Choosing the right fragrance oil is the most important step when making scented candles. You want your candles to smell great before and after lighting, last a long time, and to be strong enough.
So today I’ll share my favorite sets of fragrance oils that I like to use when making candles. Every set contains unique fragrances, such that you always have the right one regardless of the event or time of year.
Best candle fragrance oils
If you like a house that always smells like baked good, then you might like this set of fragrance oils for fall and winter.
It includes cinnamon, harvest spice, apple cider, coffee cake, gingerbread and pumpkin pie fragrance oils.
Personally I love the smell of cinnamon and gingerbread, so I use these throughout the entire year.
But I know quite some people that buy these fragrance oils specifically for the holiday seasons.
If this is your first time buying essential oils, you might want to take a look at the Botanic Hearth set that includes the following 6 scents: Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass and Oranges.
Although these essential oils are normally used for diffuser, humidifier, massage, etc., you can also incorporate them into your candles.
Moreover, they are USDA certified organic oils and undiluted, so you can be sure that they are high quality and smell amazing.
If you want to have some more options to choose from, you can also consider the Urpower essential oil set.
This set comes with 16 different oils. So besides the popular oils like Lavender and Peppermint, you will also be able to experiment with some more unique scents such as Cedar wood, Bergamot, Ylang-ylang and basil.
And if you really want to take your scented candles to the next level, you can start to come up with your own scents by combining 2 or 3 different oils together.
Finally, I like to use this “Fresh Summer” set of fragrances that includes baby powder, fresh cotton, ocean breeze, sweat pea, mountain rain and vanilla.
These fragrances always help me relax at the end of a hard day of work.
Their hot throw is great so your room will smell nice within just a few minutes after lighting your candles.
If you are longing for summer this fragrance set might be right for you.
Following the “tropical” theme it comes with the fragrances: bay rum, Tahitian vanilla, ocean breeze, coconut cream, piña colada, and pineapple.
These smells always take me back to that amazing holiday in Hawaii.
How to choose fragrance oils for candle making?
The most important thing is to choose a fragrance that you actually like. You don’t want to make candles that smell bad after all.
But keep in mind that some fragrance oils might smell a little different after adding them to your candle and that a scented candle can smell different when cold or when lit.
Secondly, you want to make sure that your fragrance oil can be used for candle making. Using the wrong oil can be dangerous or result in candles with no smell at all.
Thirdly, it’s important to use fragrance oils that smell strong enough. When adding oils to the candle wax the fragrance gets diluted inevitably. So using strong scents such as pine tree or lavender is a safe choice.
Finally, you want to take any allergies into consideration when choosing fragrance oils. And don’t forget that high concentrations of fragrance oils can lead to headaches if you are sensitive.
Buying individual fragrances or a set?
If it’s your first time buying fragrance oils I generally recommend buying a set. This is mainly because you can never be sure how your scented candles are going to turn out.
There is no worse feeling than buying a large amount of the wrong oil. So by buying several small bottles you can try out different fragrances and discover which ones you like the most.
Another small benefit is that buying a set of fragrances is normally cheaper than buying them separate, although the difference normally isn’t very big.
Choosing between fragrance oils and essence oils
Fragrance oils and essential oils are often talked about as if they were the same thing. Although they are use for the same purpose, the way they are made and their properties differ a lot.
Essential oils are extracted directly from plants and flower and don’t have any additives. Some examples include lavender, peppermint and rosemary.
Fragrance oils are made synthetically and normally include a combination of aromatic compounds, an oil and a carrier. Beside the natural scents mentioned above, fragrance oils can also be found in many new scents such as “Chocolate Chip Cookie”.
Some reasons to use fragrance oils include the wide selection of different scents, and the fact that they are formulated to have a pretty strong smell. However, some people with specific allergies might react bad to specific fragrance oils.
Essential oils don’t have this problem because they are natural and some people even claim that they can have some positive health benefits as well.
However, essential oils can be much more expensive than fragrance oils and since essential oils are derived from plants and flowers, the oil can smell a little different every time you buy it.
Frequently asked questions
How much fragrance to add to candles?
The most difficult thing when working with oils for scented candles is to determine how much you need to add to the wax.
As a general rule of thumb, you can use around one ounce of oil per pound of wax. This roughly corresponds to 3~6% of your total candle’s weight.
However, there are many things you want to consider before adding your oil.
First of all, you want to take into account which scent you are trying to add to your candle. Some scents like lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, etc. have a rather strong smell, and therefore you don’t need to add a lot to your wax. Whereas others are very weak and need to be added in larger amounts
Secondly, there is a clear distinction between essential oils and fragrance oils. Essentials oils are natural and extracted from plants. Since they don’t have any additives they don’t smell very strong. However, fragrance oils are made in the lab and are generally optimized to have a stronger smell.
Lastly, the type of wax you are using can have an effect on the scent as well. Soy candles burn slowly and release the scent evenly over time. However, paraffin candles burn much faster and release a stronger scent.
So in short: start by adding 3% oil and slowly increase the amount until you have the scent you wanted or reached 6%.
Note that adding more than 6% normally doesn’t make the scent any stronger and might prevent the candle from burning properly.
What does cold and hot throw mean?
A cold candle and a burning hot candle can smell quite different. This is what is referred to as cold scent throw and hot scent throw.
Ideally both of them would smell the same but unfortunately for some oils they can be very different. That’s why some candles smell great in the store but don’t have any scent when you burn them at home.
There is no real way to know beforehand how the cold throw and hot throw are going to differ. You will have to experiment with a variety of different scented candle oils to find what works best for you.
What can I do with leftover fragrance oils?
There are many ways to use fragrance oils. So you don’t have to worry that any will go to waste.
You can use them with a diffuser and make your room smell great. Or you can use them for other craft projects like making soap, perfume, bath salt, and incense sticks.
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