Fabric of my Life.

Handle with care.

Candlelight and Christmastime go hand-in-hand in my book.

What better way to add a festive touch to your home than lighting a candle and having a heady winter scent fill the air, making the space feel warm, cosy and inviting? I started the year with a resolution to develop a regular candle lighting ritual and explore the tranquil and restorative properties of candlelight. Along the way I’ve learnt a lot; not just my own personal preferences for scent families in particular rooms, or accompanying specific activities, but also about how best to care for my candles to ensure I get the most out of them.


Have you ever been perplexed that your expensive new luxury candle isn’t burning as evenly as you would’ve hoped, or been aghast to discover the wick mushrooming or the flame constantly flickering? I’ve experienced all of this and more with my candle collection this past year, and in my desire to find out exactly why some of my favourite scents were not performing as they should, made it my mission to teach myself about proper candle care etiquette.

Here are a few essential candle care tips I’ve picked up along the way – some obvious, some slightly less so – which I thought might be useful to you too..


My candle care tips:

  1. When lighting a candle for the first time, allow it to burn for at least two hours to allow the wax to pool evenly and prevent tunnelling. If a candle isn’t fully melted across on the first use this will create a ‘memory ring’ and your candle will continue to tunnel in the same way each time it is lit thereafter.
  2. Candles shouldn’t burn for more than four hours at a time, to prevent a mushrooming of the wick or blackening of the candle jar.
  3. As intuitive as it seems blowing out a candle is a no-no, as this can cause the wick to smoke, creating excess soot and a potential migration of the wick. instead use a candle snuffer to extinguish the flame.
  4. Always give the wick a trim before relighting (to around 5mm) to promote an even burn, steady flame and reduce any sooting or mushrooming of wick.
  5. Your candle wick should be centred, but can often migrate or burn at an angle. If this happens, use a small sturdy object such as a spoon or butter knife to reposition or straighten the wick once the flame has been extinguished but before the wax hardens into position.
  6. If your candle doesn’t come with a lid, you should invest in one. Dust accumulating on the waxy surface of your candle can cause smoking or nasty odours next time you light the candle.
  7. Placing a lit candle directly on a tabletop can result in heat-damage to the surface, particularly if the candle is nearing its end. It’s advisable to use a coaster to provide a heat buffer and prevent any unwanted scorching.

Since it’s the season for investing in luxury candles – both for your own home and as thoughtful gifts for loved ones – I’ve also rounded up a selection of my favourite wintery and festive scented candles, as well as a range of beautiful candle care accessories to add to your holiday arsenal..


Click on the images below to shop. Some links are affiliate. 

A warm, woodsy scent of cedarwood, dried tobacco, bay leaf and crushed peppercorn.
A warming winter scent with notes of birch log and sweet cinnamon.
A blend of quintessential festive fragrances – frankincense, patchouli and myrrh.
A Christmas classic of orange blended with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.
Capturing the remote Nordic wilderness; hardy shrubs, wild herbs and fragrant hills of heather. 
A beautiful dusky pink advent candle with handwritten gold lettering. 
Slow weekend living, with top notes of pumpkin and base notes of cinnamon.
Beautifully balanced clean mossy notes, layered with warm amber and musk.
A mulled wine inspired fragrance orange, lime, patchouli, clove and star anise.
Aromatic vintage cologne scent, with warm spices & a hint of cognac.
Notes of pine and fir sit alongside the warmth of aged leather and woodland lily of the valley.
Georg Jensen's annual Christmas collectible for 2017, inspired by the Christmas wreath.


Click on the images below to shop. Some links are affiliate. 

Ferm Living Candle Snuffer
Vintage Matches
Baobab Wick Trimmer
Diptyque Candle Stand
Bloomingville Candle Holder
Iittala Tealight Holder
Skagerak Segments Candle Holder
Diptyque Candle Lid
Normann Copenhagen Candle Holder

Oh, and one final word to the wise: Never leave a burning candle unattended. No siree. 

Lifestyle photography from top: 1. Skandium, 2 & 3. Toast, 4 & 5. Ferm Living

Fabric of my Life is reader-supported.

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you purchase an item using one of these links — at no additional cost to you. If I use affiliate links in a blog post, you’ll see an asterisk (*) next to the link to denote it. Occasionally I am gifted products, with no obligation to feature, and the brand has no editorial control or input as to how they may be featured. Any gifted products featured are denoted with a double asterisk (**). If a post is declared as a Paid Partnership then the brand has required specific (factual) product information to be included and/or specified the type and quantity of images featured. Please note, I only ever feature brands and products on my blog that I genuinely love and would purchase myself, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are always my own. You can read more about my disclosure policies here. Please note: expired links are removed periodically. If a product is no longer linked, it is no longer available. 

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7 Responses

  1. Coming from a candle addict, these are great tips. Even though I burn candles all the time, I have never given much thought to the care of them such as; how to blow them out and, keeping a lid on when it’s not burning. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Incredibly useful article, Kate :) and the perfect excuse for me to go and get myself a couple of luxury candles (as if I didn’t have enough!). Thanks for all the amazing tips!

  3. As a dedicated candle fanatic, this is such a useful guide and collection, thanks so much for sharing! Many of these tips I didn’t know and explain the premature death of more than a few candles. I always think spending a bit of money on a good candle is a worthwhile investment because they really do last longer and they are such a lovely and subtle design element in the home.

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