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Fragranced candles - The Hidden Risks

We receive enquiries weekly as to whether we sell scented beeswax candles.  We don't... for a couple of reasons.

1. The vast majority of candles are scented with 'fragrant' oils (fragrances, aroma oils, aromatic oils etc).  Fragrances are synthetic chemicals.  Clearly this would not be consistent with Queen B candles.  More on this in a moment.

2. A few candles are scented with essential oils.  Sounds good so far.  Essential oils are, after all, natural.  The problem is that by pouring it into the wax, the oil is combusted during the burning process.  And as soon as you combust an oil, there are toxic emissions.  No matter how pure or natural or lovely that essential oil was to start with.  According to The Essential Oil Encyclopaedia, the smoke from burning essential
oils may contain potential carcinogens, such as polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons.

Of course it is perfectly safe for you to put drops of oil in water (or wax) and to vapourise the oil (through heating), as in the case of using an oil burner.  That is fine because the oil isn't being combusted.

So, back to fragrances.  I am sure that many of you, even though fans of Queen B, may have a fragranced candle lying around that you just can't get rid of because you love the smell so much?  If so, read on.

According to The Environmental Working Groups recent report "Not so Sexy - The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrance", the fragrance industry has over 3,100 stock chemical ingredients.  Their report which focuses primarily on fragrances/perfumes found that "the average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label... chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions and many substances that have not been assessed for safety..."

A quick read of the entire 44 page report (you can find it here) should cure you of any desire to burn fragranced candles (or wear perfume for that matter).

Interestingly when I looked into who regulated fragrances in Australia, I found out about NICNAS (National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme).  NICNAS requires all importers and/or manufacturers of industrial chemicals for commercial purposes to register with NICNAS.  Interesting.  I did a quick search on a couple of well known manufacturers of 'natural' soy wax candles that I know to be using fragrance oils and the largest of them showed up as being registered with NICNAS.

In the interests of keeping this post to a reasonable length I offer the simple observation that it appears that the EU have a significantly better & more restrictive system for regulating industrial chemicals than Australia does.

By all means, have a beautifully scented house... by using pure essential oils in an oil burner with a Queen B tealight below.  Or if you prefer you can just enjoy the natural, light honey aroma of a Queen B candle - just as nature intended.

Happy burning!


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

4 thoughts on “Fragranced candles - The Hidden Risks”

  • Dasha

    I purchased a bundle of your divinely packaged ‘thins’ in a candle shop several weeks ago during a lazy “let’s explore this area” Sunday. I remember being so pleased to have stumbled across them in a shop that l would otherwise not have bought a candle from. Also my first purchase from Queen B involved two hours of driving in Christmas traffic with a bored 3 year old in the car. Anyway, l took them home and was so disappointed to find that l had accidently picked up a scented bundle – or at least l thought they were scented– and so threw them away unopened (yes it still hurts).
    However after reading this post l now realise that either the packaging or the actual candles must have picked up scent from the other candles in the store!!!!
    I will order on-line once l stop sulking.

    • queenbcandles

      Oh Dasha... I'm devastated... perhaps you can email me to let me know which store and I can chat to them about it. The thing that is hardest is that you probably spent the next several weeks cursing Queen B and their 'scented' candles when we simply wouldn't do that to you. thanks for taking the time to let me know though... we make lots of improvements through feedback and suggestions. CB

  • Dasha

    Happy to e-mail you the store details ..and there was no negativity being sent your way. l was irritated with myself for picking up the supposed scented candles (which l personally never buy)

  • [...] the vast majority of candles are scented with synthetic, petro-chemical fragrant oils.  (plenty of online references to that if you do a google search).  You could also re-look at our previous post on Fragranced Candles: The Hidden Risks. [...]

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