Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Thrifty yet chic
I burn candles every day, mostly a little tea-light in a pretty glass with dinner (that's the 'minimum candle requirement'). On a day at home pottering, cleaning and relaxing, I love to light a high-quality scented candle. The only problem with high-quality scented candles though, is the high price.
I have been known to haunt the local L'Occitane shop (gorgeous French body products, as well as candles and incense) and when they recently had a half price sale on some of their candles, I was in. Around the same time I also scored a 30% off Ecoya candle.
In my dreams I burn Diptyque and Jo Malone candles with gay abandon, but I haven't reached those giddy heights yet. So we've established now that I get a little queasy spending big money on candles (which, after all, no matter how pretty they smell you just burn them, right?).
Do you know what upsets me more? Having to throw out the burnt-out base when the last little bit of wick gives in and droops into the molten wax, never to be revived. Leaving a thick foundation of wax with the remains of the walls of the candle also. All that lovely fragrance, trapped and wasted!
Then I started noticing a new product in shops - 'scented wax melts'. They piqued my interest. What if I snapped off pieces of leftover highly-expensive candle and melted them in my rarely used essential oil vapouriser? And do you know what? Just a little chunk of defunct scented candle placed in the vapouriser (no water) with a tealight candle underneath releases the fragrance as the chunk (sorry, 'scented wax melt') liquifies.
After a short while (around two tealight candles, so about 8-10 hours) the wax loses its scent and it's ready to be thrown out. If it was still a candle like in it's former life, it would have burnt away. But in it's new life as a wax melt, it just uses up the scent and stays put. I then leave it to harden and put the whole vapouriser in the freezer. The next day the wax disk simply pops out and I bin it. The vapouriser is left pretty clean too, just a tiny amount of wax to scrape off here and there.
That's how I get fancy candles out of jars too, put the whole thing in the freezer (when it's solid, not just after it goes out) and because freezing shrinks the wax a touch, it should come out relatively easily, sometimes a butter knife is needed.
So I'm here to say to you today, folks, do not throw away your fancy candles when you think there is no hope, because there is!