Archive for December, 2013

Gel Wax Other

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Spectrum Liquid Candle DyeGel Wax Color-

In order to add color to your gel wax, liquid candle dyes are highly recommended.  This is due to the way that gel wax thins as opposed to liquefy like other waxes.  Using a powder or block candle dye will result in clumping and uneven coloring.  These forms can be used to dye gel wax, but it is way easier just to use the liquid dyes from the start.

Gel Wax Wicks
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Choosing the right wick for gel wax is key.  The general rule of thumb is to wick up with gel wax.

The process to select the correct wick size is to measure the diameter of your container.  You do this by taking a ruler and measuring across the center of the opening of the container.  Once you have this information, check the wick suggestions chart.  However, remember that you must wick up.  This means if your container is 3 inches in diameter, you will look at the wick suggestions for a 4 inch candle.  This is wicking up (which is basically adding an inch to your diameter).

Gel Containers-

There are three important factors to consider when choosing your gel wax container.

First, the container must be crack resistant.

Secondly, the container must be able to stand high heat from the burning candle.  Remember, gel wax burns at a higher temperature than other waxes.  Coupled with the open flame and the high temperature of the melt pool, you want to make sure the container can with stand the heat.

Lastly, the container you select cannot leak.  As with all candles that you craft, you do not want to have liquid wax spilling out onto any surfaces.

Gel Wax

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Natures Garden Gel WaxThere are many different kinds of candle waxes available in the industry; gel wax stands out for some of its own very unique reasons.

What is Gel Wax

Consisting of 95% mineral oil and 5% polymer resin, gel wax is a rubbery and clear mixture.  The polymer resin is used to thicken the mineral oil to add the properties true to gel wax; long burn time and clear look.  This wax, unique in its form; is able to extend burn time by double (compared to paraffin).  That is one of the biggest selling points to gel wax.  Just as important is the special aesthetic aspect to gel wax; its transparency.

Candles crafters that work with gel wax are able to manipulate it by embedding, shaping, and pairing the wax to achieve specific looks.  Some of the more popular finished products of these techniques would be sand candles, fruit pie candles, or beverage candles.

Embeds are inserts that are positioned into the gel wax before it completely solidifies.  These non flammable items are then suspended in the hardened wax.  This gives gel wax candles a very rare look.  Some examples of embeds you can use in this wax would be: sea shells, glass or wax embeds, or glitter. Never use plastic embeds for gel wax candles.

Another notable advantage of working with gel wax is how forgiving it is.  Any corrections that you want to touch up in the finished candle can be done.  It is as simple as remelting, rescenting, recoloring, and repouring.

How to Melt Gel Wax

The process of melting gel is slightly different than your other waxes.  With this one, there is no specific temperature to heat in order to liquefy.  This wax, as it melts; only thins.  Stirring is key with gel wax.

It is also important to keep a watchful eye on gel wax as it thins.  Stirring frequently and monitoring will ensure the correct melting process.  Gel wax does not thin quicker by heating at a higher temperature; gel wax will only smoke.

Tips on Gel Candles

Never try to move a gel wax candle while it is burning or was just lit.  Liquid gel wax is extremely hot and will cause severe burns if splashed onto the skin.

The top layer of a gel wax candle is very sticky.  This is just the nature of gel wax.  You always want to keep your gel wax candle cover in between uses.   This will prevent the wax from collecting dust and debris on that sticky layer.

Gel wax is strictly a container wax.  Due to its makeup, the wax is not strong enough to be a pillar wax.  This should be noted especially for shipping and storage reasons.  If your candle is placed on its side or upside down, the wax will start to slide/pour out.

If you are interested in making a gel wax Beer Candle, click on this link; if you would like to try a gel wax Wine Candle, click on this link.  There are many other homemade recipes that can be found at Natures Garden’s Free Recipes and Classes area of their website.

No Candle Scent?

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Candle waxesWhen it comes to candle scent, there are only two kinds.  The hot throw of a candle, and the cold throw.

The hot throw in candles is when the wick of the candle has been lit.  The aroma of a well made candle will fill a averaged sized room fairly quickly.  This scented aroma will linger the whole time the candle remains lit.  This is the fragrance oil being released into the air from the wax that is heated by the lit wick.

On the end of the spectrum and not requiring any heat is the cold scent throw.  This is the scent a candle gives off when it is just sitting there unlit.  Cold throw is very important in candles because it is the first impression that a person gets on how the candle is going to smell.  This aroma is solely based off the fragrances aromatic quality in the wax.   

Why does my candle not smell?

The best way to guarantee that you are producing a high quality candle is to know you have good quality supplies.   There is a lot of various fragrance or scent suppliers in the market, buying from a reputable supply company ensures your candles are high quality, provide strong hot and cold throw, as well as a clean burn.  All three qualities mentioned are expectations for candles.

It is possible that a fragrance that is very evident in the cold throw of a candle will not perform the in the hot throw of the candle (this is known to occur in soy wax).  Using an additive like vybar will help to extend the scent throw.   However, if using vybar be careful not to add too much.

In the candle making process, never leave your wax on the heat source longer than needed.  Once the color and scent have been added to the wax, pay attention for when it is time to pour.  Leaving scented and melted wax on the heat source too long can burn off notes in the fragrance oil prematurely.  This lack of notes has a direct effect on your candles smell.  You especially do not want to risk this happening to your candle wax if you are using lighter fragrance oils with low flashpoints like citruses for example.

When making candles with veggie waxes such as soy wax, you will need to use a hotter burning wick to allow fragrance to travel up the wick and escape into the air.  You may also want to consider “wicking-up” when you are making candles with fragrance that contains heavy base notes.

How to Solve It!

Before you buy from an online supplier check out their credentials; you can easily do this by reading the customer reviews on their website and their social media pages.  There you will be able to find out a lot about a company.  Lastly, candle making forums are also a great way to see if a company is reputable and has good quality products, fast shipping, and customer service.

For most fragrance oils, in order to get the best hot and cold throw in a candle you use 1  to 1.5 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of wax.  If you have decided to use vybar to help increase scent throw, only add ½ tsp for every pound of wax.  Also, adding more than the recommended amount of vybar to your wax may bind your scent without allowing the wax to release it properly, so do not overdo it.

A key step to remember in the candle making process is to pour your candle wax immediately once it has been scented and mixed, or hit the proper temperature.  Using additional heat once the melted wax has been scented will allow for some of the fragrance oil to evaporate into the air releasing aromatic components of the fragrance oil before their time.  This will permanently alter the way the fragrance oil will smell in your lit candle, and may be the reason why the candle has no smell at all.

Remember, when you are making candles with veggie waxes, or you are using fragrances with heavy base notes like musk, amber, patchouli, vanilla, woods, you will want to use a bigger, hotter-burning wick.

Good Pear Scent

Monday, December 16th, 2013

good pear scentAnjou Pear Blossoms Fragrance Oil-Fragrance Oil Spotlight

Pear is often used in edible dishes for its indulgent depth of sweetness. The same could be said for pear notes in scents. When it comes to fruity scents, usually apples lead the way.  Pears however, have made it a battle; and recently have become trendy in many designer lines.   This delicious fragrance oil is a beautiful combination of fresh and crisp fruit notes balanced with robust floral notes.  It is a juicy, sweet mix of both worlds, anchored with luscious vanilla and musk.  A great scent for any bath and body product, this fragrance also works well in room fresheners and candles too.  Not only is this scent popular among Natures Garden’s customers, but with their customers as well.

What does Anjou Pear Blossoms Smell Like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a sophisticated blend of bergamot, pear nectar and ripe, orchard apples; enhanced by heady garden florals of jasmine, lily, rose, pear blossoms, and gardenia, intertwined with precious woods and vanilla. An NG Original Scent!

How Do Our Customers Use Anjou Pear Blossoms Fragrance Oil?

For candle makers and home scent crafters, this fragrance is aromatic. This fragrance performed well in soy, pillar of bliss, WOW, paraffin, and Joy wax candles. The scent throw is good for both the hot and cold throw. Some of our customers even use Anjou Pear Blossoms Fragrance Oil for room freshening sprays using.  This fragrance oil can also be used in oil burners and works great in sachet beads too.

On the bath and body end, this fresh fruity floral is used to make an array of wonderful products. The usage percent for this fragrance oil is 5%, and is used to make: body sprays, lotions, melt and pour soaps, whipped body butters, shampoos, conditions, and salt bars. Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is awesome.  Here are the official results:  No acceleration, fragrance does turn into solid glob when added to soap, stick blends smooth without any issues. Scent is a wow. No discoloration.

Candle Smoking?

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

candle smokingWhy is My Candle Smoking?

Whenever something is being burned, there will be some amount of smoke.  Naturally, when you limit the amount of oxygen, you will see more smoke than when ample oxygen is supplied.  However, you can prevent your homemade candles from excessively smoking by making your candles the right way in the first place.  There are a few reasons as to why a candle may smoke once lit.  The first check point to examine is whether or not the correct amount of fragrance oil was used in the process.  Using more than the recommended amount of fragrance oil per pound of wax may sound like it is a good idea to have extreme scent, but in the end it is only wasteful (and costly), and can cause your candles to smoke.  Wax has a fragrance load limit.  Since it is a porous object, once each and every pore has been filled, there is no more area for the fragrance to go.

The second reason your candle may be smoking is the wick.  Using the proper wick for the diameter size of the candle is the best way to ensure a clean and even burn in the candle.  Go here to read a very interesting blog post on the science of candle wicks.  A smoking wick will occur if the wick of the candle is too large for the container.  To view a wick suggestion chart for your sized candle container click here  for Natures Garden’s wick recommendations.  Avoid allowing the debris from wick clippings from entering into your melted wax, and keep your wicks trimmed to 1/4″.

Finally, your colorant may cause your candle to smoke.  It is important to know that pigments can clog your wick and can cause increased smoking when burning your candle.  That is why only candle dyes should be used to color the interior wax of candles.  Never use crayons to color your candles as they contain pigments instead of dyes.  When using candle dyes, understand that using alot of candle dye may also cause your candles to smoke more.

How to Solve It!

When it comes to fragrance oil percentage, never use more than the suggested amount of fragrance oil per pound of wax.  Remember, using more may result in a candle with a fragrance oil slick that is a fire hazard.

Do your research first.  In order to know which wick to use in candle making, you must first know your candle’s diameter.  You can figure this out by measuring the bottom of your candle container with a ruler.  You will want to measure horizontally across the center.  Once you have this information, simply look at the wick suggestion chart and select which kind of wick you need.  Keep wick trimmings out of your melted wax, and keep wicks trimmed to 1/4″.  Also, avoid burning your candles where there are fans or drafts.  This can cause your wick to move around and burn too quickly; potentially smoking more.

In candle making temperature is very important.  Many waxes offer a range in temperature for their key steps (melting temperature, scenting temperature, pouring temperature).   It is a very good idea to monitor these temperatures with the help of a testing notebook and thermometer.  Within a few times of making candles, you can have your temperatures down to a specific degree.  With well taken notes, it is possible to have your candle making process replicated exactly time and time again.

Lastly, you always want to avoid using pigments in the interior of your candle.  Only candle dyes should be used to color the interior of your candle wax.

Whipped Shaving Cream

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

whipped shaving soapIf you are looking for a great homemade whipped shaving cream recipe, Natures Garden has one for you!  With a wonderfully rich and creamy lather, this thick shaving cream will leave your skin feeling smooth and rejuvenated.  In fact, after you make this shaving recipe, you will love it so much that you may never buy the store bought version again.  Plus, since this recipe is a homemade one, you can scent your shaving cream to your liking.  Natures Garden has a wonderful selection of body safe fragrance oils both feminine and masculine, and even a few truly unique ones too.

This light and fluffy cream will give you a close shave every time, and you only need a very small amount of the shaving cream to accomplish this.  Because this homemade shaving cream contains the ingredient Bentonite Clay, it makes the shaving lather slicker, allowing the razor a slippery layer to provide a sleek, nick free shave.  But, the bentonite clay benefits do not stop there.

Bentonite Clay also helps to sweep away impurities on the skin.  It can add a silky, polished feel to a product.  But, for scenting purposes in a finished product, the best benefit of Bentonite Clay is the fact that this clay allows for an even dispersion of scent throughout the whole product; working as a fixative.

Rich and exotic Mango Butter is also another stellar ingredient in this recipe.  Mango Butter is a luxurious butter that melts on the skin allowing for great moisturizing and softening effects.  The addition of this ingredient in your body products is even believed to reduce wrinkle development.

These two powerhouse ingredients together along with a few other necessities produce a whipped shaving cream that is very easy to make, very easy to use, and is a fraction of the cost of store bought kind.

To view the complete whipped shaving cream recipe, you can simply click on this link.  If you are interested in other easy to make, homemade bath and body products, candles, or home scenting products, please visit Natures Garden’s website.  The projects and instructions are listed under the Free Recipes and Classes area, and can be scented in an array of various fragrance oils; so there is something for everyone!

Sweet Pea Fragrance Oil

Friday, December 13th, 2013

 

Sweet Pea Fragrance OilSweet Pea Fragrance Oil-Fragrance Oil Spotlight

This all time favorite fragrance oil is a classic when it comes to requested scents in end products.  Not only is this fragrance oil great alone but it is absolutely awesome for mixing fragrances as well.  With a nice blend of light and flirty notes and the musky undertone, this fragrance really adds a unique clean and relaxing aspect to your products.  This fresh and sweet scent is timeless and is great to use any time of the year.  And, if you make homemade products in the bath and body industry, Sweet Pea fragrance oil by Natures Garden is one of the best fragrances you can scent your products in.  In fact, many of our customers think that it is the best sweet pea fragrance oil available.

What does Sweet Pea Smell Like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a Yankee duplication. An English garden reminiscent of hyacinth, lily of the valley, violets and wild jasmine with a background of light herbal and musky notes. A Best Seller!

How Do Our Customers Use Sweet Pea Fragrance Oil?

For any candle crafters or home scenters, Sweet Pea Fragrance Oil is used in Joy, Soy, Soy blends, Pillar of Bliss, and WOW waxes.  The scent has great throw and is very strong in both the hot and cold throw.  Because the scent throw is so phenomenal with this fragrance, Sweet Pea scent can also be used in electric oil burners, tart burners, and even homemade air fresheners like aroma beads and smelly jellies.

For any bath and body crafters, this fragrance oil is a very popular long lasting scent.   The usage percent for this fragrance oil is 3.3%. The most common bath and body products that customers use this fragrance oil to make are: lotions, body butters, body scrubs, shaving soaps, bath bombs, shower gel, melt and pour soaps, bubble bath, and hair conditioners. Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance oil is worth it. Here are the official results: Slight Definite acceleration. Recommend soaping at cooler temperatures. For the trouble the scent is so worth it. No final discoloration, stayed nice and strong.

Fragrance Oil and Candle Making

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

fragrance oilWhen it comes to candle making, in order to have the best smelling candles, you must use concentrated fragrance oil.  There are a vast number of fragrance oil companies in the market, many of them sell good quality oils for candle making, and on the other hand there are some companies that sell lower cost fragrances which are usually diluted.  Never use any fragrance oils that are alcohol based for candle making.  Caution- there are companies that sell “potpourri fragrance oils”, these fragrance oils are about 50% concentrated.  They are cut with a product called DPG.  DPG (or dipropylene glycol) is used to dilute fragrance oils.  Do not use these types of fragrance oils for candle making, they will inhibit your candles from burning properly.

Once you have found a company that sells concentrated fragrance oils, you will only want to use 1 ounce to 1.5 ounces of candle scent per pound of wax.  As long as you have selected the right kind of wax- a high quality one- you will never need to use more than 1.5 ounces of candle scent per pound of wax.  Using more than the stated amount of fragrance oil in your candle wax will result in unused fragrance in the bottom of your pouring pot or candle container.  This is wasted fragrance oil that was not absorbed by your wax.

Natures Garden supplies 100% concentrated fragrance oils to its customers.  These scents were formulated by master perfumists, using aromatic chemicals and essential oils to create wonderfully smelling fragrances that can be used to make candles.  In fact, about 99% of Natures Garden’s fragrance oils also work in other applications besides candles.  This includes:  cosmetics, bath and body products, and even cold process soap.  Natures Garden is dedicated to providing its customers with unique, fine, fragrance oils at wholesale prices not retail prices.  Our company is able to sell these high quality oils at great prices because we are the largest supplier of fragrance oils in the USA, which has allowed us to achieve bulk buying power from our perfumists.  And then, we pass the savings on to our customers.  Our high quality, affordable-priced fragrance oils allow our customers to maintain high profit margins on their finished products.

Chemistry of Fragrance

Essential oils are 100% natural (usually plant derived).  These scenting oils are commonly attained by a process known as steam distillation.  Essential oils are very costly as compared to fragrance oils.  Fragrance oils came into existence because of these high costs.  Perfumists started replicating the aroma of certain essential oils by mixing the right combinations of over 3,000 various aromatic chemicals.  These aromatic chemicals are known as aldehydes and ketones.  Aldehydes and ketones are all polar to some degree.  It is actually impossible for fragrance oils to be NON Polar.  Every fragrance oil has some degree of polarity to them.  Yes, it is true that some fragrance oils will be more polar than others, but a fragrance oil can never be completely NON Polar.  Perfumists are able to create a fragrance oil that is less polar by using isopar solvents, but once again, there will still be a small degree of polarity from the aromatic chemicals used to form the fragrance oil.

Fragrance oils that are used to scent gel wax have to be on the lesser side of being polar.  A great tip for testing if a fragrance oil will work in gel wax is to first check the flashpoint.  The flashpoint of the oil has to be above 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then, see if the fragrance oil will mix in mineral oil, if the solution becomes cloudy, the fragrance oil will not work.  If the solution is clear, the fragrance oil is gel wax compatible.

MSDS/IFRA/RIFM

We at Natures Garden want to keep you informed on every single fragrance oil we carry.  All of the fragrance oils sold by Natures Garden abide by the safety recommendations set forth by the IFRA and RIFM standards.  Natures Garden also supplies the MSDS information for each and every fragrance oil as well.  The MSDS and IFRA Certification of Compliance can be found on the website, under the fragrance performance- testing in various applications section.  Each MSDS and IFRA certificate can be easily printed right off the Natures Garden website.  EU customers are now provided EU allergen reports for all of our fragrances.

Candle Wax Tips

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

soy wax candlesThe type of wax that you select for candle making is very important to your end product.  Wax has a direct affect on the overall quality of the finished candle.  This is the secret to making the perfect candle; you have to have a good, high quality wax.  The novice belief in candle making is that as long as they add more fragrance, it can compensate for a lower quality wax, and still produce a strong candle.  This is absolutely not true.

To help you understand the importance of wax in candles, let’s think of wax as a sponge and fragrance as water.   Sponges are very porous.  And, when you pour water over a sponge, the sponge fills each pore with water.  The sponge will swell as it fills.  However, as you will notice eventually when the sponge is filled, it can no longer hold any more water.  What then results is an overflow of water and the water will start leaking out from the sponge.  The same concept is true for wax.  Once the pores of the wax have been filled with their maximum capacity of fragrance oil, any additional fragrance oil that is added will settle out of the wax.

What you are left with in this scenario is wasted fragrance oil in the bottom of your pouring pot and a candle that is possibly a fire hazard.  You should never use more than 1.5 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of wax.  Adding additional scent to your candle wax will not increase your scent, instead it is nothing but money down the drain.  That is why the quality of wax that you select for your candle making endeavor is so important.

Pre-blended waxes

Yes, it is true that there are a variety of wax additives that you can include in your candle recipe to manipulate certain qualities in your candles.  But, in our experience, we have found that purchasing a pre-blended candle wax that already includes these additives is the best route to go.  Not only are you saving time, money, and the hassle of testing, but your end product will be exactly what you are looking for in a candle.  Analyzing it, by the time you purchase all of the extra ingredients you need to make a low quality wax into a high quality wax, you will spend more money than if you just purchase the high quality pre-blended wax (like JOY wax) to begin your candle making venture.  Not to mention all the time you just saved yourself too.

Temperature

Another key factor to remember in candle making is that temperature is extremely important.  Anytime that you are working with wax, it is crucial to know the directions for use.  The temperature of waxes varies according to the wax you are using.  And, in candle making temperatures are vital to the process.  Never heat any of your waxes above 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  On a molecular level, heating wax to this extreme temperature will start to break down the wax on a molecular level.  You will also notice if you get wax too hot (above the instructed degrees) the wax may burn, resulting in discoloration of the wax, as well as a burnt smell.  If this does occur, the wax is done.  It cannot be used for candle making any longer.  DO NOT attempt to scent the wax, or over scent the wax to compensate for the burnt smell.

Autumn Magic Fragrance Oil

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
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Autumn Magic Fragrance Oil by Natures Garden is both an NG Original Fragrance, as well as a Best Seller!

Autumn Magic Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

Although this fragrance oil smells good out of the bottle, this scent truly blossoms and is amazing in handmade products.  In fact, we love this fragrance oil so much we just made cold process soap with it!  No one can deny that there is something magical in the autumn time air, and this fragrance oil by Natures Garden seems to capture that essence.  A scent that is more than just your typical apple and cinnamon combination, this fragrance is unique and is quickly becoming a fall time fan favorite among Natures Garden’s customers.

What does Autumn Magic Smell Like?

Autumn comes to life in this magical fragrance oil by Natures Garden.  Autumn magic starts with top notes of lemon and apple; followed by middle notes of anise, cinnamon, and ginger; sitting on well-rounded base notes of woods, musk, and vanilla.

How Do Our Customers Use Autumn Magic Fragrance Oil?

For anyone who is a candle crafter or home scenter; Autumn Magic Fragrance Oil is typically used in paraffin, gel, soy, and Joy waxes.  This fragrance oil has wonderful hot and cold scent throw.  In fact, some of our customers comment that their candles even scent rooms without ever lighting the wick.  This fragrance oil also works well for air fresheners, smelly jellies,  and aroma beads; bringing the scent of fall indoors.

For bath and body crafters, this fragrance is awesome!  The usage percent for this fragrance oil is 5%, and is used to make: body creams, melt and pour soap, bubble baths, shower gels, body sprays, and even shampoos.   Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is behaved well.  Here are the official results:  Soaps great, no ricing, no acceleration, discolors to a tan.