The entire P.F. Collection is vegan, cruelty-free, and phthalate-free – always. We use a mixture of both natural and man-made fragrances. We believe that transparency is key to communicating the most important feature of our products – which is that, above all, they are safe.

 

Below are some frequently asked questions about our products. We hope these answers help you make an informed decision when purchasing fragrance for your home.


As always, we’re here to answer any questions you have at hello@pfcandleco.com.

Are your products all-natural?

The short answer here is: no.

 

With the exception of our Terra line of candles, all our products utilize synthetic fragrance blends. While this assumingly disqualifies them from the all-natural category, this does not mean that they are less safe for you to use. “Natural” by fragrance standards does not necessarily equal safe for use and “synthetic” is often unfairly misconstrued to mean “bad.” An individual may want to stay away from certain natural fragrances due to an allergy and oftentimes, synthetic fragrances are a more sustainable option due to the amount of resources it takes to create an essential or natural oil.

 

All of our candle products are made with 100% plant-derived/natural soy wax. This means that over 90% of the content of our candles is plant-derived.

 

For those with fragrance sensitivities or aversion to synthetic ingredients, we created the Terra line which is made with 100% all-natural, plant-derived fragrances.

Are your products non-toxic?

All of our products are free of phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde and Prop 65 chemicals. We adhere to the safety standards set by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and we sell our products in places like the EU and Japan where regulation tends to be stricter than American standards.  


Obviously, our products are not meant for ingestion and there are precautions to be taken for safe-use, especially around children and pets. Beyond responsible use, we encourage everyone to listen to their own bodies, as fragrance can affect each of us in different ways, and be mindful of how it may impact others who share your space. If you have any personal sensitivities or specific concerns, we are always available to answer questions or discuss products more in-depth - reach out to us at hello@pfcandleco.com!

Learn more about fragrance here:

The world of fragrance can be a complex and closely guarded industry to navigate. There are many ways to create an aroma chemical and even more ways to combine these materials into a fragrance blend which can then be utilized in any myriad of applications, whether it’s in a perfume, candles, diffusers, or laundry detergents and cleaners! But all fragrance crafting starts with a palette of individual aroma chemicals which can be classified as either essential oils, all-natural isolates, or synthetic molecules.

 

Essential oils are derived directly from nature. All kinds of plant materials, powders, gums, and resins are processed via methods most appropriate for the material. Steam distillation is the most common extraction method for essential oils, but some materials may require cold-press, solvent or CO2 extraction. All of these extraction methods aim to preserve the essence of the natural material as much as possible, and result in robust and complex oils composed of hundreds of chemical compounds. This is what makes essential oils so vibrant and dimensional, but there can also be challenges when working with these materials.  

 

The components of an essential oil are volatile compounds which means that they are really vulnerable to changes in the environment and can degrade in quality over time. This matters because it affects the shelf-life of products, and can affect the use of products you apply to your skin. The lack of stability makes it more difficult to determine how the essential oil will behave over time or react in application. Since essential oils come from nature and contain many compounds within a single material, it is impossible to precisely replicate the composition of an oil from batch to batch. Factors such as weather, climate changes, pollution and other human activities can impact the character, quality and yield of the natural materials used to produce essential oils. As such, there are challenges in regulating safety for essential oils and maintaining consistency of quality, availability and cost. They can also be highly resource-intensive to produce. For instance, the sandalwood tree, an endangered species, must mature for up to 30 years before it can be harvested to produce sandalwood essential oil! So while it may be tempting to opt for the real deal, there are times when it is best to consider more sustainable options.

 

All-natural isolates are molecules which, like essential oils, are naturally derived. However, all-natural isolates are singular molecules which have been extracted from an essential oil to bypass some of those challenges of working with pure essential oils. Isolates from various lavender essential oils, for example, could be extracted and recombined to achieve a specific lavender profile. This provides a higher level of control which helps to create a naturally-derived fragrance oil that can be replicated time and again while mitigating fluctuations in cost and availability. An all-natural fragrance oil can consist of both isolates and essential oils, but the presence of isolates classifies this type of fragrance as “all-natural” as it is no longer a pure essential oil fragrance. Compared to essential oils, all-natural fragrance also provides more control over the overall composition of a fragrance oil which means better regulation of safety standards and stability in performance.

 

Synthetic molecules are aroma chemicals which have been created in a lab, whether as an alternative to naturals, due to any of the challenges previously mentioned, or because a natural version simply does not exist. There are many scents that we experience which do not naturally occur or cannot be extracted from nature. There is no way to create an essential oil out of sea water or fresh mountain air, but those effects can be achieved through molecules synthesized in a lab. Synthetics also allow for more humane or sustainable alternatives. For example, musk cannot be naturally derived without using inhumane methods of extraction from animals. There are also some natural materials which are so astronomically expensive that they are only made accessible via their synthetic counterparts.

 

Synthetics alone can lack the vitality of complex essential oils, appearing flat or static by comparison, but they offer a much wider palette of materials to work from; the synthetic palette consists of thousands of materials whereas the natural palette only hundreds. Synthetics must undergo extensive development and testing and are subject to strict safety standards. For this reason, it is in many cases easier to regulate safety for synthetics than it is for essential oils.  

 

While purely synthetic fragrances do exist, most synthetic fragrance oils will be a blend of synthetic molecules, all-natural isolates and essential oils where the presence of even a single synthetic molecule requires the “synthetic” classification. A synthetic fragrance blend composed of materials from each category allows for a well-rounded fragrance with various options to adjust for optimal performance, cost, availability and character.


There are pros and cons to using any aroma chemical, regardless of its source, and so we ultimately do our best to use sound judgement in using all the resources available to create fragrances we love while adhering to the strict use guidelines set forth by regulatory bodies such as IFRA and RIFM. Fragrance can be such a rich and personal experience, and we believe everyone should be able to enjoy it with confidence!

Learn more about wax here:

All our candle products are made using 100% soy wax.

 

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, paraffin wax has been the most widely used wax for a variety of candle applications due its low cost and optimal scent throw performance. But paraffin wax is derived from petroleum as a byproduct of the refining process, and this has more recently raised some concerns. One claim is that paraffin wax emits harmful compounds into the air while burning. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough available research at this time to quantify the impact of burning paraffin, or any candles, but the act of combustion will always emit particles into the air. The notion of a “clean” burn can be misleading as this should not be taken to mean that nothing at all is released into the environment during the burning process. However, there is little evidence at this time to suggest that burning candles produces any significant negative impacts to our environments when used as instructed in a well ventilated space. At the end of the day, we understand how important it is to the future of our planet to limit our use of fossil fuels and this is the primary reason we opt not to use paraffin wax for our products.

 

We now have a lot of plant-derived wax alternatives to paraffin and new blends are being developed all the time. While we all dream of an affordable, high-performing, healthy and 100% sustainable wax source, the reality is that every option has its own list of pros and cons. Ultimately, the choice for manufacturers and consumers comes down to weighing those points to find the best option for your specific circumstances.

 

Plant-derived waxes include soy, palm, coconut, and apricot, among others. They all vary considerably in terms of cost, availability, performance & melt point, and some, such as coconut wax, require the addition of other waxes to be used effectively. Like paraffin, plant-derived waxes also have their share of criticism & drawbacks. For instance, palm wax cultivation is embroiled with issues like deforestation and harmful labor practices. And soy wax is no exception! Soy wax can pose challenges in achieving optimal candle performance, and the production of soy crop is unfortunately tied to GMOs and monoculture to the point that it is currently impossible to source a verified 100% non-GMO soy wax. These drawbacks are obviously not ideal for many reasons, but there is one advantage to using soy wax which makes it the best option for us right now -- all our soy wax is grown and manufactured right here in the US.  

 

On average, we go through 1600+ pounds of soy wax every day! That is a whole lot of wax and we think getting it to our warehouse is a particularly important consideration when it comes to sustainability. Most other plant-derived waxes are grown & produced overseas, and many are blends which may require sourcing and transportation from multiple different places. Given that, we believe the most sustainable choice we can make for our operations is to limit the distance our materials must travel and that makes soy wax a no-brainer for us. That said, we are always pushing our wax suppliers to find better methods and we look forward to a brighter, healthier and more sustainable future for both wax production and all of our products.

I’m using your product, but I can’t smell anything. Help!

We know how frustrating it can be to have a product fall short of expectation, and we strive to always exceed expectations by creating high-quality products which have been thoroughly tested! But, we are up against a lot of factors when it comes to striking a balance between adequately scenting a space without overwhelming or causing discomfort.  

 

Our abilities to perceive fragrance, and the physiological reactions we may have to fragrance, vary widely and are different for each individual. In fact, most of us are anosmic to some degree to specific fragrance materials meaning that we lack the ability to perceive them.   On the flipside, some of us are highly sensitive to fragrance and can detect it in even the smallest of quantities. That means for us that we cannot create a one-size-fits-all product, so instead we err on the side of mild fragrance to give you the option to layer and build fragrance to your personal preference.

 

You may also start to experience olfactory fatigue, or odor fatigue – the temporary inability to distinguish a particular scent after prolonged exposure to that airborne compound. This is totally normal, and often happens when you use the same fragrance for a long period of time. We suggest keeping a stash of 2 or 3 scents you love and regularly rotating them when you notice the strength fading.  

 

The size of your space is also important. Larger rooms or those with high ceilings or large openings into other rooms may require a few products to sustain the fragrance in the space. Try burning multiple candles at a time or combining different product types to build the fragrance to your desired level.