About us
What is in our candles

About us

Rose in Thorns is a boutique of beautiful objects to enhance your environment handcrafted in Christchurch, New Zealand. Currently we have a range of candles made from sustainable waxes to inspire your senses and enhance your home. We use recycled or renewable materials where possible when making our candles and in our packaging.

Rose Wells, the designer behind Rose in Thorns has been making handcrafts from a young age. Her interest in candlemaking began in a high school science class, where the students each made simple candles. After this introduction, she began experimenting with melting down candles, and researched different techniques at the library. As she added more skills and materials to her repertoire, her collection of candles grew with them.

Candle making took a back seat for the next few years, while she focused on study and establishing a career in graphic design. Once she got back into making candles, an outlet for them was required. This timed nicely with the resurgence of the local craft scene, and a supportive community of local crafters was found after discovering Felt, an online marketplace for handmade.

As sustainability became more important, it became clear that paraffin wax didn't fit in with this ethos. She researched natural and plant waxes, as well as recycling wax from used candles in order to find a more sustainable source of wax. A commitment was made not to purchase any more paraffin wax, and to only use it in the form of recycled wax.

Felt shop was setup in 2008, and since then the business has grown while Rose continues to develop the range and include more environmentally friendly materials.

What is in our candles?

If you've ever wondered what goes into our candles, here is a brief summary of the different materials we use, and where we source them from.


Soy wax

Soy wax has become very popular in recent years due to it's low environmental impact. It is a sustainable resource that doesn't damage the eco-system. It can also be grown fast enough to keep up with the rate of consumption. The soy wax we use in our candles is made with pure soybean oil. It is a 100% vegetable product which is natural and biodegradable. Manufactured to FDA standards, it is kosher certified and not tested on animals. It doesn't contain any palm wax, petroleum, paraffin or beeswax products. It is also free of pesticides, herbicides, toxic materials and genetically modified material.

Recycled wax

Old candles, including stubs, drips, mis-shapen and unloved candles are melted down so the wax can be reused. They are seperated by colour, melted down and filtered to remove the debris, leaving it ready to be used again. Waste wax is also recovered and recycled.

Palm wax

We have sourced sustainable palm wax which can be used for custom orders as a cost effective option for pillar candles. Our supplier sources all of their palm wax from members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. This organisation was founded by the WWF to develop and define best practices for sustainable palm cultivation and protection of the environment.


Fragrance oils

We use high quality cosmetic grade fragrance oils that are formulated for use in candles to increase burn quality and safety. Although they are a synthetic product, many do contain a high percentage of essential oils. In general they work better in candles than essential oils as they are formulated for this purpose.

Essential oils

These are natural oils extracted from plants using various methods. Due to their unique characteristics, some work better in candles than others. They can be used for aromatherapy, but pregnant women should exercise caution when using them, and consult with their doctor or LMC first. If you are after a naturally scented candle, take a look at our essentials range.


We use synthetic candle dyes which are formulated so that the candle still burns well without the wick clogging up. We colour some of our candles to extend the range, and use up existing dyes we have accumulated over the years - some which have been inherited from other candle makers. Only a very small percentage of the candle is the dye, but if you are after a natural candle, then choose one of our uncoloured soy candles.

We are on the lookout for natural dyes to include in our range, but in the meantime will use our existing supply to go with our philosophy of using what we have, and diverting waste from landfill.


We use a range of different wicks for our candles, which are all made from natural fibres such as cotton, and don't contain lead or any other harmful materials.


At Rose in Thorns we believe in using what we have, as well as thinking about where our materials come from and where our products might end up. We source our wax either from renewable resources or recycle old wax from used candles. Our candle containers are either made from recyclable materials such glass or tin, or recycled containers like old teacups. We also encourage our customers to return their empty candle containers to us to be reused.


Return any used Rose in Thorns candle for recycling, and receive a 20% discount on a new candle*, or return four used Rose in Thorns candles, and receive a free candle**.

Candles can be dropped them off at Pay it Forward, 45 Nancy Ave, Mairehau if you're based in or near Christchurch. The discount can be redeemed on returned candles that are also available in store. For any other Rose in Thorns candles, or if the person working in store is unsure about whether the candle is by Rose in Thorns, you can leave your details and we will get in touch with a discount code for you to use. Otherwise you can get in touch with us to arrange posting them back.

Alternatively, empty tins and tealights can be cleaned in hot soapy water and placed in your recycling bin. Teacups and glass containers can be returned to us to be refilled, or washed out in hot soapy water and reused.

Empty tins and tealight cups can be returned to us for recycling. Alternatively, wash them in hot soapy water to be reused, or put in your recycling bin. Teacups and beer/wine bottle glasses can be returned to us to be refilled, or washed out in hot soapy water and used as drinking vessels.

Any old candles, dripped wax or empty candle containers can be brought to us for recycling.

Where possible we use packaging and labels that are recyclable, biodegradable or recycled.

*redemption is for a candle of equal or lesser value than returned candle.
**free candle is to be equal or lesser value of lowest value returned candle.
If returned candle is no longer in stock, redemption will be for item of similar value.


Our scented soy candles come in a range of fragrances. Choose from:
  • Rose
  • Vanilla
  • Frangipani
  • Mandarin & Mimosa 
  • Pineapple & Coconut 
  • Jasmine & Honeysuckle 
  • Christmas Spice 
  • Passion 
  • Carnation 
  • Sweet Lemongrass 
  • Orange & Cinnamon 
  • Red Raspberry 
  • Christmas Tree 
  • Mulled Wine 
  • Lotus Flower 
  • Wild Honeysuckle 
  • Jasmine 
  • Anjou Pear 
  • Pohutukawa 
  • Christmas Cookies 
  • White Mistletoe 
  • White Tulip

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