Common Candle Lingo

Common Candle Lingo

True candle enthusiasts might be familiar with terms like “cold throw” and “melting pool.” For those of you who are just getting into candles, and those of you who just want to up your vocabulary a bit, we’ve created a quick guide to popular candle lingo.


Burn time is the amount of time it takes for the wax in a candle to be consumed completely. The longer the burn time, the more enjoyment you’ll get out of your candle.


“Cold Throw” refers to how a candle smells before it has been lit. This is that first impression you get when you take the lid off of one of our candles and the fragrance comes floating out. “Hot Throw” refers to how a candle smells while it is lit. This is what fills a room with your favorite fragrance.


A “note” is a snazzy word used to describe the different fragrances that make up a scent. Each one of our fragrances is carefully crafted out of top, middle, and base notes.


Top notes are the oh-so-important first impression that a candle makes. These notes are the first ones to reach out and say, “Hello!” They are usually light and fresh, but just like any enthusiastic yet slightly flighty person, these notes are the first to go. Their molecules are smaller quicker than middle and base notes, but never fear! These notes do not fade from the overall fragrance of the candle.


Middle notes are sometimes called the ‘heart notes’ and they, much like our hearts, are complex and full-bodied. These notes often act as the cheerleaders for top or bottom notes, giving them a boost and providing balance. Common middle notes are light fruits and spicy or herbal scents.


Base notes are the hefty baritones of the fragrance world. They help to anchor a fragrance, and they hang around longer thanks to their large molecules. They give a fragrance that final touch, that last, lingering impression in the fragrant experience. Base notes often consist of woodsy scents, vanilla, or amber.


Closer to a hot spring than a swimming pool, a wax pool means the size of the pool melted wax forms around a burning wick. As the wax pool gets larger the candle’s hot throw (remember this from earlier?) gets better. It’s important to let a candle’s wax pool go all the way to the edge of the container to prevent tunneling.


Wicks can sometimes get a build up at the top that is called mushrooming. This build up could be caused by the type of wick used, fragrance oils, or a few other mushroom creating causes. If your wick looks like a garden fungi after blowing out the flame, grab a wick trimmer or a pair of scissors and snip the top off. Ideal wick length is 1/4” so take this mushroom trimming time to get your wick ready for its next burn.


Tunneling might be the most dreaded problem a candle lover faces. Tunneling happens when a candle burns straight down through the middle leaving excess wax on the edges. The most common cause for this is improper burning, especially on the first burn. The best prevention for tunneling is burning a candle until it pools all the way across the wax on the first burn. Candles have memory and if the first burn only pools halfway across the candle it is more likely that this is where the candle will stop burning the next time you light it up.

You are now ready to go out and conquer the candle world! Or at least, now you can sound like you know what you’re talking about during those fancy candle conversations. For more information on how to properly burn a candle check out our Candle Burning 101 blog.

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