Residual Discoloration in Candles by Fragrance Materials

Cara E. Rogers and Shawn H. Abbas
Orchidia Fragrances, Downers Grove, ILChristmas Candle

Ultraviolet effects and oxidation are common complications associated with candle development.  The most frequent problem is the residual discoloration of dye due to ultraviolet effects of lighting. However, an often missed assessment of discoloration is the presence of fragrance materials that, under certain states, can cause UV or oxidation induced discoloration. This study takes ten fragrance materials and analyzes their common effects on candle wax discoloration. The structure of each material is discussed and the reaction that produces the discoloration is presented.  The materials are then subjected to UV light and elevated temperatures to evaluate time and intensity of discoloration in a soy/paraffin wax blend.  The components that were most susceptible to UV and oxidative discoloration are then used to determine minimum levels of UV absorbers and antioxidants, which would prevent the discoloration.  Conclusions from this study can be used to promote cost-effective methods of prevention and can help predict the optimum amount of UV absorber needed for candles with fragrances containing these materials.

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