“The chemist in me loves mixing fragrances and experimenting. My instruction manual is 40 pages, not two pages. I like to explain the chemistry behind the process, and this way anyone can make great candles. The more I learn, the more I can teach.”
The way that Frosa Katsis, owner of Soy Candles, talks about candle making, you would think she’d be more comfortable wearing a lab coat instead of an apron. But that’s precisely what’s so special about Frosa: She brings the art and science together in her craft.
Why Soy Candles?
Paraffin candles are usually cheaper and more widely available, but there are three important reasons why you should choose soy in your next candle-shopping spree:
- Soy candles release chemicals that do not overpower the smell of food, which plays a key role in enjoying your meals. If you like candle-lit dinners, soy is the better choice.
- Soy burns cleaner and produces about 90 percent less soot than paraffin, significantly reducing indoor air pollution. This makes soy candles the healthier alternative.
- Soy candles are also more sustainable and safer than paraffin candles: They don’t blacken your walls, burn too much heat, or tip easily without tapers.
The Joy of Candle Making
As a chemist, Frosa would mix and match different elements to create a winning fragrance. And she brings the same discipline to candle making.
“I prefer to keep my candles white and love the lemongrass-eucalyptus blend, but also really like a fragrance called Baies - a truly beautiful fruity accord of blackcurrant with rose petals and hints of fir needle, clove, lemon peel, and musk.”
Packaging also plays a vital role in making a great soy candle. Frosa shares, “The search is always on for great glassware. Soy wax melts at a low temperature, so they need to be in jars. I have a great supplier that I now work with and their glassware is amazing.”
Sounds complicated? “The process is quite simple if you stick to the rules - my rules that is,” Frosa quips.
Making soy candles is relatively simple and consists of three basic parts: melting the wax, adding fragrance oils, and assembly. But the process is entirely customisable and the most important thing to learn in this craft, according to Frosa, is the subtleties. Using minimal heat to melt the wax, selecting the correct jar, the right wick for your jar, and not getting carried away with how much fragrance and colour you add - these are just some of the nuances behind creating an excellent-grade candle.