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  • Writer's picturecharlotteharley11

Why I Defended Scented Candles On BBC Radio 2

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

Monday started as a normal day. I dropped the kids at school, did a bit of tidying up, put a load of washing on, did a bit of admin, packed a few candles, put off filling out my tax return for the 100th time this week....then on the BBC Radio 2 I heard they were going to be talking about scented candles with Jeremy Vine.

A radio on a chair in a field
Photo: Alex Blajan

The discussion was referring to what a lot of media described as Michael Gove "declaring war" on scented candles by releasing the Government's Clean Air Strategy, saying how burning scented candles are detrimental to your health and the environment. Hmmm, interesting..... Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 was asking people their thoughts on this and anyone that knows me knows I feel really passionately about the type of candles I make.

Charlotte Harley's hand moxing oils into wax
Making soy wax candles from my home!

I use soy wax because it's clean burning and releases very little soot compared to other conventional candles that are made with paraffin, a by-product of petroleum. When you burn these, they give off ultra-fine soot particles containing acetone, benzene and toluene - usually seen in diesel emissions - and known carcinogens. My customers buy from me because they have made an informed decision about the type of candle they wish to burn in their homes, one that is not detrimental to their health and will not emit toxins associated with carcinogens.

Person in dark standing standing over a burning candle
Photo by Claudia Ramirez

So naturally, I felt really strongly about putting my view across. I love scented candles, I've always burned them in my home and now that it's my livelihood I decided to send Jeremy Vine an email briefly outlining my views. From my personal experience and that of my customers, they are looking for a clean burning, low toxin candle. People want to feel safe in the knowledge that their scented candle is being kind to their family, their small children and themselves... how dare the Government release this scare mongering report! Half an hour later I received a call from a producer on the show asking if I'd like to go on air and talk about this. Feeling brave, I said yes as I think it's wrong to give scented candles a bad reputation.

Sunlight shining through ferns
Photo by Ardi Evans

The discussion lasted about ten minutes and I feel I put my views across as best as I could despite my nerves at speaking on national radio! But the main point I wanted to get across was that people can make an informed decision about the level of toxins they want in their home just by reading the list of ingredients on the packaging. On the back of mine you will only find two - soy wax and essential oils. No nasties, no toxins, just a simple candle that will burn cleanly and enhance your well being.

Since being on Jeremy Vine's show show yesterday things have been a little bit crazy! I've been inundated with orders and customer enquiries, totally unexpected but brilliant for a Monday in what is usually a slow January!

It was a brilliant opportunity to explain that not all candles are harmful to our health and I hope it won't put people off buying them.

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