Monday, September 30, 2013

How to Prevent Candle Tunneling

Have you ever burned a candle and had a ring of dry, hard wax around the outside edge that just wouldn't burn? It's so frustrating! Eventually the candle becomes difficult to light and drowns out from the wax melting down on top of it. It's such a sad situation. Before we started this business I thought that was just the way candles burned. I didn't know any better.

Photo above: The candle on the left is tunneling - you can see the flame below level of the wax. The candle on the right is burning evenly and completely with no residual wax. 

Luckily, one of the first things I learned, before we even opened our store, was how to burn a candle properly. The first time you burn a candle sets the stage for the life of the candle. The size of the wax pool on the initial burn is pretty much the size of the opening from there on out. So if you only burn the candle for an hour or so, and have a really small wax pool, the dry hard wax around the outside edge will almost never burn.

Candle Tunneling - This is NOT how a candle should burn.

When you spend a lot of money on a good quality candle that has a long burn time, you want to be sure to get everything out of it. Plus, it just looks pretty when it burns properly. A well constructed candle with the proper size and type of wick for the wax, fragrance and vessel, should burn evenly and completely. There should be about 1/4" melted wax across the top of the candle with no soot on the glass. A tough challenge for any candle maker! If they've done their job right, then it's all up to you from there on out.

Candle burning evenly, completely and cleanly. Perfection!

How to prevent candle tunneling

  1. The first time you light the candle, don't trim the wick. This is the ONLY time I recommend NOT trimming the wick before you light a candle. Depending on the wax and size of the vessel, you may need a flame that burns large and hot enough to melt the wax all the way to the edge. If you trim the wick too short, the flame might be too small to melt all the wax. This is particularly true of really wide candles like Lafco. If, after you light the wick, there is any smoke at all, then extinguish the flame and trim the wick slightly. You never want any soot or smoke at any time - ever.
  2. Let the candle burn long enough to get the entire top liquid wax. This takes about an hour per inch in diameter of the vessel. So if your candle is 3" wide, let it burn for at least 3 hours. If it doesn't melt all the way to the edge don't panic, but get as close as you can. Sometimes the last 1/4" will burn as the candle goes down. It won't burn evenly across the top, but it will burn completely.
  3. After the first burn, try to let the candle burn for long stretches as often as you can to keep that really wide opening and prevent tunneling later on.
Note: If you burn candles on your dining table for just and hour or two each night, opt for taper candles so you don't have to worry about tunneling. Pillar and poured candles are best for longer burn sessions.

How to fix candle tunneling

There isn't a pretty or easy way to fix candle tunneling. Your best approach is prevention following the steps above. However, here's how you can try to fix a candle that has tunneled:
  • Put the candle inside a hurricane or vase and let it burn for a few hours. The hurricane keeps the heat around the candle to help melt the excess wax. I've also seen people wrap the top of the candle in tin foil (with an opening at the top) to get the wax to melt while burning. You may have to carefully remove some of the liquid wax as you go to keep the flame from drowning out. Let the candle burn until the entire top becomes liquid wax about 1/4" deep. This resets the wax and decreases your chances of tunneling in future burn sessions. If you just remove the dry hard wax down to the wick, it will likely tunnel again the next time as the wax around the edge still has never melted. Wax has a memory which is why it's important to set the stage right on the first burn. 
If you can't fix the candle there's still ways to enjoy the fragrance. You can either place the candle on a candle warmer and melt the wax that way without lighting the candle. Though you won't be able to enjoy the ambiance of a burning candle, you will be able to enjoy the fragrance.

You can also remove the dry, hard wax and place it in small portions on the top of a tealight warmer. This is another way to warm the wax without lighting the candle. A nice little tealight candle under the warmer adds some ambiance and candlelight while the scented wax on top provides fragrance.
Use caution with all these techniques to ensure the wax doesn't become too hot and ignite. Always follow the manufacturers instructions for maximum burn times.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful. Feel free to share your tips on how to fix candle tunneling by commenting below.

Monday, September 23, 2013

3 Must Have Fall Fragrances

Just as much as I love slipping on flip flops early in the spring time, I cherish the feeling the first time you pull on a pair of everyday jeans in the fall. Crisp, clean air. Light sweaters. Bright blue skies and colorful leaves. Everything about fall makes me smile and I welcome the dark nights to unwind inside with candles.

Fall has so many great fragrances as well - gourmand, rich and warm. The scents are a nice respite from the cooler, brighter fragrances from summer. If you're looking for something new here are 3 fragrances that are very well loved by many.

Nest Pumpkin Chai Candle - Gourmand
Pumpkin Chai is one of those fragrances that has everyone clamoring for it as soon as mid-August comes around. One of our Facebook fans, Caitlin Curtis, said it best: "I think it's the blood pumping through autumn's veins! As in, autumn couldn't exist without it." The touch of chai spices makes this common fragrance so unique and slightly exotic. There's also a hint of Grand Marnier for a sophisticated appeal like no other pumpkin scented candle. Don't wait to order - this one is extremely tough to keep in stock!

Lafco Family Room (Cortland Apple) Candle - Fresh
Nothing says fall more than apple picking in New England. The quintessential red barn on a hill, every shade of orange on the leaves and the bright smell of apples bursting off the tree limbs. If you've ever taken a bite out of a Macintosh apple fresh of the tree in New England, you know there's nothing like it. Crunchy, juicy, tart and vibrant. Many apples have let me down since I moved out of New England, but this candle hits the spot. It smells exactly like apples straight off the tree. This candle is very energizing and fragrant and nails the apple scent better than any other candle I've come across.

Trapp Orange Clove Candle - Warm and Spicy
If you like warm, spicy fragrances it doesn't get much better than Orange Clove by Trapp. This fragrance is based on their best-selling Orange Vanilla candle with the addition of comforting spices. I love that the clove isn't harsh or sharp in this candle. Instead it's soft like a big, thick blanket to make you feel good inside, just like Grandma's homemade cookies. 

Those are our top picks for fall. If you haven't tried any of them, but sure to check them out. You won't be disappointed.

What fragrances do you like most when the weather just starts to turn cool?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What's New in Luxury Home Fragrance for the 2013 Fall & Holiday Season

This past summer the best brands in luxury home fragrance announced their new products and fragrances for the upcoming fall and holiday season. These are just the highlights. You can find many more new product launches on our website at

Antica Farmacista

The new Manhattan fragrance from Antica Farmacista is an ode to the classic cocktail and sophisticated city. It evokes effervescence, sparkle and mystery. This sexy scent starts with  zesty Satsuma and bergamot citrus notes to balance the spice of aromatic black pepper. A subtle brandied cherry note is an elegant accompaniment to the rich notes of deep cognac, vetiver, amber and bourbon. I absolutely adore this new Antica diffuser. It's as complex and inviting as the city itself.


Voluspa launched two new fragrances this season. Crane Flower is the latest addition to the Japonica collection. It's a fruity floral blend of Bird of Paradise nectar, ripe grapefruit, geranium and lavender. The packaging and fragrance are both stunning!

New to the Vermeil collection is Ponderosa - a smokey blend of Ponderosa pine bark, sap and needle with warm musk and black amber. This is a great unisex scent perfect for the cool fall and winter months.

Voluspa is bringing back the sprays for the Japonica Collection! This is great news for anyone that has been missing their Baltic Amber or Santigo Huckleberry spray. I can't wait to try the Moso Bamboo spray. I think that will be amazing. I'm still hoping they come out with sprays for the Vermeil Collection before I run out of my sacred French Bourbon Vanille.

The Maison Noir, Blanc and Rouge petite jar gift sets were discontinued in exchange for a gorgeous new gift set for the Vermeil Collection. The new Voluspa gift set features six votive candles each in a different Voluspa Vermeil fragrance.

Note: The Voluspa Chestnut & Vetiver fragrance is getting a facelift. It's changing from a warm, golden color to a deep, rich burgundy. 


Votivo added 2 new fragrances to their Holiday Collection. Enchantment is a blend of fresh mint and birchwood. Velvet Night is an inviting fragrance with brandied pear and warm cinnamon.

Votivo also added a new fragrance to the Aromatics Collection. Speakeasy smells like aged oak barrels brimming with the intoxicating aroma of spices, fermented fruit, and a delicate touch of caramelized sweetness. This is a great scent to try if you are looking for something cozy and comforting.

Nest Fragrances

Nest was very busy this season! There are a lot of new things to report:

The Sicilian Tangerine fragrance they launched this past summer was such a huge hit (we, and every customer we show it to, are absolutely going crazy over it) they are quickly bringing in a votive and 3-wick candle size as well as a diffuser and (I think) hand soap. Yay!

Nest Tahiti Vanille was disconinued and replaced by Vanilla Orchid & Almond - a blend of almond,white orchid, coconut milk, vanilla, amber, musk and patchouli. I was able to try it last night and it's actually the opposite of what I said in the video. It's more sugary, almost like butterscotch frosting. If you wanted something sweeter than Tahiti Vanille you'll be very happy.

The new Nest Passion candle is a blend of peony and dewy garden roses with warm sandalwood. Nest is going to donate 10% of their sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This candle has deep pink wax and pretty packaging covered with bright pink peonies - perfect for give giving!

Nest Woodland Truffle is a smokey blend perfect for the fall and winter months. It blends French truffle, black pepper, oakmoss, cedar and vetiver. If you like Elton John Fireside or Lafco Feu de Bois, be sure to give this one a try.

The Nest Holiday Collection has 2 new additions: a room spray and a grande candle. The grand candle is enormous in size weighing in at 77oz with a 350 hour burn time and 4-wicks. The gold detail on the vessel is exquisite and the keepsake box is perfection.

Nest Birchwood Pine also has two new welcome additions: a room spray and diffuser - both perfect for amplifying your holiday tree fragrance.

Elton John candle fans will be very happy to hear that the Fireside candle is coming back. Sir Elton John Fireside is a blend of Madagascar vanilla, exotic woods, smoky embers and juniper berry. I really love this one - it's more smokey and not as sweet as I remembered.

K. Hall Designs

K. Hall added a new fragrance to their Barr Co. Collection. Fir & Grapefruit is a bright and lively scent that will be available in a candle as well as a variety of cleaning products. I adore  and highly recommend the K. Hall cleaning products and I'm really excited to use their new counter top spray in this new scent.


Tocca added a new fragrance to their perfume collection. Margaux is a blend of florals with cashmere wood, musk and vanilla for a warm, sultry scent. It’s a darker fragrance to balance out the lighter, floral fragrances they offer now. I love this one! Be sure to try it.


Aquiesse discontinued the Frakincense & Mryhh candle (why oh why??) and added the new Ivory Rose & Oud candle. This elegant blend of white rose petals, warm linen and oud wood will add a touch of class to your holiday gathering.

Frakincense and myrrh are the most highly sought out scents after the classic tree and no one offered them but Aquiesse. What a sad loss. It was a great fragrance that just needed more amplification. It wasn't the fragrance, it was the intensity. Turn up the volume and bring it back - please!

What products or fragrances are you most excited about this fall and holiday season?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Trapp Candle Giveaway Going on Now

Don't Miss Out on our Great Trapp Giveaway!
Hurry - it ends Sunday, September 22, 2013.
We'll announce the winners Monday, September 23.
Good luck!

Click the link below to enter.

The Best Fresh-Cut Flower Candle - Trapp Bob's Flower Shoppe

There's nothing like the smell of fresh cut flowers. The scent is filled with life, hope and joy. While there are a lot of floral candles on the market, nothing that captures this aroma better that Bob's Flower Shoppe by Trapp candles.

The candle was inspired the inside a flower cooler owned by local florist, Bob Trapp. A talented perfumer was challenged to capture the essence of the space and transform it into a home fragrance.  The perfumer used head space technology to mimic every note including dewy, freshly-cut stems, various florals, and a cool environment. The notes were blended to create the beautiful and accurate fragrance known as Bob’s Flower Shoppe.

Have you tried the Trapp Bob's Flower Shopped candle?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Best Selling Candles for August 2013

It's funny how even when it's still incredibly hot and steamy outside, there's a flip that switches in many people mid-August. When your brain says "I'm done!" to summer and your body begins to crave the warm and spicy scent of fall.  Every year, without fail, the buying trend takes a shift and fall fragrances fill the shipping station long before summer winds down.

Our top selling fragrances for July were clearly bright and clean - Votivo Red Currant, Lampe Berger Ocean Breeze and Voluspa Vervaine Olive Leaf. In August, however, before the final celebrations were done on Labor Day weekend, the fragrances started trending towards more comforting notes. Here are our best selling candles for August, 2013:

Nest Fragrances Nest Pumpkin Chai Candle
You know fall is near when this orange box starts flying. Nest Pumpkin Chai is pumpkin at its best - a feel good fragrance with a touch of exotic chai spices to make it far less than ordinary. Laura Slatkin, founder of Nest Fragrances, takes her passion for gourmet cooking to make a gourmand fragrance like nobody's business.

Trapp Orange Vanilla Candle
The Orange Vanilla candle by Trapp Private Gardens is a cult classic. The massive following for this fragrance doesn't die down the rest of the year, but fall is a great time for this yummy scent. It masters the delicate balance of bright, juicy orange and warm, relaxing vanilla. If you've never tried it, get in on it. This is definitely on the Top 10 Iconic Candle Fragrance List.

Linnea's Lights Cashmere Candle
Cashmere is one of the best selling fragrances by Linnea's Lights soy candles so it's no wonder this welcoming scent is peaking just in time for fall. Cashmere is a blend of patchouli and vanilla that will make you want to curl up on the couch with a thick blanket and good book.

Checkout our website for more great fall fragrances.

What are your favorite fragrance for fall? Post your comment below. We love to hear from you!