What Are Bath & Body Works Candles Made Of?

Bath & Body Works candles have become an extremely popular product over the past couple of decades, with the company selling over a billion candles each year. The candle line features a huge variety of scents ranging from fruity and floral to woodsy and masculine. Walking into a Bath & Body Works store immediately surrounds you with dozens of delightful fragrances to choose from.

The candles come in various shapes and sizes, including the classic jar candles, as well as novelty shapes like glowing luminaries and pedestal three-wick candles. Bath & Body Works is constantly releasing new seasonal collections so there’s always something new to discover. The affordable prices, enticing scents, and stylish packaging have all contributed to the brand’s incredible success in the scented candle market.

History of Bath & Body Works Candles

Bath & Body Works, which started as a division of Limited Brands in 1990, began making their own proprietary candles in 1997. In the early days, the candle scents were relatively simple, often single note fragrances like vanilla, apple, or lavender. The jars were basic as well, usually short and wide without much ornamentation.

It wasn’t until the early 2000s that Bath & Body Works started expanding their scent palette and designing more ornate jars. Over the years, they introduced increasingly complex candle scents with creative names and packaging. Now their candles come in over a hundred different scents with three wick designs and various jar shapes and decorations.

Manufacturing Process

Bath & Body Works candles are primarily manufactured in the United States at facilities in Mississippi and Arkansas. The candle making process involves several steps:

1. Wax preparation – The different waxes, including paraffin, soy, and vegetable-based wax, are measured and combined in large vats based on the candle recipe. Dyes and fragrances are added at this stage.

2. Wicking – Cotton or paper wicks are inserted into metal molds or glass containers.

3. Pouring – The heated wax mixture is poured into the containers around the wicks.

4. Cooling and solidifying – The candles sit undisturbed as the wax cools and solidifies around the wick, which can take up to 2 days.

5. Testing – Candles are tested to ensure proper burn time, wax melt point, and fragrance throw.

6. Labeling and packaging – Candles that pass testing have labels added and are packaged for shipping to stores.


Bath & Body Works candles contain a blend of different ingredients that give them their unique look, feel, and scent. Here are some of the main ingredients found in Bath & Body Works candles:

Wax – The wax used in Bath & Body Works candles is usually a blend of paraffin wax and vegetable-based waxes like soy wax. Paraffin wax helps the candle burn longer and hold its scent, while soy wax is a cleaner-burning natural wax. Beeswax is also sometimes used.

Fragrance oils – Bath & Body Works uses synthetic and natural fragrance oils to scent their candles. Each candle contains a complex blend of many different fragrance oils to create distinctive scents like Warm Vanilla Sugar, Japanese Cherry Blossom, and Mahogany Teakwood.

Dyes – Most Bath & Body Works candles use liquid dye to color the wax. The dye helps create the look consumers associate with different scents. For example, fruity scents often have red or pink wax.

Wicks – Bath & Body Works candles have cotton wicks that have been stiffened and shaped to ensure even burning. The wicks are wider and flatter compared to regular wicks.

Additional ingredients – Other minor ingredients may include preservatives to extend shelf life, substances like vybar to make the wax harder, and botanicals like dried flowers or spices for visual appeal.


Bath & Body Works prides itself on creating safe and high-quality candles for its customers. The company thoroughly tests all candle products to ensure they meet safety standards.

All Bath & Body Works candles display proper warning labels indicating that they should not be left unattended or burned near flammable materials. The labels also advise not burning for more than 4 hours at a time.

To safely enjoy Bath & Body Works candles, customers should:

  • Keep wicks trimmed to 1⁄4 inch before lighting.
  • Always have candles on stable, heat resistant surfaces.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Keep out of reach from children and pets.
  • Allow the wax pool to completely solidify before relighting.
  • Stop usage if the candle flame grows too high, flickers repeatedly, or if smoking occurs.

By following the provided safety information and burning instructions, Bath & Body Works customers can safely enjoy the high quality candles the brand offers.

Decorative Design and Appeal

Bath & Body Works is known for their beautifully designed candle jars that stand out on store shelves. The jars come in various shapes like cylinders, globes, hexagons, tapers, and more. The decorative lids often have embossed patterns, shapes or logos that coordinate with the scent or collection theme.

The colors of the jars, lids, and labels have a cohesive color story that’s artfully designed. Soft pastels, bold jewel tones, metallics, and ombré effects are commonly used. The colors chosen match the vibe of the fragrance inside, like calm lavenders for relaxing scents or bright citrus hues for energizing scents.

The ornamental design makes Bath & Body Works candles gifts as well as home decor. The stylish jars become decorative objects to display around the home when empty. Part of the brand’s success lies in creating candles that delight multiple senses, through beautiful packaging as well as amazing aromas.

Scent Technology

Bath & Body Works is known for its innovative and complex scent mixing to create unique, novel fragrances. Their team of perfumers blend essential oils, aroma chemicals, absolutes from flowers and fruits along with natural isolates to develop distinctive scents. While some candles feature simple single note fragrances like Mahogany Teakwood or Fresh Cut Lilacs, many combine multiple scent families in layers. For example, the popular Champagne Toast mixes bright effervescent notes like Champagne, Passionfruit and Citrus with deeper rich gourmand nuances of Crème Brûlée and Maple Sugar.

Bath & Body Works frequently produces novel “gourmand” food-inspired scents that smell like desserts or treats but aren’t literal smell-alike replicas. Scents like Blueberry Pie, Strawberry Pound Cake and Hot Cocoa & Cream evoke the essence of these treats without smelling exactly the same. Novelty fragrances tied to holidays, seasons and pop culture are also common, like Twisted Peppermint for winter or Pumpkin Pecan Waffles for fall. While some novelty scents change each year, popular ones often return and become signature staples.

The candle scent intensity is strong and noticeable when burning, filling up medium to large rooms. Using high fragrance loads between 10-15%, Bath & Body Works Candles are meant to provide a potent scent experience. However, the waxes and wicks are also formulated to prevent overpowering, headache-inducing aromas when burned for duration. Overall, the candles strike a balance between bold, vibrant scents and wearable, lightly diffused fragrances.

Best Sellers

Bath & Body Works is known for having candle scents that customers absolutely love and buy over and over again. These best-selling fragrances often become signature scents for the brand.

Some of their all-time top selling candle scents include:

  • Fresh Balsam – A beloved winter fragrance that smells like a fresh Christmas tree.
  • Mahogany Teakwood – A manly, woodsy aroma that is very popular year-round.
  • Eucalyptus Spearmint – A crisp, minty scent that is refreshing and spa-like.
  • Vanilla Bean – A sweet, sugary, dessert-like fragrance ideal for fall and winter.
  • Champagne Toast – A romantic scent with notes of bubbly champagne.

Bath & Body Works also has seasonal best-selling scents that customers go crazy for during certain times of year such as:

  • Pumpkin Apple – The signature fall scent, warm and spicy.
  • Twisted Peppermint – The top-selling fragrance for Christmas, minty and refreshing.
  • Sun-Washed Citrus – A very popular summer scent, bright and beachy.
  • Wild Honeysuckle – Blooming springtime floral loved by many.

Bath & Body Works often brings back retired/discontinued scents due to popular demand as well, like the classics Country Apple and Juniper Breeze.

Environmental Impact

While scented products like candles can create ambiance and relaxation, many consumers are conscious of their environmental impact. Bath & Body Works has taken some steps towards sustainability.

The company has transitioned to using more natural ingredients and fragrances in many of its candle lines. Key ingredients like soy wax and coconut wax are renewable resources. Cotton wicks are also more sustainable than older wick materials.

Bath & Body Works encourages customers to return used candle jars in-store for recycling. The jars can be reused or recycled depending on their condition. The company also uses a percentage of recycled content in its packaging when possible.

However, there is room for improvement. Paraffin wax, a petroleum byproduct, is still used in some candles. The fragrances also contain synthetic components blended from petrochemicals. While progress has been made, environmental advocates encourage further steps like eliminating paraffin, avoiding plastics in packaging, and reducing waste.


In summary, Bath & Body Works candles are made from a blend of paraffin wax, fragrance oils, and vegetable-based waxes like soybean, coconut, and palm. The paraffin wax provides a clean burn, while the soy wax helps anchor the scent. Fragrance oils give each candle its signature smell, formulated by expert perfumers.

While B&BW candles contain synthetics, they meet all safety standards when burned as directed. Their captivating scents and decorative vessels have made them hugely popular gifts and home accessories. However, paraffin is a petroleum product that produces some emissions when burned. For a more natural, eco-friendly option, soy or vegetable candles may be preferred.

Overall, Bath & Body Works candles offer an affordable luxury that makes any room smell amazing. Just be mindful of burn times, trimming wicks, and placement to maximize safety and enjoyment. With proper care, B&BW candles can provide hours of delightful aromatherapy.

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