Sugar cookie, warm apple pie, candy cane. The scented candles that are so popular this time of year can be drool-inducing—but once you find out what they're really made of, they might leave a sour taste in your mouth.
Anyone who's taken one too many whiffs of a gingerbread candle knows that these powerful fragrances can leave you nose-blind after a while—and for the super-sensitive, headaches and nausea follow close behind.
Why? Most mass-market candles are made with paraffin wax, a petroleum byproduct that's carcinogenic when burned. The soot left behind is irritating to the respiratory system and potentially harmful for the rest of the body. And that's not to mention the artificial fragrances and dyes that can cause allergic reactions in many people and pollute the home.
This year, skip the store-bought candles and whip up your own. It's super easy and fun—and you can still make them smell like your favorite holiday treats!
Basic Coconut Oil Candle Recipe
Over a double boiler, melt coconut oil and soy wax beads together. Pour mixture into tea lights or glass jar, making sure the wick is upright and remains clean. Allow to cool and harden before using.
That's it! So simple, right? This basic recipe imparts a light coconut scent, but if you want to get into the holiday spirit, try adding the following essential oil combos.
1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice
10 drops peppermint oil
Photo credit: Paul Delmont