Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Wonderful World of Tarts!

Scents can trigger memories, affect your mood, and create a sense of well being. With summer in full swing, many might shy away from lighting candles to create the fragrances they so love. An open flame in 100 degree weather? Not very appealing. So what can we use to scent our living and work spaces without adding to the heat? More and more people are turning to wax tarts as wickless alternatives to burning candles.

What is a tart? A tart (also known as a wax melt, wax potpourri, or scent disk) is highly scented wax poured into molds…with no wick! Tarts can come in a variety of clever shapes, depending on what mold is used. Below is a picture of our own Jelly Berry Butter Cookie Tarts!

A tart is one of the most efficient ways to fragrance your living space. No wick means no open flame to add to the heat of the day, and tarts can be used in places candles aren’t allowed..like offices or dorm rooms! Tarts have the potential to be stronger than candles (no flame means more fragrance can be added!), and they are extremely user friendly.

To use a tart, simply place the wax tart in an approved tart warmer and turn on. Once the tart has melted (it should be fully melted within 35 minutes or so), the fragrance is released. A good tart will last a minimum of 8 hours, depending on the type of warmer used, the fragrance itself and how long the burner is on. Another wonderful benefit of tarts? When you’re tired of smelling a certain fragrance, you can simply change tarts!
Unlike a candle, the wax does NOT disappear. If using a warmer with a removable bowl, once the fragrance has faded (or you want something new), turn the warmer off and let the wax cool and harden. Once cool, you place the removable bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes, remove from the freezer and the wax should just pop out! NEVER place cold (frozen) bowl back on the warmer, please wait for the bowl to reach room temperature. Another option is to simply pour the hot wax into a jar or can and wipe the bowl clean (please be careful, wax and bowl will be very hot). NEVER pour the wax into your sink, while it may get rid of that icky leftover spaghetti smell, it will clog your pipes! Easy to use, tarts are also easier to store than candles (and a lot less bulky).

Tarts should be stored in their own packaging. Keeping them in a cool dark area (a drawer or a closet) will help preserve their longevity. For best results, tarts should be used within 6 months, however, some tarts may last up to one year depending on the scent. Storing multiple scents together may cause the scents of those tarts to intermingle. Nothing like lilac cinnamon grapefruit tarts to make you gag! Now that tarts have been explained, what is the best way to melt them?

There are a variety of tart warmers on the market today. There are tea light burners, tin burners, burners that melt with light bulbs, and electric ceramic burners. So which one is best? While it is a matter of personal preference, there are some facts to consider before making a tart warmer purchase. Tealight burners (which require a tealight candle to melt the tarts) may not melt the tart completely, and fragrance may not be as strong (and if you’re trying to avoid an open flame, this defeats the purpose). With light bulb burners, you will have to replace bulbs. Many consumers today are turning to the electric plug in tart warmers with the removable bowls.

These are my personal favorites, and are currently carried in our store: http://www.bluegeckocandles.com/. They melt the tarts nicely, don’t get overly hot, and you can turn them on and off with a click of a button. With the electric warmers, you never have to replace light bulbs or use tea lights. Using an electric tart warmer is ideal for dorms, nursing homes, offices, or other places where an open flame is forbidden. Do keep in mind, just like a candle, you should NEVER leave a tart warmer unattended.

Tarts are a wonderful alternative to candles. Decorative, highly scented, long lasting, and no flames make these wonderful wax tidbits a fantastic alternative to burning candles during these hot summer months.

Written by: Deirdre Motley – Owner www.bluegeckocandles.com

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Welcome to The Blue Gecko Candle Company's Blog!

Hello and welcome to our blog! I'm Deirdre, the owner of The Blue Gecko Candle Company:(http://www.bluegeckocandles.com/) . This fabulous blog is written with the intention of sharing my passion for all things scented! But, since this is my first blog, I will go ahead and tell you a bit about my company and how we got started!

I’ve always had an obsession with candles. In 2004, I discovered the world of wax tarts (also called wax melts & wax potpourri, wax with no wick). I was hooked. I loved how my house would smell when I’d burn a tart, and no open flames was a nice bonus. In 2005, I had an epiphany. I could make these, how hard could it be? I could save some money! HA! Wow, boy was I in for a shocker. I made my first batch of tarts in August of 2005. I was so proud, I handed them out to everyone I knew that had a tart warmer (which is how you melt the tarts). I expected glowing reviews. I waited. And then my friend called, “Well, I can’t smell it”. I was floored. I immediately burned a few I’d made. I could smell them, but they definitely weren’t all that. And so began my adventure. I started playing with different waxes, formulas, and additives. The tarts got better! After about a year and much research (and LOTS of spent money), I’d found a formula that worked. I gave them to some testers and waited nervously. The result? RAVE reviews! The tarts were strong and they lasted for such a long time! And that’s how it began. I began making candles, dabbled in bath products and air fresheners, and slowly things began snowballing. Friends and family were placing orders left and right, but everyone had one question, “Do you have a website I can order from?”In October 2007, I took the plunge and opened my own online store, The Blue Gecko Candle Company, http://www.bluegeckocandles.com/. I am so proud of it! It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s definitely worth it! I have the best customers (seriously)! It’s hard work, but I absolutely love it!

Thank you so much for stopping by to read our blog. And if you're looking for a wonderful way to scent your living space, do stop by our store. As an added incentive (and a thank you for reading our blog), if you type in "blogspot" in the coupon code box, you'll get 10% off your entire order (expires 8/31/2008)!

Have a wonderful day!