Candle, Melt or Diffuser?

We were at the iconic Liverpool Anglican Cathedral this weekend and one of our customers asked me which one of the three releases the strongest fragrance.....

This is what I think......

A diffuser does not rely on a heat source (flame) to disperse the fragrance. Therefore a diffuser is less intense than a candle or a melt. The fragrance in a diffuser moves slowly up the reeds and evaporates into the surrounding air. This process is faster if it's placed in a hot room or the sun shines directly on the reeds. It's a bit like clothes drying on the line I suppose!

Although the strength of the fragrance dispersed is quite subtle compared to candles or melts, slow evaporation has it's advantages! Since there is no flame to watch (candles should never be lit and left unattended), the fragrance is released continuously in a room, so diffusers are ideal in hallways, offices, bathrooms etc etc..

Fragrance moving up the reeds

So that leaves us with candles and melts.

A candle works by having a heat source in the form of a flame which starts to melt wax from the centre towards the edge. The wax melts around one inch every hour. Every time a candle is lit, the wax should be left to melt until it reaches the sides of the glass. If not the candle will 'tunnel' - this means that it will melt down the glass, and a lot of wax will be wasted. To get the best out of a candle, you also need to give it time to form a 'melt pool' - this is the top layer of melted wax - as the wax melts it 'releases' the fragrance. The larger the melt pool, the more fragrance is released. So..... a candle needs time to be fully enjoyed and shouldn't be rushed - it shouldn't just be lit for 20mins.

Heat moving across a candle

A melt relies on heat provided by a tea light in the bottom section of a burner. The heat rises up and warms the ceramic bowl which in turn starts to melt the wax to release the fragrance. The advantage with this is that with melts there is no waiting around to ensure the wax melts to the edges. As long as some of the wax melts (it is through melting that the 'trapped' fragrance is released into the surrounding air) you will get a good fragrance burst. So you can have a melt going for 20-30mins and then blow out the tea light. The remaining wax will solidify into the burner bowl and then you can repeat the process until all the fragrance is released. You will get hours out of one melt.

Heat moving through a burner

So which one is best? My answer depends!

It depends on what you need! A candle creates a wonderful atmosphere, a melt gives you a quick burst of fragrance and a diffuser can be left to slowly work it's magic unsupervised.....

For the full vegan range of Chemist and Co wood wick candles, melts and diffusers


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Chemist & Co

30a Market Street, Hoylake,

Wirral CH47 2AF


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M: 07710 639195 (Richard)


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