The Key to Maximizing a Candle’s Aroma? A Wooden Wick
Aromatherapy—the practice of using fragrant extracts from trees, flowers, and other plants for therapeutic benefit—has been a means of encouraging physical and psychological well-being for centuries. Because scents are processed in the brain, certain smells can quiet the mind, and allow us to feel more grounded and at ease. The Wooden Wick Co., a purveyor of natural-scented items for the home, bath, and body, adds another dimension to the self-care tradition by providing supplies and resources for people to make aromatic objects themselves—a therapeutic prelude to another calming experience. The company gets its name from the strip of porous material located at the center of its candles. Using patented technology, each wick is made from F.S.C.-certified wood and produces an even, virtually soot-free burn (unlike the cloth variety, which tends to mushroom when lit). Compared to cloth wicks, wooden versions push up to 35 percent more fragrance into a room, and even crackle as they burn, like a miniature fire in the hearth.
The Wooden Wick Co. has developed a robust collection of equipment for concocting wooden-wick candles that fit a range of olfactory preferences, provide ample room for creativity, and cater to varying levels of expertise. (It also offers tools for making soaps, diffusers, and home and body sprays, as well as ready-to-use versions of its products.) Beginners might opt for a D.I.Y. kit, which includes all the materials required to construct a candle. The festive Very Merry Candle Kit, for example, includes a bottle of juniper fir and balsam spruce fragrance oil—in addition to supplies including a mason jar, a pine lid, and a bamboo mixing spoon—that produce a deep, woody redolence. Those looking to create a tranquil experience might select the Mindful Soul Kit, which features lavender and ylang-ylang fragrance oil, or the New Beginnings Kit, which comes with sandalwood fragrance oil and sweet-smelling dahlia petals.
For a more self-directed process, candle-makers can mix and match supplies to enhance their wooden wicks, including paraben- and phthalate-free wax dyes; mix-ins such as biodegradable glitter or mica powder, made from made from iron oxides and titanium; and a sizable selection of tin, marble, and glass vessels. The company’s many essential oils and dried botanicals can be used alone or layered for a more complex aromatic effect. Try combining the peppermint and eucalyptus oils to create a cool, earthy bouquet, or mingle a handful of juniper sprigs with lavender for an invigorating experience akin to walking through an evergreen forest.