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Unscented candles are exactly what their name suggests: candles that are made without any added fragrance oils or scents. These candles are ideal for individuals who are sensitive to smells or who prefer a more natural ambiance without the influence of aromatic distractions. Unlike their scented counterparts, unscented candles are all about creating mood and lighting without the olfactory experience. They're particularly popular in dining settings where the aroma of the food should take center stage, or in spaces where a neutral scent environment is desired for concentration or relaxation.
According to a report by Grand View Research, the global candle market size was valued at USD 3.45 billion in 2018, with a portion of that being unscented candles. While scented candles have a significant market share due to their popularity for aromatherapy and home fragrance, unscented candles hold their own by providing ambiance without the potential for allergic reactions or scent interference. They are also often used in religious ceremonies and meditation practices where purity of the environment is essential, underscoring their versatility and importance in various cultural and personal contexts.
Unscented candles are candles which have been produced without the addition of a scent. Paraffin and soy wax can both be used as plain bases for unscented candles. Many stores stock unscented candles, and it is also possible to buy block unscented wax for candlemaking at home. For people with environmental sensitivities, unscented candles are preferable to scented candles, and other people like to use plain candles so that the candles do not distract from the surroundings.
Any candle size and shape can be produced in an unscented version, from tealight candles to towering pillars, with both molded and dipped candles available without scent. Many unscented candles are also white, with the wax being left uncolored, although it is also possible to dye wax for colored unscented candles. Multi-colored molded and dipped candles, twisted candles, and a wide variety of other candle designs can be presented in scent-free versions.
There are a variety of reasons to choose to use unscented candles. Some people are sensitive to scents and perfumes, and they find scented candles unpleasant. The scents may cause headaches, breathing difficulties, or other problems. For the comfort of people with environmental sensitivities to scent, unscented candles may be used for entertaining large groups, to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable time.
Unscented candles may also be preferable in an environment where large numbers of scents are already present, to prevent the smells from fighting with each other in the nose. Evening garden parties and dinner parties, for example, may be decorated with unscented candles. These candles are also commonly used in emergencies, where people want light without the distinctive aroma of unscented candles. Candles without scent tend to be less expensive than scented candles, making them preferable for use as emergency candles since they can be purchased cheaply.
For long-term storage, unscented candles have another significant advantage: they do not “bleed” scent into their surroundings or into neighboring candles. Scented candles tend to seep scent, which can result in an unexpectedly aromatic storage drawer, cupboard, or box if the candles are allowed to sit for a long time. The scent may also start to become cloying or noxious.
For crafters who like to engage in candle making at home, unscented candles are often a good starter project, since they are very basic and easy to make. Once crafters get familiar with working with wax, they can start adding colors to their base waxes for colored candles, and graduate up to using essential oils for scents.