Have you ever wanted to know the difference between the different waxes used in scented candles? We've created this handy guide featuring the lowdown on coconut, soy, paraffin, beeswax and more.

There are many different choices when it comes to the wax used in scented candles; some have better throw, some burn longer and cleaner, and some have the eco credentials.  However, it can be a little confusing if your not sure which wax would suit you – so we decided to take a look at all the options to find out which wax is best for scented candles.






Broadly speaking wax is a flammable, carbon-containing solid that becomes liquid when heated above room temperature. In other words it’s the candle’s fuel. When the scented candle is lit, the wax melts, is vaporized and combusted, which in turn produces the heat and light. Almost any kind of oil can be turned into a wax, making plenty of choices for use in candles.




Soy wax is used in lots of the candles we sell at Osmology. Many of our candle brands choose to work with soy wax because it is often considered more environmentally friendly compared to traditional paraffin wax, burns slower and cleaner (less soot) and is cheaper than some of the other waxes. Soy wax candles generally have a subtler scent throw as soy wax doesn’t hold as much fragrance – many people prefer this softer scent, but it comes down to how delicate your nose is! We’ll discuss the intricacies of everybody’s smell systems in a future blog post.


Soy candles haven’t been around a long time, with soy wax only being invented back in 1996. Soy wax is a vegetable wax derived from soybean oil. To get to the oil, harvested soybeans are cleaned, dehulled, cracked, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from these flakes and hydrogenated, a process where the unsaturated fatty acids present in the oil are saturated. This alters the oil’s melting point, making it solidify at room temperature and ready for candle making.



Environmentally speaking, while it’s a better choice compared to paraffin wax, it still has a few eco issues. Soybean oil is a byproduct of the massive soybean industry and there are concerns over deforestation and the use of pesticides and fertilisers used to grow soy beans. To get past these problems, a number of our brands including L:A Bruket only use organic soy wax in their candles – check out their candles here.


What is Soy Wax Blend?


Soy wax is often blended with other waxes to capitalize on the best of both waxes. Common mixes include adding other vegetable oils like coconut, and waxes like palm or beeswax. A number of candle makers also choose to use paraffin/soy blends. Generally, if the blend contains at least 51% soy it will be labelled as a soy wax blend. You can check out our soy blend candles here.


So why should you consider buying a Soy Wax candle?


  • Soy wax is slow burning so you’ll get a longer lasting candle for your money compared to old school paraffin wax candles.
  • Soy beans are natural, renewable and biodegradable.



Coconut wax is the new candle wax on the block and we are seeing more and more candle makers choosing it as an option. It’s definitely more expensive to use, but because of it’s great scent throw and even burn many think it’s worth the price tag.


Coconut Wax is a soft creamy white color and is the eco-friendly choice. Harvesting the oil is an organic process with coconuts themselves being a sustainable high yield crop.


So why should you consider buying a Coconut Wax candle?


  • Coconut wax candles are slow burning and luxurious.
  • The hot and cold scent throw of Coconut Candles is excellent
  • Coconut wax gets the most eco-friendly points



Before Soy and Coconut, there was Paraffin. Paraffin wax (also known as mineral wax) is still popular with many high street candle brands because it holds colour and scent very well, and being a by-product of the oil industry means it’s easily available. 


Green-minded people often label paraffin wax as bad because it’s made from the leftovers of the crude oil refinement process. This doesn’t automatically make it toxic, and there’s always the upside that the parts of the oil that would otherwise be discarded are getting used.



So why should you consider buying a Mineral Wax candle?


  • Mineral wax holds a lot of scent, so if you prefer your candle to pack a scent punch it might be a good option.



Beeswax is the oldest known type of candle wax. It dates back to the Egyptians, who dipped papyrus leaves in the wax before burning them. However, it isn’t often used for scented candles as the wax has it’s own beautiful honey aroma that doesn’t easily mix with other scents. 


Beeswax candles are considered the healthiest as they are smokeless and sootless, and actually can help purify air. Beeswax is sourced naturally from bees; they create it by eating honey and make it as part of their daily hive building activities. 


Many scented candle makers who use beeswax in their creations will mix in another type of candle wax. Boy Smells use a mix of coconut and beeswax to make their candles, you can check out our range of their candles here. 

David Kien from Boy Smells told us “We use coconut and beeswax over soy, because coconut actually lets the scent breathe better.  It is softer with a cleaner burn, and produces a better product. We then add Beeswax which helps firm up the natural soft texture of the coconut wax.”


So why should you consider buying a Beeswax scented candle?


  • Beeswax is naturally made and processed
  • Beeswax is healthy and helps purify air





Rapeseed wax (sometimes known as Canola Wax) provides superb fragrance retention, scent throw and extended burn time. It’s a fairly new wax for scented candles, and independent brands (especially those based in Europe) are now beginning to use it as a locally sourced alternative to Soy Wax.


Rapeseed is a bright yellow flowering plant from the mustard or cabbage family that is a sustainable, renewable, and greener alternative to mineral wax or waxes produced through intensive farming techniques. 



So why should you consider buying a Rapeseed wax scented candle?


  • Rapeseed wax is locally grown meaning a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Rapeseed wax throws scent well and burns slowly.