Earl of East London and Hallesches Haus organized a scented candle workshop and our editor Catie re-caps the most important steps
“Hmmm…so does it also taste like it smells?” The sense of smell is already something that’s fine and unique – and when those smells are good, we love them all the more. That’s also something my bank account surely also feels when I spend exorbitant sums on scented candles of every kind. Fortunately, I found the workshop at Hallesches Haus (thank you, Facebook!) with the founders of Earl of East London (E.O.E.L) held on a Sunday afternoon so I could let off a little steam in regards to my DIY-madness – which from fermenting to deodorants and body oils, just doesn’t stop. Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
In 2014, Paul Firmin and Niko Dafkos founded their small concept store in an old freight container in Netil Market in East London. Since the beginning they’ve been curating a selection of scented candles, cacti, and other things that are nice to look at. And since 2015, they’ve also had their own soy wax scented candles in five different scents.
If you want to pour your own at home, you’ll find all you need to do it yourself right here:
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You need a hot glue gun, soy wax as needed, fragrances that you like, a wick, a clothes peg, a little whisk, a metal can, your candle glass, cut straws, a pot, a small bowl for melting the wax, and a stovetop.
Step one: The duel
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Using the hot glue gun (immediate flashbacks to a childhood full of gluey fingers guaranteed), generously cover the metal base of the wick and, with the help of a cut straw, place this glue-covered end first into the middle of the candle glass and press firmly. Pull away the straw. Step one: done!
Step two: Wax me, baby!
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Here, soy wax is recommended instead of beeswax due to price and the ecological and economic advantages. And then there’s also that beeswax already has its own scent and brings that with it, influencing the scent of the candle.
Simply order “soy wax flakes” online in whatever amount you need. E.O.E.L, for example uses a soy wax from America that’s non-GMO and organic (you don’t want to breath in anything unhealthy).
Heat up the wax in a bain-marie at up to 60°C, until it’s fully fluid – it’s just like what you know from melting chocolate. After that, you pour the liquid wax in a small metal can. From there you can now pour it into the candle glass. Ideally, you take the wick to the side and try to hit the metal end at a 45° angle. Just pour enough into the container that you have 1cm left at the top.
Step three: But quickly now…
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At this point it’s important that you don’t wait too long until you address the fragrances, because otherwise the wax starts to harden (it will be obvious as it gets cloudy). The fragrance notes you’ve pre-selected should make up a maximum of 10% of the composition. With 170ml of fluid wax, that means 12ml base note with 5ml middle notes and a drop of essence.
After adding the base notes, you have to take a small whisk and stir all the ingredients 20 times clockwise and 20 times counterclockwise. You do the same thing with the middle notes and the essence. This rule doesn’t have to be strictly complied to and can be completely alternated as soon you’ve reached professional status in the world of scented candles. Important: all fragrance notes have to be mixed into the wax evenly.
Step four: And what else?
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Basically, that’s it. Oh yeah: “don’t underestimate the importance of the wick”, how Niko nicely emphasized. It should be wrangling for the top of the glass, centered and straight. So that it stays that way, just pull a bit and fix it with a common clothes pin. Now leave your candle to harden for 72 hours at room temperature. If you get some cracks on the surface (caused by rapid temperature change), simple heat it up gently and let it harden again.
Et voilà! Your own DIY scented candle is done.
TIP: Containers with lids preserve the scent of the candle better after use. Also, you shouldn’t ever burn a candle longer than 4 hours at a time – even when it could burn up to 40 hours!
Thanks to the “Hallesches Haus” for the organisation.
Tempelhofer Ufer 1
Monday – Friday: 10am – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 4pm
U-Bahn: U1 or U6 Hallesches Tor