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Scented candles are great for creating a cozy atmosphere and a nice smell in your house throughout the entire year. If you are a fan of scented candles like me, you probably would like to make some yourself.
Fortunately, learning how to make candles with essential oils and fragrances is pretty simple.
The only thing you need to get started right away, is a candle making kits that contains a few scents and you are ready to start. Of course, if you like a very particular smell that isn’t included in any of these sets, you can easily buy essential oils separately.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know to start making your own scented candles. If you are just interested in our recommended fragrance oils and essential oils for candle making, you can scroll to the end of the article.
DIY scented candle recipe
Learning how to make your own scented candles isn’t very difficult if you have made other candles before. You just need to add the right amount of oil when the molten wax has reached the right temperature.
Sounds easy, right?
Let’s take a closer look at each step.
- Heat your wax around 180 degrees Fahrenheit until it is completely molten. The exact temperature at which the wax starts to melt will differ depending on which type of wax you are using.
- Add your candle dye if you want to give your candle a nice color.
- If you are using a synthetic fragrance oil you can add it in at this temperature as well.
- If you are using essential oils you want to let the wax cool down to around 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and only add the oil when the wax start to become cloudy.
- Thoroughly mix the wax to make sure the oils are evenly distributed.
- Poor the wax into your candle container and let them cool.
How much fragrance / essential oils 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.
Fragrance Vs essence oils for candle making
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 can 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 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.
Best scents for candles
If you are making scented candles for the first time, you have a wide range of difference oils to choose from. This is one of the reasons why making candles can be so much fun, because you constantly get to discover new smells.
However, for some people choosing from so many options can also be a little daunting. Even more experienced candle making don’t always manage to pick the best oil right from the start. So be prepared to try using lots of different oils.
If you are only buying a single oil it might be a hit or a miss. That’s why I personally always buy a set of different oils such that there are always a few that I love. Below you can find some of my favourite fragrances for candles.
Best essential oils for candles
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.
Best fragrance oils for candles
If you love the smell of nature, then this floral set will work great for your candles.
It includes violet, jasmine, rose, lilac, freesia and gardenia fragrances.
Each bottle contains 6~10 ml and since they are fragrance oils, they smell a lot stronger than their essential oil counterparts.
So you can make candles that will make your entire room smell nice.
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.
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.