Ahhh, the smell of carcinogenic soot and lead emissions! We hate to tell you this but that favorite candle of yours might be toxic, no matter how wonderful it smells.

Recent studies have shown that many aromatherapy candles are made of paraffin — a petroleum by-product — which spews carcinogenic soot into the air when lit. For people with respiratory problems such as asthma, the soot can exacerbate their symptoms. And it isn’t good for healthy people or their pets either.

If you have an old candle, toxic wicks can also be an issue. Most candles used to be made with lead wicks but fortunately, they were banned in  2003. And what about those synthetic oils used in many smelly candles? That’s what you’re inhaling.

But before you throw out all your favorite (and expensive) candles there is a solution. First, check to make sure they are non-toxic –made with cotton wicks plus that they are made with 100 % vegetable-based waxes or beeswax — but if they aren’t, toss ’em.

But there is some good news — we have discovered a beautiful line of all-natural, non-toxic, food-grade, non-GMO coconut wax blend with cotton wicks– and yes, they smell amazing.

The brainchild of two (very busy) Mom’s — Jennifer Cunningham and Effie Tanji — Bodewell Home is eco-conscious, philanthropic and affordable home goods company launching with all-natural candles. Of the 36 scented candles, your only problem is going to be deciding what scent to buy. (We went with the A.Zur which, to us, smells like the Ocean.) A steal at $36. (We also love that they give back to Light 4 Life Cause.)

We recently caught up with Effie Tanji to ask her a few burning questions:


Recently, there’s been a lot of press on the fact that most candles are toxic. What makes yours different?


My husband is an LA County Fire Fighter and it is not lost on me what happens when things burn.  The idea that we would intentionally burn something in our environment that is toxic is beyond my understanding. When I started bodewell I was told that paraffin wax was the way to go because it is cheap and ubiquitous. I needed to think about profit margins and accessibility. I took a look at my three young children and I knew that cheap and easy was never going to be part of my story. I thought about what my husband is exposed to when he fights fires. I thought about my young children. I thought about the smog hanging over our heads. I knew I wanted something non-toxic. Coconut wax has revolutionized candle manufacturing. Bodewell uses a proprietary blend that is sustainable and non gmo. It is the safest, slowest, cleanest burning wax on the market.



The scents of Bodewell home candles are really subtle and refreshing. How do you pick a scent for a candle?


Each and every scent comes from a story. That story is based on a very specific memory from life: from childhood to motherhood and everything in between. I am also very sensitive to scent, so I made sure to make scented candles for people like me. People who value nuance and dimension over heavy perfumes.




Where are your candles made?

We manufacture our candles in Los Angeles.


What’s next for Bodewell Home?

Global domination!

Honestly, bodewell has a vision to disrupt the mainstream landscape of home goods. To provide an emotional experience, a beautifully designed product, a safe alternative to what has dominated the home goods market for too long.