Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Max Benjamin Natural Wax Candles

“She would rather light candles than curse the darkness and her glow has warmed the world.”~ Adlai E. Stevenson

Recent research has shown that paraffin candles can possibly be harmful to the person & the environment. The petroleum by-product of paraffin candles & commonly used metal/lead/zinc-core wicks produce toxic fumes and smoke. Paraffin Candles are the most common types found in the Irish market. Almost all cheaper candles & also more expensive brands such ‘Yankee Candles’ are made from paraffin wax. As I am a huge fan of candles I was shocked by this news so I started out on a quest to find less harmful options which I discovered come in the form of beeswax or soy candles . I found it very hard to source beeswax candles in Ireland & most of the soy candles are unfortunately on the expensive side. Anyway after a little research I decided that I would try the Max Benjamin soy candles. Unlike most other soy candles available here I like the fact that Max Benjamin are an Irish company & the candles are hand produced in Wicklow. The company is run by two brothers Mark and David Van den Bergh & is named after their nephews Max and Ben(how cute!)

The candles area available through the Max Benjamin website & in stores such as Brown Thomas & Arnotts. I was very disappointed to find a poor selection of fragrances in Arnotts so I made my way to BT’s where the wide range of fragrances were available. There I purchased the Flora Gardenia candle for 18 euro. This blend includes ylang ylang and neroli oils to create a gently refreshing floral aroma which has a calming effect when feeling sad or overwhelmed. The cost was quite a bit more than I would normally spend on a candle but as these are hand made luxury soy wax candles I was quite happy to spend a few extra euros. Also soy candles apparently burn up to 50% longer than paraffin candles making them quite economical. Apparently the candle I purchased has a minimum of 40 burning hours.

I was impressed with the simple design of the packaging & classic style candle looks very pretty in my living room. However the best thing about this candle is the beautiful fragrance. It really is luxurious and not too overpowering. The only negative I have found is that I need to trim the wick after each use. Possibly this is because they are Italian cotton wicks which are lead free. As this means they are non toxic to my home & the environment this does not bother me at all.

I will definitely be making a repeat purchase from the Max Benjamin range. There are many other fragrances which captured my interest especially the cloves & cinnamon candle which I think would make a lovely Christmas present for friends or family.

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