Candles were once a necessity and the ingredients were well understood. Now they are a luxury item designed to provide scent and ambiance rather than light. With that change in function there has also been a change in chemistry.


Identifying the components of a candle and determining whether or not compositional claims can be a challenge. Many analytical tools could be used, but in this case study we focus on infrared spectroscopy and our knowledge of the chemistry of waxes and scents. It describes the tools used to characterize modern candles and the differences in the products.