Dr Will Locke is Head of Research Development and Compliance at Wax Lyrical. In this exclusive interview he tells us all about Wax Lyrical and how scented candles can help us sleep better at night.
Briefly, tell us about Wax Lyrical and what they do…
We are really proud to be made in the UK - developing, manufacturing and delivering world-class products from our base in the English Lakes. We manufacture over 97% of our products from our factory in Cumbria, and we now export to over 40 countries around the world, helping support British businesses and manufacturing.
How can we use scents to unwind at night?
Sleep is very important for our wellbeing, yet most people are dissatisfied with the quality of sleep they get, so anything we can do to improve our quality of sleep is well worth doing.
Lighting a candle in the evening before bed helps you unwind and relax and gets you in the mood to go to sleep. It can form part of a routine of slowing down and relaxing at the end of the day.
What’s more, some fragrances in candles are known to promote sleep. Everyone has neurotransmitters, things like dopamine, histamine and serotonin and some chemical ingredients like lavender have been shown to slow down these neurotransmitters which are keeping you awake. Anything that helps slow down these neurotransmitters will help you sleep.
Does everyone find the same scents appealing or is this based on personality traits?
Everyone has a different sense of smell. Your sense of smell is a bit like a fingerprint in that it is highly unique. So whilst most people will agree a fragrance smells nice, there will be differences, and this boils down to the individual’s sense of smell, their memories associated with that scent and what it reminds them of.
Are we actively aware of scents whilst we are sleeping?
Yes, we are. Scientists have monitored people’s brain activity whilst they are sleeping, exposing them to fragrances, and they can see changes in brain activity when the scent is smelt. So yes, we can smell scents when sleeping.
Do you have any environmentally-friendly materials in your products?
Wax Lyrical is a green company. Our packaging is sourced from trees in the North West which is then ultimately turned into packaging for our products.
We also have a very big wind turbine outside of our factory in the Lake District. We have even won the Insider Made in the North West Award for Green Innovation.
What’s the difference between burning a 3-wick candle and a single wick candle?
That would depend on the size of the candle. The fragrance from a candle is created from the wax pool so if you had a 3-wick candle it would most likely produce a stronger scent as the wax pool is so big in comparison to a single wick candle. You would need several small candles to produce the same scent as a 3-wick candle as their surface area isn’t as big.
What is the best medium for creating a nice scent in your home?
That would depend on your preference. With a candle, you can’t leave it unattended whereas with a reed diffuser you can. So, pros and cons really. A candle has a nice sound when it is lit.
What happens when you light two different candles at the same time?
If you are exposed to a fragrance for more than 20-30 minutes, you stop noticing it. One good idea is to burn different scented candles in different rooms as you will immediately notice the new fragrance when you leave the room.
How long should you leave a candle burning for?
All depends on the size of the candle. You get the best fragrance experience after an hour when you have a large wax pool. You’re not going to get that instantly so I would recommend burning a candle for at least an hour.
Are there any scents you can’t or shouldn’t bottle?
There are some smells which are very difficult to reproduce, like freshly baked bread. It’s very, very complex so it’s very difficult to make a fragrance with that smell. We wouldn’t create a candle that smelt of this [freshly baked bread] for this reason.
To watch the full interview with Dr Will Locke, click here: