Understanding Candle Lingo

Tunneling, burn time, fragrance notes—sometimes candle information can feel like a completely different language. To help you understand what everything means when buying a candle or reading a label, we’ve curated a list of candle terminology. So, you can sound like a pro the next time you’re describing the top notes of an aroma to all your friends.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive into the most popular candle words and phrases.

Burn Time: The estimated amount of time your candle will burn for, if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to maximize your burning efficiency. This will help prevent tunneling and keep your candle looking—and burning—great.)

Cold Throw: The release of fragrance when the candle is at room temperature, unlit, and therefore the wax is solid.

Cure: The process that takes place to bind the wax and the fragrance oil together.

Flash Point: The temperature at which a substance can ignite if it comes in contact with an open flame or spark.

Fragrance Load: Amount of fragrance a wax will hold; usually stated in a percentage. Home Again Studios uses 12% fragrance load.

Fragrance Notes: The different fragrances that make up a scent. A fragrance is carefully crafted out of top, middle, and base notes.

Top Note: The first impression that a candle makes, and these notes are the first to burn off based on their smaller molecules.
Typically: Light and Fresh.
Middle Note: These are complex and full-bodied. Common middle notes are light fruits and spicy or herbal scents.
Typically: Light fruits, spices, and herbal scents.
Base Note: They help to anchor a fragrance, and they hang around longer thanks to their large molecules.
Typically: Wood scent, vanilla, or amber.

Frosting: Happens when a white crystalline layer forms on the surface of natural waxes (such as soy). This is a natural effect of soy wax and takes place when the natural wax tries to return to its natural state.

Hand Poured: Means that melted wax is mixed with fragrance and poured into the vessel by hand. Hand poured candles are made in smaller batches with an artisan feel.

Hot Throw: The release of fragrance when the candle is burning.

Melt Point: The temperature at which a wax will start to liquify.

Melt Pool: A full melt pool means the wax has been heated long enough to reach the edge of the container.

Mushrooming: Excess carbon which causes a mushroom shape to form at the end of the candle wick after burning.

Power Burn: When you burn a candle for more than eight hours. Such a long period of burn has a lot of associated risks and is generally not recommended.

Sink Holes: Large holes or craters left in the surface of a soy candle after it has cooled completely. This is caused by air pockets that are trapped in the wax while it is cooling.

Travel Candles: A candle in a small and durable container that you can travel with to make any hotel, AirBnb or new space feel like home. Learn more here.

Tunneling: When the wick burns straight down the center of a candle without creating a full melt pool within two hours of being lit. Learn more about tunneling and how to prevent it, here.

Wet Spot: When the wax pulled away from the glass, giving an appearance of patchy "wet" spots. This does not affect the performance of the candle in any way.

Wick Tab: A flat metal disc with a small hole in the center for a wick; holds the wick at the bottom of a candle.

Wick: Material that delivers fuel to the flame in a candle