I will be the first to admit it! I was a HUGE scented candle fan!! My favorite was the Holiday Candle from The Gap – I got it every year! I would even use it throughout the year – it just smelled so GOOD!!!! All of my candles were seasonal, of course! Pumpkin spice for the fall, citrus of some kind for the summer, and something floral for the spring!
I loved the ambiance they created, the warm beautiful glow they provided to any room. I loved the way they made my house smell! I simply had NO idea that the scented candles that I loved were actually polluting my home. Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days and simply unlearn what I have learned – it would be easier. I do admit, I miss them. Thank GOODNESS, I found a better alternative – but more on that in a minute.
So, what makes them so bad?
Most candles out there contain paraffin. Paraffin is made from petroleum. It contains the following chemicals: acrolein, benzene, ethanol, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, toluene, styrene, ethyl benzene, naphthalene, benzaldehyde, didecyl phthalate, and acetone. Benzene is cancer-causing and toluene affects the central nervous system. Yikes! “Smelling” the candle in the room is equivalent to inhaling exhaust fumes. I can’t think of anyone who would do that!
Candles also may have artificial scents added to them! It was the #1 reason I purchased a candle – because of the way it smelled! Artificial fragrance can be highly toxic and may have up to 300 chemicals in the “fragrance recipe” as companies aren’t required to divulge proprietary recipes and brand secrets. Artificial fragrances have been known to trigger allergic responses as well as irritate asthma.
Is there a better option?
YES! There is always a better option! Throw those candles away, that is step 1. If you are finding yourself mourning the loss of your candles, have no fear!!! There is a candle alternative that is much better! Find yourself some beeswax candles. They can be a tad pricey, though. If you are a fan of DIY, why not try to make your own beeswax candles? They would make lovely gifts!
If it is the scent that you are missing, rather than the warm glow, consider diffusing essential oils! You can create any scent that you wish and fill your home with that beautiful aroma. Not only will it smell good in your home, but you will also be supporting the body systems of all who enter. Essential Oils support wellness and actually improve the air quality in your home. This fall I am enjoying this particular recipe:
If your mind is just spinning over all of the diffuser blends that are possible this fall, check out this post filled with diffuser blend ideas!
Scenting your home and creating the ambiance you are looking for doesn’t have to be toxic to your family. There is always a better option. And when you know better, you can do better!