In 1920, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote,
“My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends-
It gives a lovely light.”
While the poem is certainly not about candle wax, the quality and longevity of wax is terribly essential to the premise: the candle can’t outlast Millay’s own liveliness. However, it’s possible that she chose the wrong candles. Paraffin, a by-product of coal or petroleum, had entered the market by then and its cheapness and cleanliness led to wide popularity. Paraffin didn’t—and still doesn’t—burn as long as beeswax.
Rather than giving off a faint scent of honey, melting paraffin releases some of the same toxic fumes found in automobile exhaust. Often, wicks from paraffin candles are made cheaply outside the U.S. and contain trace amounts of lead—yet another source of discomfiting toxicity.
These beeswax votives come in sets of six, the smaller ones burn for 15 hours each, and the larger ones for 20—more than enough time to outlast a night of flirtations and inspirations. The candles are made by a family-run operation based out of Cottage Grove, Oregon. All candles are made on-site out of 100% pure beeswax produced only in the U.S. and primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Wicks are made from 100% cotton.
The candles are packaged without plastic.
Each of the candles should be placed in a votive dish that can contain the pool of wax that forms around the candle's base as it burns. To keep the melted wax from sticking to the dish, place about a tablespoon of water at the bottom before placing the candle. Once the candle has fully burned, this will make it easier to pop out any remaining wax from the container.
Votives should also be allowed to burn for at least four hours at a time to prevent tunneling: the rim of wax that builds up around the center of the candle. Votives should be lit in areas free of drafts and wicks should be trimmed to approximately ¼ inch before each use. If the wick begins to lean or curl while burning, it can be re-centered using a bobby pin or another fire-proof tool to prevent the wax from melting unevenly.
Never leave burning candles unattended.
Votives come in two sizes: 1 ¾ inches x 1 ¾ inches, with straight sides, and 2 ¼ inches x 1 ¾ inches, with tapered sides. The candles have 100% cotton wicks and contain no substance other than beeswax, which means they have a natural, honey-scented smell in addition to their tactile, hand-made feel.
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