Making sense of our scents
When we tell people that our candles are made with essential oils, the news is rarely met with surprise. The candle market is brim full of delectable sounding scent combinations associated with essential oils. From Basil, lime and mandarin to cassis and coriander – they sound and smell good enough to eat. But that is all it is – a smell.
Becca project’s candles are different because we actually use essential oils in the wax of our candles, not just the fragrances most candles contain. This means that when you burn one of our candles, you are inhaling the essential oils, gaining the full effect of the many benefits they bring to your mind and body.
To explain just how rare this method is, when we first started talking to other candle producers about putting the oils in the wax, they told us it couldn’t be done. So of course, we did it.
Through trial, error and challenge we found a combination that worked and this is what you get when you buy a Becca Project candle. The full advantage of your chosen essential oil mix, wafting around your home.
So passionate are we about essential oils and ensuring our customers get the best of them through our products, that we thought we’d take a look back in time at the origin, history and medicinal benefits of some of our favourites.
Join us on a journey of discovery with our essential oil series, where each month we are going to take a closer look at the combinations of oils we have used for our signature scents.
We have a particular soft spot for our Stellar range. We liked the word so much we wanted to use it as our company name, but someone else had got their first. So instead, we thought about all the reasons we liked it so much and found an oil combination that lived up to the moniker.
Stellar is all about love – for yourself and others, self-belief and confidence – reaching for those stars.
We chose the mix of ylang ylang, sweet orange, white grapefruit, patchouli, peony to represent the Stellar range, bold, bright, shiny and celebratory.
Let’s walk you through the individual benefits of these oils:
Latin name: Cananga Odorata
Extraction method: steam distillation
Ylang ylang oil comes from the strongly scented yellow flower of a tropical evergreen tree native to Asia, Australia and some pacific islands, but now more widely spread after being introduced to other continents including Africa and Americas. One of the earliest recorded uses was in the Molucca Islands in 1866 where it was mixed with coconut oil (1).
Widely used for its delectable smell in Malaysia and Indonesia, women in Bali use it to scent their hair and clothes and in Thailand it is often used as in body oil after bathing.
By far its most popular use today is from its scented flower with the fragrance being widely used in the cosmetics and perfume industry.
As an essential oil ylang-ylang is believed to be effective in treating depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety.
Ylang ylang has also been found to have a stimulating effect on the nervous system and is considered both uplifting and stress-reducing, as well as having aphrodisiac properties along with patchouli, which also features in our Stellar scent.
For medicinal purposes ylang ylang was historically used to treat malaria, stomach ailments, asthma, gout, and rheumatism. It’s thought to have anti-itching properties so may also help with Eczema and other skin conditions.
Latin name: Citrus Sinensis
Extraction method: cold pressed
Sweet orange oil comes from the orange tree and is extracted from the zest and peel of the fruit.
Oranges have long been associated with luxury from being dubbed the ‘fruit of the Gods’ centuries ago, to more recently being placed at the bottom of Christmas stockings as an exotic treat.
In keeping with its lofty reputation, sweet orange is considered a symbol of good fortune in China, used both for its medicinal properties and as a gift and gesture to invite luck.
Benefits of the oil range from mood lifting to anxiety relieving with combating acne, depression and constipation in between! A 2012 study of 40 men showed that inhaling sweet orange oil left them more alert, less anxious and in a more positive mood (2).
Most importantly it smells divine – making it a shoe-in for our Stellar scent combination.
Latin name: Citrus Paradisi
Extraction method: Cold pressed
Grapefruit is thought to have originated in Barbados in the 18 th century through an accidental hybridisation of the sweet orange and the pomelo. It was nicknamed the ‘forbidden fruit’ at the time as it was thought to resemble the fruit on the tree in the story of the garden of Eden. It now grows widely in USA, Israel, South Africa, Brazil and Iran.
The benefits of inhalation are thought to include relieving headaches, exhaustion, anxiety and depression. It has also been shown to ease menstrual cramps and PMS. Its antiseptic properties are often used for clearing skin blemishes and can be ingested as a throat wash.
White grapefruit oil is a cooler scent, crisper on the nose than that extracted from the red and pink grapefruit.
Latin name: Pogostemon Cablin
Extraction method – steam distillation
Originating in South East Asia, the patchouli plant is a bushy herb from the same family as mint. Its flowers are pink and white and headily fragrant.
Dubbed with its hippy-associated image, Patchouli oil is sometimes considered cliché, but in many ways it’s an unsung hero of the aromatherapy world, offering a myriad of benefits.
Patchouli is though to act as a natural anti-depressant, relieving anxiety and anger by releasing dopamine and serotonin. Like its scent-fellow white grapefruit, it also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. As an oil it can be used externally for anti-ageing, healing and detoxifying.
Although many of these benefits are anecdotal, there has been some small studies associated with patchouli usage including one that has shown it promotes weight loss in rats! With so many advantages associated with patchouli, we hope it leads you to a ‘hippy’ state of mind!
Latin name: Paeonia officinalis
Famed for its luscious, plump flowers, the peony is much more than just a pretty face. Parts of the plant have been used in China herbal remedies for centuries.
In our Stellar range we have used the scent of peony to complement the aroma of the other essential oils in the collection.
It’s simply scentsational…
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our journey of exploration through Stellar’s collection of essential oils. If you’ve been lucky enough to catch a whiff of Stellar’s divine aroma, we’re sure you’ll agree it’s nothing short of heaven scent (see what we did there)!
If you’d like to experience the benefits of the oils we’ve highlighted above, have a look at our full range of essential oil products.
Bown D. The Herb Society of America New Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses. London: Dorling Kindersley Ltd; 2001.