Lochrain News

I wanted today to blog about essential oils, and an experience I had in the South of France a few years ago. Maybe this was the time when I really got switched on to essential oils and their value for us all.

I went on summer holiday to a little self catering cottage to the north of Nice and the reason we chose this was because of the lovely photographs of the house, and of the promise that the nearest neighbour was 100 metres away. This appealed to our sense of privacy! We flew in to Nice airport and we hired a little tiny car. On the journey we, of course, were stunned by the scenery, the smells, and the warmth around us. However it wasn’t until we were on the approach to the village that we realised that we were right in the middle of a vast area of Lavender fields. Indeed it transpired that our cottage was owned by one of the Lavender farmers.

On our arrival we were utterly amazed by our surroundings. Acres upon acres of the most vibrant colour and aroma. Little purple tunnels of fragrance. The whole of the valley was to be the most relaxing place on earth for that two week holiday.

One day early in the week the farmer came to see us. He had no English and we had somewhat limited French. However he was very keen to invite us down to his farm. We went of course, and he treated us to a demonstration of how he extracts Lavender oil from his crop. It was a wonderfully fascinating, if not a little difficult to fully understand, evening and we were so very grateful of his hospitality and kindness.

At Lochrain Candles we work with experts in Chinese aromatherapy to ensure that our candles have a wonderful balance of scents. We only use essential oils and botanicals, and we use the maximum amount we can in our candles. We love the way we felt on our holiday in France, and we’re delighted that so many of our customers have reported that they love our candles.

This week we wanted to blog about fire and how it was controlled by humans in the past. Fire is obviously a key aspect to candles, and there is something wonderfully elemental about it. We can find a flame reassuring and relaxing, but it’s how it is controlled which is important. Without this control fire can be devastating.

Fire can occur naturally, and has been present in life for many millions of years. Ever since the level of oxygen on earth permitted it, fire has been in existence and there is some evidence in fossils that fire was on the earth around 470 million years ago. Around half a million years ago there is some evidence of fire being controlled and used to cook food and was probably also used to provide heat and light, and also to scare off predators. However it wasn’t until around 75 thousand years ago that controlling fire became more widespread.

Since then the control of fire has become more and more skilled, with the first oil lamps being made about 4000BC and the first candles around 500BC. Much of the early fire, as well as being used to cook food and provide heat and light, was used for ceremonial reasons. From this we can imagine that the use of candles for emotional reasons developed.

Nowadays a relaxing bath isn’t complete without candles. A spa wouldn’t be able to create their atmosphere without candles. Candles can give us that feeling of luxury, and that’s what we wanted to help people do. At Lochrain Candles we wanted to give people the opportunity to create their luxury in a way which didn’t cost the earth.

In this week’s blog we have something very exciting to share with you… our new products have arrived and are now available, so we thought we’d shine a spotlight on each of the products

A wee while ago we shared a bit of a teasing image of one of our beautiful handmade wooden boxes with the question above it “What’s In The Box?” Well the answer our new product – it’s a beautiful Large Soy Wax Scented Candle and is available in two different scents – The Beauty of Pure Rose and also Champagne and White Rose. As always we only use essential oils and botanicals in our products so you won’t find any chemicals or synthetic scents in here, and as we only use Soy Wax in our candles there are no potential health concerns associated with the use of Paraffin or Petroleum based candles.

When we were looking to develop the new products we felt that there weren’t enough candle based products aimed specifically as a wedding gift. So we wanted to develop one, hence Champagne and White Rose. We also wanted it to be a gifting candle for other times too – maybe an anniversary or birthday or Christmas present. We wanted to develop a product to allow our customers to show how much they love and care.

We also wanted to develop a gifting candle, maybe for that special lady in your life, hence The Beauty of Pure Rose (although I’m a guy and I love this candle too so there’s no reason you shouldn’t buy it for the special guy in your life too!). We avoided going too “girlie” in this candle, but we couldn’t resist using pink shredded paper in the box!

We also wanted to look beyond the gifting market. One of the things that we all have in our homes is tealight candles. They seem to be used more than any other candles, but the VAST majority of these are paraffin based candles. We blogged recently about the potential long term health issues with burning fossil fuel based candles (https://lochraincandles.net/2020/02/17/frequent-use-of-certain-candles-produces-unwanted-chemicals/). Paraffin candles are made from petroleum, a non-renewable source that contains carcinogenic substances. These substances may be released into the air while burning, and create a significant amount of black soot and toxins that collect on the jar, as well as on your walls and other surfaces of the home. At Lochrain Candles, we believe that this is not a healthy way to live, so we wanted to develop a simple, unscented, long burning, high quality Soy Wax Tealight Candle. The packaging is simply kraft card, and although you can of course buy it as a gift for someone (it makes a perfect low cost environmentally friendly vegan gift) the idea is that you can also buy it for yourself to use every day.

All of these candles are brand new to the market and only just becoming available now – not even the professional product photography has been done yet, and there are no reviews yet. So right now we have a special discount of 50% and this will only run until we’re ready to launch to the general public. The only reason you know about this is because you are a member of the Lochrain Family, so consider this a wee gift back to you. What would really help us, if you wanted to, would be for you to give an honest review of the products. Reviews are the lifeblood of our family business and it would really help if you left one. And of course if there was something that you felt could be improved, then please let us know by emailing customer.service@lochraincandles.net.

So if you wanted to get yourself one of our new products search for Lochrain Candles on your local Amazon Market

Thank you, as always, for your support.

Ocean Breeze. That was one of the scents which we were looking to develop however one which we decided in the end not to use. It would have been a scent with Ozone, Honeydew Melon, Violet and Citrus and in the right situation it would have been perfect. In the end we opted not to use it because, quite frankly, for our first product we wanted to be sure we were catering for as wide an audience as possible, so as many people as possible could enjoy our product. But our hearts call out to the Sea on a elemental, humanistic level so maybe we’ll introduce that scent.

What is it about the sea which is so attractive to humans? Is it the way that the natural world is inherently more relaxing for us? The moon is the thing that is responsible for tides, the wind for the crashing waves… it’s all very elemental. We are natural beings and if we are surrounded by noise and hustle-bustle we might get overwhelmed. To sit overlooking the sea with it’s elements of mystery and nature, might be the re-set that we need.

When we look out over the seemingly endless ocean, we can’t help but be in a state of awe, and we can’t help but admire the power of the seas. From this can come inspiration, so we can become better people. Couple that with all of the negative ions that you are breathing in, the sound of the waves, the wonderfully salty taste on your lips and the feeling of the wind on your skin, and you have an all round sensory experience.

It is amazing. It is wonderful. It is natural.

And I think ultimately that’s why we didn’t go for this scent in our candle. How could we possibly capture all of this amazing elemental feeling in a candle? Sure we could give it a good go, and we could work closely with our experts in Chinese aromatherapy to blend the finest essential oils and botanicals to create something close, but maybe it’s impossible to capture everything in a candle so it would be destined to fail.

So we say, if you want all of the amazing benefits from being beside the sea, take a trip to the seaside. Clear your mind, be inspired, and come back a more relaxed, more creative, more positive person.

Soybean plants grow in 3 phases: germination, maturation and flowering. Germination begins within 48 hours if the conditions are right and continues for around 7-10 days before the next stage of maturation begins. Maturation takes around 8 weeks and results in a plant that varies in height from about 50cm to 125cm. The flowering phase begins when the days become shorter than about 13 hours although this varies depending on the variety of soybean. The resulting fruit is the soybean pod which contains 2-4 beans, between 5 and 10 mm in diameter.

The mature soybeans can be used for a variety of things, including making in to tofu and eating whole, although you can’t eat raw soybeans. As they contain about 20% oils, they can be used in soaps, inks, crayons and clothing. They can also of course be used for candle making.

So are Soybeans environmentally friendly?

This is a question which is not easy to answer. There have been news stories about horrific levels of deforestation to grow soybean plants, particularly in Brazil, and it seems that the global demand for meat may be the root cause of this issue – about 80% of the world’s soybean production is used to feed livestock. Also the vast majority of Soybeans are GM, although people do disagree if this is an environmentally damaging issue, or if it is a good technology to feed the growing global population. Like most oil seeds too, Hexane is used to extract the soybean oil, although the use is very well controlled and is regarded to be safe (https://labproinc.com/blog/chemicals-and-solvents-9/post/hexane-an-effective-oil-extracting-agent-33). On the other hand soybean production uses all of the crop so there is little waste, and it is widely used in biodiesel. It is a good substitute for meat (tofu and TVP) and its flour is higher in protein and other nutrients than wheat flour and is also gluten free. It is a dairy free and vegan infant feed and can also be made in to dairy free spread, ice cream, yoghurt and cheese substitutes. It is also reported to have a variety of health benefits although there is more research needed to clarify these.

At Lochrain Candles, we use soy wax for our candles, and we believe that this is one of the most environmentally responsible ways to produce candles. We do not use chemical or synthetic scents in our candles either – we use the maximum level of essential oils we can use in a candle (10%). Unfortunately some other candle manufacturers do use chemicals to make their candles smell stronger which has resulted in some people thinking our candles could have a stronger scent. This is not possible without using chemicals and synthetic scents, and we strongly believe that this is not the correct way to go. Lochrain candles are your luxury, and they don’t cost the earth.

At Lochrain Candles we believe that using Soy Wax is an environmentally kinder way to create candles, as opposed to using paraffin wax. However is there any scientific proof that paraffin wax is harmful to health?

Research conducted in 2009 at South Carolina State University concludes that “Frequent use of certain candles produces unwanted chemicals”. The researchers tested different brands of paraffin and soy wax candles which were all non-dyed and unscented. They were placed in a chamber and burned, and the emitted gasses were tested.

“The paraffin candles we tested released unwanted chemicals into the air. For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies and even asthma,” said Massoudi, a chemistry professor in the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences. “None of the vegetable-based candles produced toxic chemicals,” he added.

[cited from https://www.scsu.edu/news_article.aspx?news_id=832]

According to the research, the reason for the release of these chemicals is because the wax is a by-product of oil refineries, as opposed to a by-product of vegetables. It also states that Soy Wax is renewable and biodegradable.

Another alarming piece of research was carried out in 2004 by Maastrict University who found that levels of potentially dangerous polycyclic hydrocarbons in some churches exceeded levels measured on main roads, and the cause of this was the paraffin oil candles.

Lochrain candles use Soy Wax because it’s better for the environment and for you. It burns for longer, and it burns cooler too. In addition we also use only essential oils and botanicals in our candles so there are no harmful chemical or synthetic scents or dyes.

https://www.scsu.edu/news_article.aspx?news_id=832 accessed 12/2/2020

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/nov/27/lucy-siegle-candle-wax-ethical accessed 12/2/2020

Our brand of candles is named after our true Gaelic passion. Even though Antonine Supplies Ltd is a company registered in England, we are based in the Central Belt of Scotland and we are passionate about our country and its nature. Lòchrain or lòchran is Gaelic for torch, or beacon, so for example lòchran-stoirme is Gaelic for Storm Lamp. Also Lochranza is one of our favourite villages on one of our favourite islands.

When we were developing Lochrain Candles we were looking at a variety of different brandings, and I was looking out of our window. It was a somewhat typically grey Scottish day and it was raining. The rain was forming trails on the glass and through this glass I was watching light bouncing around from a torch outside. That is when Lochrain Candles was born.

Now, I am aware that I have missed off an accent from the “o” and also there is some discussion to be had about my spelling – the extra “i” could change the translation to “pond”. However I feel that I do not need to be entirely literal here. I want to reference the Gaelic passions of the brand and to where it was born, rather than be a scholar of the Gaelic language. For me it doesn’t matter – what matters is the emotion of the Celtic spirit, mixed with the warmth which comes from burning our products. And if anyone has not yet experienced this, I invite you to travel to one of the small islands off the west coast of Scotland, and stay in a bothy. Cook over a real fire or on a real stove and light your bothy with Lochrain Candles. Sit back with a glass of whisky and relax and you too will learn to feel the spirit and passion of Lochrain Candles.

Just thought I’d write a quick blog post to let you know we have a few more products in development….

We have been blown away by the response to our Gift Set of Candles (buy now) and some people have asked if they can buy individual candles. As we are a new, small, family company we have to be careful that we don’t grow too quickly. However we are developing two different large candles which will retain the luxury features of the gift set such as the exceptional hand crafted wooden box and the wonderful brushed cotton pouch. We are also developing a set of well priced tealight candles which will be unscented, and will allow people to enjoy tealights in an eco-friendly way.

In addition to these fantastic soy wax candles, we are looking at offering a set of essential oils and an ultrasonic diffuser to our range which will allow our customers to even further enhance their homes and other spaces. Keep your eyes peeled for future news!

We’re delighted to say that after a while of developing the first product in our range, our Scented Soy Wax Candle Gift Set is now available to buy. We’re so excited by it!

Lochrain Candles

It’s such a beautiful gift so buy yours now!

We’re just getting started!  Packaging should arrive in a month and we’ll be in full production.  

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