Yorkshire Beeswax Candle Company and Bee-spoke Candles, next on my list to try is Five Bees Yard) and I often check out local farmers markets and shops where independent beekeepers might sell honey or other beeswax products. It’s more effort than simply picking up a candle from Tesco. Still, if you love something and it’s doing you and the environment good then it’s worth putting the effort in.