|Neroli & Rose|
I had to cut back on my candle habit when I started soap making and that wasn't so bad since my soaps satisfied my voracious olfactory appetite. Last fall, my husband and I celebrated our second second anniversary. (Yes, I married the same guy, twice) down at Glen Laurel Inn in Hocking Hills Ohio. We remarried there and vowed to return every year on our anniversary. Now, this is a snazzy place--no kids allowed, private hot tubs (ooh-la-la!) so many other anniversary couples have the same idea. It's so weird seeing the same couples year after year.
Enter Sue and Donny. My husband and I adore them...we hang out before dinner and catch up the year. I really wanted Sue to try my soap. I gave them both a bar. Like many people, they thought they were stunning, but having never used natural homemade soap, obvious to the joys within. Sue asked me if I made candles. "No, I said, but I certainly love them!" She got this wide-eyed glassy look and went on to explain that she and Donny have a signature scent they light in the cabins, but of course, it's been discontinued. Always up to a good challenge, I said, "What is it? I can try to make one for you?" I mean...how hard can candles be? She went back to her cabin and brought me near spent remains of a yellowish candle. "It's Neroli and Rose....I took a big sniff and whoa...was this strong. I've never smelled this particular combination. If you're unaware, Neroli essential oil comes from the squeezings of orange blossoms. It's crazy expensive...requiring 100 pounds of orange blossoms to make one pound of oil--too cost prohibitive for soap or candles...but there are good FO dupes. Neroli is a strange scent to explain. If you're familiar with Petitgrain, it's similar but from the greenish bits and twigs of the same tree. I've used it a few times in soap...most either love it or hate it...a little goes a long way and better when blended.
I've been working on Sue's candle now for over a month. At first I tried soy with the recommended amount of fragrance oil. It turned out lovely, but had to get right on top of the candle to smell it. In candle techie terms, it had a weak hot throw. I tried again, increasing the FO to the maximum allowed. Still weak throw. She wanted it to scent a room. After much research, I realized soy isn't the best wax for heavily scented candles. More research...decided on a soy/paraffin blend called IGI 6006 known to encompass the best of both worlds..paraffin for excellent scent throw and soy for clean burning. But wouldn't you know it...now my wicks were all wrong.....strong smelling candle if you could discern it through the heavy soot. Hmmm...new wax means new wick. After 4 attempts, I finally have it right...I'll be sending Sue test candle number 4 today. Sue has also become a dedicated user of my soaps. She's one of my best customers. I have a new respect for candle makers. Just like soap making, its science and art. Thanks to Sue, I'm hooked on candle making and will be adding those to my product line because....the soap bone is connected to the candle bone.