Candles made from gel are gaining in popularity. Candle Gel isn’t technically wax. It is made from mineral oil with a polymer resin binder. Finished candles have a consistency sort of like clear, firm gelatin. Gel candles burn twice as long as paraffin candles and a little bit of fragrance goes a long way.
Gel is soft so the candles are made in a wide variety of containers. Since gel is crystal clear, it’s like a blank canvas on which candle-makers can create absolutely gorgeous designs.
Maybe you’ve seen gel candle seascapes, with little fish appearing to float in blue waters. Other items you might see ‘floating’ in the candles are sea shells, sand, glitter, flowers and a variety of other objects. Candles that look like fruit preserves, drinks and desserts are also popular.
I like to make gel candles in champagne flutes, with lots of sparkly glitter. Customers have used them as party decorations. With a ribbon or glittery applique, they make a simple yet elegant table decoration.
Occasionally there have been e-mails circulating about the dangers of candle gel, but I’ve burned gel candles for years with no problems. Any candle is only as good as the person making it and the materials used; the same is true for candles made from gel. You want to make sure that you’re dealing with a candle maker who knows what they’re doing and uses quality materials.
I keep the wicks on gel candles trimmed a little closer than I do on other candles. The flame is smaller, but still creates a good pool of melted wax for nice scent. Besides, gel candles are so pretty you might not want to burn them anyway. But if you do, you will absolutely love the subtle, long-lasting fragrance.