Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Problem Solved! An Easy, Effective Room Fragrance Product for Natural Perfumers

Do you make candles with essential oils and absolutes?  Do you wish they had more 'throw'?  (For those who don't know the term 'throw' - it's the amount of distance the candle scent is detected after the wick is lit.)

This blog is a bit about me and what I believe is a great discovery in room fragrance products made by natural perfumers - but it's really more about You. And how to make a wonderful, highly-scented room fragrance product that may delegate your scented candles to a secondary place in your product line.

I'll bet your #1 complaint is that there is little 'throw'.  I've heard this lament for decades, since the first aromatherapy candles appeared on the market.  Most aromatherapists instead turn to aromatherapy 'oil burners' to scent a room. My problem with using them is that despite how much water your put in the reservoir to 'float' the oils, they tended to scorch the oils if you didn't watch them carefully.  This happened many times.  I confess I did scorch one tiny, tiny wax melt, the sample size, but that's because I was testing it in a new burner where the tea candle was too close to the reservoir.  Other than that, the regular size wax melts perform beautifully.  Electric oil warmers don't work well with beeswax, they don't get hot enough, so the tea candle warmer is the way to go.

Aromatherapy oil burner - essential oils and water are placed in the glass dish and the tea candle below warms them, making the room fragrant.  This type of burner is also used for wax melts.


  
A piece of Lemon Vetiver Room Candy beeswax melt from Anya's Garden
I launched my line of room fragrance products, Room Candy, in July. What are they?  They're easy-to-make room fragrance wax "melts" aka "tarts" that I formed into decorative shapes by pouring the wax and fragrant essential oil mix into vintage candy and cookie molds. Very simple, very fragrant!

These are not just another pretty product, they are actually revolutionary in the world of natural perfumery.  Why?  Every natural perfumer I know has struggled with making naturally-scented candles.  The demand for scented candles is great, but the results of the fragrance "throw" using only natural aromatics are dismal.   Your customers will still want candles - there is something about the ambiance of candles that is so beautiful.  However, in the long run, they will turn to your wax melts with the simple tea light candle to provide continual, strong fragrance for their homes and offices.

The packaging I chose for Room Candy - seven pieces, equal to a 3oz candle by weight.  However, the scent dispersion and multiple uses of each piece greatly outperform a candle.


By sharing the details on wax melts, I want to make the transition to, or the addition of, this product easy for those who have already sunk lots of money and time into developing natural candle lines.  For those who have not contemplated making candles, but like the idea of making room fragrances, this blog is also for you.

I use organic beeswax pellets, not soy wax.  I shy away from soy wax because I have not been convinced there is any real non-GMO soy wax.  98% of the soybeans grown in the USA are GMO products, and I won't use them.  Soy wax is softer than beeswax, and will melt in an electric oil burner, but for beeswax melts, I recommend a tea candle burner

Starting out, I used the recommended one ounce of essential oil per pound of beeswax, which is the norm for candles.  It's too much for wax melts.  Wax melts are so efficient at dispersing scent, aka, they have great 'throw', that the melts were too strong!  I sent about thirty wax melts out to beta testers, and got responses that convinced me that one melt could scent several rooms, even those with high ceilings.  Several testers reported that they blew out the tea candle after 20 minutes or so, the scent was so strong.

Candle makers - have you ever had that feedback?  I don't think so.

I hand pour the melted beeswax and essential oil blend into vintage candy and cookie molds, but simple little muffin trays would do well.  You'll get a simple disc wax melt using muffin trays, and I'd recommend making them less than 1/2".


Another benefit of wax melts that you don't get with candles?  If the customer wishes, they can remove the 'spent' wax melt and put it in a pouch or cloth and use it as a drawer or closet sachet, since they always retain some scent.  The ultimate in recycling! Oh, and some use them to polish wood furniture, since beeswax has been used for that purpose for centuries.  Quite a nice multiple-use product, and it's bound to appeal to your customers.

Oil/wax burner that is probably the easiest to remove the spent melt from.

I've found that removing the spent melt from the burner can vary in difficulty.  If you have a highly-polished, shallow surface, like the white burner shown below, it's relatively easy.  After the wax has cooled (after multiple uses, since they're so longlived!), place the burner in the freezer for 20 minutes or so, and then take it out, and gently push the tip of a paring knife or other sharp object against one edge, and it should pop right out.

With the "curly" burner shown above, the deep well may pose a bit of a problem.  Try the freezer and 'pop' method, and if that doesn't work, light the tea candle briefly, until you see the bottom of the melt liquify, and slide it out.

That's it.  I hope to encourage natural perfumers to take up this wonderful way to expand your product line and bring the beautiful natural aromatics to your customers.  It's always nice to wean people away from synthetic scents, and with the market for plug-ins, synthetic melts and other consumer products, it's nice to offer a natural alternative to your customers.  Especially one that works!


I'd love to hear feedback from candle makers.  Are you going to try to make wax melts?  Do you feel they'd enhance your product line?

Customers - are you intrigued and enticed by having a truly room-filling easy-to-use room fragrance product from a natural perfumer?

25 comments:

  1. I wonder why this never occured to me to try myself! I wonder if soap molds would work for these(I have plenty of those).

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  2. Sounds great Anya! And it is so generous of you to share the details of how to make these wax melts. They would make great favors for weddings etc. I have some beeswax pellets I purchased to make solid perfumes. Will try making some wax melts as christmas gifts this year. Will let you know how it goes. Would also love to try yours!
    Thank you!!!!

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  3. I don't burn candles because they release toxins into the air

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  4. I don't burn candles because they release toxins into the air

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  5. Brian, soap molds would be WAY too big. You only need about a half ounce of wax melt in the burner.

    Anya

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  6. Hi Aba:

    Yes, they are great for favors and presents. Look around for some pretty little candy molds, like I did. They really personalize it.

    xoxo
    Anya

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  7. Margo, you're probably thinking of paraffin wax, lead wick, synthetic candles. Since none of these are used in wax melts, wax melts are non-toxic.

    HTH,
    Anya

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  8. Hi Anya, Tnx for sharing!
    I saw them once at a hotel and loved them. Tried to make them myself but that did not work well. But I am inspired to go try it again.

    Greets
    Patricia

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    1. Patricia, they are easy and fun to make! I hope you go forward with the project.

      xoxo,

      anya

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  9. wow. This is so generous.
    I love the tea candle, floating EOs on water method, I have a 'bowl' (it's actualy shaped like a miniature teapot) that holds the oils and water which has a lid (with some holes in it to allow the vapors to disperse), the lid ensures that only rarely will all the water evaporate and burn the oils.
    But I will play with this idea it sounds like a lot of fun
    . Thank you
    Hemla

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    1. Hemla, with this method, you don't use water. You just place the wax melt in the top chamber. In fact, with the preprinted warning label I put on the boxes, it says never to mix water in.

      HTH,
      Anya

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  10. I do have smaller 'guest' molds, candy molds and silicone molds originally designed to make shaped ice cubes(they work horrible for that purpose but make great mini soaps to layer in larger soaps).

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    1. There you go, Brian - you have some stuff to start with!

      xoxo,
      Anya

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  11. Hi Anya, I am so glad you have had success with these as it was something I tried a while ago - I have some lovely moulds I use for bath melts and chocolate (!). Its just I find 100% beeswax adheres stubbonly once it solidifies after heating. I cracked one vessel trying to get the beeswax out in one piece. I think my 'burners' are too big (great for holding water though), maybe I will revisit making some and buy burner with a smaller diffuser bowl. You've reinspired me ;-)

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    1. Hi Tanya

      If you google 'remove wax melts (or tarts)" you'll find lots of tips! There are also youtube videos on it. Freezing is a good way, or the slight 'reheat' method i wrote about.

      hth,
      Anya

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  12. Thanks for sharing this Anya. I did try making something like this a while ago but find 100% beeswax a real pain to remove from the bowl once solidified, I cracked a vessel or too in trying! However, I am now reinspired to try again and maybe I will buy burners with smaller bowls, the ones i had have large deep bowls to hold more water.

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    1. Hi Tanya,
      You'll see my reply, above. Yes, shallow receptacles are key, and google and youtube are your friends ;0 - beside me!

      xoxo,

      anya

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  13. So generous of you to share your discovery and your knowledge, Anya! It sounds like removing the spent wax from the burner is an issue for some people and may be a deterrent for a customer. I wonder if it'd be possible to place some sort of liner between the melt and the bowl so that the spent wax would be easy to lift out? My first thought was wax paper or another sort of attractive paper, but that could be a fire hazard. I wonder if metal foil would work! One could even package the melts wrapped in foil, in keeping with the candy theme. I've saved particularly lovely sheets of foil from some high-end dark chocolate bars I've bought (thick, silver on one side and gold another) - these sheets seem like they'd work well.

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    1. Hi Priya,

      Initially, I thought of the foil method, too, but the aesthetics bothered me. It could be done, of course. But please see my answers above - it is possible to get them out without the foil.

      hth,
      Anya

      PS i just realized some might not know what 'hth' means - 'hope this helps' ;-)

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    2. It's a good point about aesthetics - they should look as beautiful as they smell! Thanks for the reply. Looking forward to giving this a try!

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  14. Hi Anya,
    This does sound easy and manageable. I had one of your samples and because we're selling our house, I've been burning it everytime before someone comes for a showing. We've been looking for new houses in the past and I'm so disturbed by the synthetic scents they difuse in the homes I want to get out of there as quickly as possible. So heads up Realtors...let your "for sale" clients know to burn something like this and keep the "to buy" clients around. Just a suggestion because I'm loving the way this is "throwing".
    Suzy

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    1. Hi Suzy:

      What sample did you get? The Outlaw Perfume might be a little wild for a house showing, lol! Glad you wrote to confirm they have multiple uses - just relight and relight.

      I know what you mean about entering a home or office full of synth scent. It's why I quit using a bookkeeper in the neighborhood. Her office reeked.

      xoxo,
      Anya

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  15. Great work. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Hi Anya,

    such a generous sharing of information :)God bless you and all the very best for your future work.

    Kind regards,
    Sheetal

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  17. Hi Anya,

    such a generous share of information:) God bless you and all my best wishes!!

    Kind regards,
    Sheetal

    ReplyDelete

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