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Jo Macfarlane is an award winning Scottish hand poured luxury scented candle maker, based in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife. Do you need a luxury scented candle created just for you? Jo will work with you to create bespoke scented soy candles for your wedding, luxury hotel or event.

Interested in making your own vegan soy candles but don’t know where to start? Work with Jo Macfarlane, Leading Scottish Chandler here at Candle Towers, the only candle making workshop in the UK on the East Coast of Scotland. Learn all the skills of candle making.


You can now learn candle making online on one of the three courses offered globally.

Read what attendees say about their in-person workshop on Trip Advisor and Visit Scotland

Have fun, learning a new skill making candles at your own candle making workshop held in small groups of 4. Learn more about how to make a vegan candle here.

I work with luxury hotels, event managers and weddings in London and across Scotland to create Private Label candles. ‘Scent the moment Scent the memory’ if you would like to work together please give me a call or email me.

WHO – So I am a highly driven creative with an insatiable appetite for learning and sharing knowledge.
WHAT– I am a candle maker who runs Jo Macfarlane candle school™ workshops and passionate about helping people build a candle business from their kitchen table.
WHY – To empower people to learn new skills.


Jo can be found running Marathons, Duathlon’s, skydiving, skiing, cycling and taking part in Triathlons – Read her embarrassing Triathlon Newbie Report here

She has just finished Swimming the distance of 22 miles for the Aspire Charity. Virtual English Channel open water, a challenge she swam virtually in her local pool in 2018 too. With a voracious appetite for reading she completed 100 books in a year challenge in 2016 and undertaking it again in 2020. Download her recommended Reading list.

Jo published her own book Ask & Act in lockdown.

Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news from candle towers.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

As the problem of climate change and global emissions isn’t going away anytime soon we’d like to show you how we are looking to reduce our carbon footprint at Jo Macfarlane Ltd.

Here at Jo Macfarlane we use eco friendly packaging.

we were awarded a Plastic Free award for our changes in reducing single use plastic in the business from not offering plastic bottles of water in our workshops to using pencils instead of pens, milk in recyclable bottles not cartons.

1. We re use our in bound packaging

2. I do my best to source suppliers that don’t use plastic packaging.

3. I offer ‘Fill it up Friday” to have your empty candle container refilled.

So what’s new?

You will soon be receiving Eucalyptus tree seeds with every order so you can repurpose the candle jar and grow your own.

Eucalyptus Tree

Storage Capacity: 70 pounds of CO2 per year*

While these gorgeous smelling evergreen trees with antiseptic benefits aren’t native to our country, I have a huge Eucalyptus tree in my garden, too tall to even take cuttings from now, there are several areas where they grow quite well. They do well in dry climates and full sun or slightly wet areas with well-drained soil. They can do well in a pots, so they’re a good choice for rooftop gardens or a balcony, I have a bunch of Eucalyptus in my shower room – the warm steam releases the gorgeous scented oil from it’s leaves which is great for clearing the sinuses.

The indigenous people in Australia use the tree to carve canoes, spears and instruments.

*note the picture is actually from my son’s Pineapple farm (can you call 5 pineapple plants a farm?) when Brexit was imminent he asked “will I still be able to buy Pineapples”? Our local Co-Op was selling a Pineapple plant which he received which has now sprouted x 4 babies in 3 months (currently looking for a 100 acre farm!!!)

Jo Macfarlane Eucalyptus Tree

Jo’s own ‘Wick’opedia™ Glossary of Candle Making
Glossary of scents

Guaiaic Wood – An ingredient used in soap, candle and fragrance making from the tree. Created through distilled wood and sawdust.

Labdanum – Mediterranean Shrub which gives off a resin, used in perfumes. Can be called ‘Amber’

Neroli – Some say this is the secret ingredient in Coca Cola!Essential oil from the Orange tree.

Patchouli – Essential oil from the leaves of the plant. It uplifts mood and works great for people suffering from depression.

Vetiver – A grass, which the essential oil from its root is used in perfumery and incense. In ancient times it was known as the ‘Oil of tranquility ‘ Cultivated in Japan, West Africa and Polynesia.

Ylang ylang (eelang eelang) – Created from distilling the flowers of the Ylang Ylang tree, used in Aromatherapy it is good for lowering high blood pressure, Antidepressant, Antiseptic, Antiseborrheic and an Aphrodisiac. The word means ‘Wilderness’ in the Tagalog language around the Philippines.

Petrichor (Pe-tray-kawr) –A distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on dry ground.

Glossary of terms

Bain marie or double boiler – jug or vessel with a pan of water.

Bloom – white powder on top of the candle

Burn test – The testing of different sizes of wick in a particular wax – after which you measure the Burn pool to decide which size to use in each vessel.

Burn time/cycle – The length of total burn time of a candles life.

Candle – Wax with wick running through the middle

Carbon build up – Seen when the wick mushrooms at the top during the burn. Make sure this is trimmed off before the next light.

Cold scent throw – The scent of a candle when it is unlit.

Container – Vessel in which to create a candle – must use ‘container’ wax

Double pour – Some waxes require 2 pours after the first sets with a big dip that needs filled. Be aware during the second pour of bubbles appearing around the wick and pop them with your wicking needle.

Essential oil – Plant based oil with healing benefits.

Flash point – At which point fragrance oil would ignite.

Glue dots – Tiny round stickers to stick your wick to the base of the vessel.

Jump lines – can be seen on a clear vessel where the candle wax is setting in stages and jumps up creating lines.

Hot scent throw – The scent given off by a fragrances candle when it is lit.

Jump lines/ stuttering – The wax setting in lines in a pillar or clear vessel.

Leaching – The candle oils coming out of the top of a candle and sitting on the top.

Melt point – the temperature at which the solid wax turns molten.

Melt pool – The melted area of molten wax around a wick.

Pillar – Standalone candle / church candle – Use a hard wax suitable for pillars.

Pouring temperature – Varies for each different kind of wax. The temperature at which the wax will be poured into the vessel.

Stick ums – Double sided round discs that stick the wick to the base of the vessel.

Tube wick – Hollow wick

Tunnel – where the candle tunnels down the centre

Wax glue- Sticky wax used to adhere a wick to the base of the vessel.

Wet spots/pullaway/delamination – Can be seen in a clear vessel where the wax has adhered in some areas and pulled away in others.

Wicks – the part of a candle that you light and burns down.

Wood wick – Flat wooden wick which can crackle and give a long flat flame.

Q Why does my candle tunnel?

I get a lot of people commenting on this, i think this might be one of the single most common problems. I’d love to know otherwise so please do get in touch.

The wick might be too small for the vessel, when the candle is lit the heat generated by the burning flame creates a ‘footprint’ of liquid wax, if the wick is too small it will create a tiny pool and create what i call a ‘ten pence tunnel’

Another very much overlooked cause if this is the care you take the very first time a candle is lit. When you get a stunning luxury candle (or made your very own at your candle school i run) the temptation is to rush home and light it. Think about how much time you have and if you think you are going to be dashing out the door 20 minutes later WAIT! see below how to rectify it.

Q How do I know how much wax to use when making my own candles?

Now i always work in weights and i know that isn’t the case with everyone, some like to work out by filling their vessel with water first but the wax comes as a solid so i find it easier to use grams. And all you have to do is fill your vessel twice and there you have the amount you need. If you want to know more why not come along to my candle making workshops and you can get an in depth knowledge. Have a look at workshop dates.

Q What happens when I light my candle for the first time and discover I have to go out after 20 minutes?

Don’t just light a candle the first time without thinking about how long it is going to be lit for, this can be the single most common problem, and i will tell you here what you can do once to rectify it.

So you have extinguished your candle, i will share with you later the best way to do this, you can get a heat gun or hairdryer and very carefully create a melt pool that goes to the edge of the glass. I cant tell you enough to be so so careful doing this as the hot wax can splatter.

Ideally you will let the candle remain lit for the recommended time the first time instead of having to use alternative methods to save your candle.

Q My candle was a beautiful scent when i first got it, now i cant smell it, why?

Some citrus scents, if they are essential oils fade over time. Some candle companies only scent the top of the candle so i personally think this wouldn’t last the duration of the life of a candle.

Q How long should i light a candle for the first time?

You need to create a good ‘burn pool’ that is getting the top of the candle to turn to liquid, right out to the edge. At least 2 hours for a 220g candle.

Q My candle seems to soot a lot, whats wrong with it?

Some waxes like Soy that we use at Candle Towers are virtually soot free. Make sure you trim the wick before each light, if its too long it will flicker a lot and soot. I was using a candle that i had bought in a high street shop for photography purposes, i had to take the quickest photo then *dip the wick as it was smoking so much.

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