Have you ever noticed that lighting a candle instantly makes you feel that your world is a better place? I believe with all my heart that a candle’s light has the power to heal our spirit, calm us with its glow, and reconnect our heart and soul. This season, I’m excited to share the allure of French beeswax candles with you!




The Allure of French Beeswax Candles


Meet Charles van Valkenburg, the brilliant founder of Apis Cera, an artisanal brand of the most luxurious bees wax candles made in Aix-en-Provence, France. Charles is passionate about bees, and adores the scent of bees wax. He moved from Paris to Provence and founded his brand, developing and making the beeswax products himself in his studio workshop. {He’s also half Dutch!}



He wanted to bring the natural magic of 100% pure beeswax candles to homes, creating luxury quality, natural, hand made beeswax candles.  His candles are non-toxic and pollution free, they look exceptional on your table and everywhere else.  They are essential for adding a French flair to your home. He makes his candles the traditional way in his studio workshop in Provence, France.





The Allure of French Beeswax Candles


The Allure of French Beeswax Candles




These gorgeous beeswax candles begin, of course, with bees. Charles knows bees, and it’s really fascinating to learn about bees from him.







Charles: “Bees are amazing creatures and will travel over 60,000 kilometers and pollinate over 2 million flowers to produce less than 1 pound of pure beeswax. That is why it is so precious. Beeswax is secreted by the wax-bees. They use it to build honeycombs. The wax is made from transparent and white scales that appear at the opening of the four small pockets on each side of the abdomen of the bee.



It is completely incredible that, with thousands of bees coming up and adding their bit of wax to the spot where the “drawing out” is going on, you don’t get a thousand different variations of shape and thickness. You’re led to the conclusion that every one of these thousands of insects in her own right must be a trained engineer. Each bee adds only a tiny part to a given area of comb. When you see the work going on it even looks as if each bee considers herself an inspection party of one. She looks the work over, gives it a pat here and there and goes on about her business. With thousands of bees doing this, you somehow get that perfect finished product.”




The Allure of French Beeswax Candles




Charles has the most interesting friends….bee keepers, of course!  One, Audric de Campeau,  keeps bees in the heart of Paris, high above the city on the rooftops are his 7 beehives.  His honey is a luxurious product eagerly sought out by top chefs and private customers alike. You can visit Audric HERE > to learn about his hives.




audric de campeau


The Allure of French Beeswax Candles

Photos courtesy of Audric de Campeau



The world of French bee keeping and beeswax products is fascinating, isn’t it?!



Charles: “When you consider that almost all candles sold on the market are mainly composed of paraffin {soft solid derivatives from coal, petroleum or oil shale} or stearin {extracted from animal and vegetable fat}, it becomes difficult to find inexpensive quality candles made entirely from natural wax. In addition to a delicious, and sometimes forgotten, perfume, natural wax is non-toxic {it is even allowed as a food additive}, non-carcinogenic and non-polluting.

Because my  products are so pure, made eco-responsibly and hand made in accordance with the traditions of the past, they are a little more expensive than other candles. Our candles have an exquisite perfume and plethora of benefits, no smoke or pollutants, or additives.


Charles hand pours the “liquid gold” {pure beeswax} into specially created molds featuring a honey comb design.









Each of the French Artisan Beeswax Pillar Candles I selected for our special gift set for our Autumn at Home Collection is made this way. After they come out of their mold, Charles trims the edges and the wicks, then packages them in the most exquisite signature toile de Jouy printed tissue paper.  Finally, sealed with a little bee sticker, the candles are nestled into their sturdy box, which protects them.







With their exquisite delicate scent and a plethora of benefits, no smoke or pollutants additives, the flickering light will soothe you. I love burning the pillars at  bath time — they are the epitome of luxury!







The tapers Charles makes are just as delightful! Hand rolled from finest sheets of bees wax, the candles are light, burn beautifully and are free of all the pollutants and additives which make up many taper candles.  They come as a set of 9, packaged in a beautiful box, tied with satin ribbon. They would make the most wonderful and luxurious host or hostess gift.  {Think ahead for the holiday season!}




The Allure of French Beeswax Candles




Once you have tried beeswax candles pillars, you will have a hard time going back to other candles.  There is something about them, it’s the reason they are a favorite with so many interior designers and luxury restaurants and hotels. Beeswax has a higher melting point than other waxes, it emits the brightest, most warm-toned flame. Beeswax candles also last longer than most other candles. Brigitte Bardot is a fan, as is designer Kiel James Patrick and French baroness and author Amélie Nothomb.




I love that Charles is producing beautiful products by hand. He is a perfectionist, which says to me that he has put his whole heart into making the best candles money can buy.  By supporting his small business in France, I know we are also helping the bee keepers from whom he purchases the beeswax.  I am always in favor of buying from small family businesses, both here in the states and in France. It’s being responsible ecologically, too.





The Allure of French Beeswax Candles


Candles…seemingly such a simple thing, but they have the power to transform the ordinary. They bring elegance and beauty to our every days.  I hope you light your candles at home and transform your rooms.



– During its first use, leave the candle burning for at least two and a half hours or wait until the surface has entirely melted. It will prevent the formation of a pool.
– If the flame is too big, the wick needs to be shortened. Put out the candle and cut the wick a little. It should be approx. half an inch.
– Don’t let your candles burn for more than 3 hours in a row.
– For safety, please place the candle on a stand or a cup and not in a glass.
– To extend the burning time, you may store candles in your refrigerator.



The French candles are part of our 2020 FrenchGardenHouse Autumn Gift Collection.


French Country Gift Collection







Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and above all uniquely yours. Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com

Photo credit: Apis Cera for all beeswax and studio photos.