Candles have been used for centuries to provide light, and they continue to be popular today for their ability to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. But have you ever wondered why they flicker?
In true L’Oréal style… “Here comes the science bit!”
The simple answer is that it’s due to the heat of the flame and the way that the heat is then transmitted. When a candle is lit, the heat of the flame melts the wax near the wick. This liquid wax is then drawn up the wick by capillary action. As the liquid wax reaches the flame, it vaporizes, providing fuel for the flame to continue burning. However, not all of the liquid wax is vaporised immediately. Some of it continues to flow up the wick, where it accumulates and eventually starts to block the flow of oxygen to the flame. This causes the flame to flicker as it struggles to stay lit.
Another factor causing the candle to flicker is that as the heat of the flame increases, so does the flow of hot gases up through the flame.
Whilst a slightly flickering candle helps to create a cosy ambiance, if the flame starts to go a little crazy then it may be that the wrong wick has been used for that particular fragrance or candle size and it can start to be a little distracting to say the least. Here at Calon I work hard to find the best ratio of wax:oil in my candles to ensure a pleasant (and safe) experience. You will find however that your candle flickers more towards the end of its life, especially in container candles such as ours. This is totally normal given that lower down in the glass the flame is having to fight harder to get oxygen to keep burning. Interesting, right?
Whatever the scientific reason for a candle flickering, it’s sure to add cosy ambiance to any room.
If you love candles and want to see some non-crazy flickering in action, then why not head over to my website and grab one in your favourite scent? Between our Signature range (perfect for you) our Occasion range (perfect for gifting), and our Seasonal Amber range, there’s nearly 40 to choose between!