The moment a candle is lit, the mood changes — the room takes on a different atmosphere and one’s emotions seamlessly transition to calmness, serenity, peace and comfort. Not all candles have this effect, and some can be unsafe to burn, made from harmful chemicals and colored with toxic dyes. LesRuches all-organic beeswax candles provide a safe, eco-conscious alternative, transforming any space into a calm and cleansed environment.
As a yogi, LesRuches Founder Mailene Webber always uses candles to set the environment for her practice. Her connection to the flame inspired a deep dive into the history of the candle and its evolution through time.
“I used to always light candles, like literally every night. I noticed that my ceiling was turning black, and I looked up and there’s soot from the smoke of the candle burning. I looked it up and I realized that I’m actually inhaling petroleum this whole time when burning paraffin-based candles. I started researching more and looking into this stuff, and then I came to realize that beeswax candles are the only candles I should burn,” said Mailene.
The first candles were crafted by ancient Egyptians using beeswax, and, through the centuries, have been made from varying substances like animal fat, vegetable oil and petroleum. Today, petroleum-based candles remain the most common household candle, though all-natural candles are becoming increasingly popular.
Petroleum, a known by-product of refined crude oil, is a nonrenewable resource and is the key ingredient in paraffin wax candles. When burned, this white, odorless substance emits fumes that have been linked to asthma, lung cancer and other respiratory problems.
But, as a result of the conscious consumption movement, educated shoppers tend more towards all-natural candles. Although soy and palm are improvements, the harvesting of both is known to be environmentally destructive and results in habitat loss for native species.
Ultimately, although not vegan, beeswax can be respectfully and harmlessly harvested. A popular choice of candle because of its high burning point and neutral fragrance, beeswax is naturally nontoxic and hypoallergenic. Additionally, beeswax is traditionally believed to possess cleansing properties, thought to purify the air due to the emission of negative ions.
Negative ions are found in large quantities in nature, typically near forests and mountains, or by bodies of water like waterfalls and the ocean. Negative ions do improve air quality and purify airborne toxins, and, although studies have not been done at length to prove this, beeswax is thought to release these ions when burned. Ultimately, beeswax candles are chemical-free and biodegradable, and are known to be the most eco-conscious candle option.
So, in September 2018, with her two partners, Mailene Webber launched LesRuches luxury candles—a small-batch, female- owned and -operated candle company based in the United States.
In less than a year, LesRuches has grown into a dependable brand, hoping to make an impact on the candle industry. Sourcing all-organic beeswax from neighboring Oregon, LesRuches remains sustainable, residing on a single coast to produce a Certified Organic product to help you set the mood, initiate ceremony or celebrate an occasion.
LesRuches hopes to continue this positive growth and plans to develop additional beeswax products for the home as well as the body.
“‘Les Ruches’ means ‘the hive’ in French, so we’re looking to expand our brand to other things that include honey, wax and other things that are made by bees. Perhaps we’re going to develop and include lip balms, mist sprays, soaps, all that stuff,” said Mailene.
However, with the increasing effects of climate change, bee species around the world are severely threatened, some even endangered.
“It is scary to think about that, but we have to face reality. It definitely can affect my business, but I feel like I’m actually helping save the bees by using their leftover wax rather than producing other kinds of materials that are harmful to our environment,” said Mailene.
LesRuches continues to raise awareness on the environmental and health effects of some household candles, and makes efforts to protect bee species by ensuring proper care and treatment of the bees from which they receive their wax. Ultimately, LesRuches hopes to inspire a newfound respect for the bees and the gold they give us by creating sustainably-made, all-natural candles to transform your environment without harming you.