Making Your Own Fragrance Oil Candles

Adding fragrance to your homemade candles gives them special charm, but it is important to choose the correct oil in order to achieve the aroma you desire.

Although the warm glow of a hand made candle is beautiful in itself, adding extras like color and fragrance will make it more appealing to the senses. However, it is not as simple to create a scented candle as it sounds. If the wrong type of fragrance is used, a candle can have little scent, smell differently than you intended, or lose its scent once it has burned for a while. The following suggestions will help you choose the appropriate fragrance oil for your candles and outline how to add them to the wax during crafting.

Fragrance Oil Properties

Before you buy fragrance oil, it is important to have an understanding of the properties that make it suitable for use in candle making. An oil's flash point is the temperature at which it will ignite when exposed to heat, and this is an important matter to consider since the fragrance will be near fire if you choose to burn your candles. Another important factor is the oil's concentration. Some scents have a stronger fragrance than others do, which will determine how much you will have to use in order to have an aromatic candle. Finally, polarity is an important part of quality fragrance oil. Defined as how well the oil will mix with the wax to which it is added, it must be considered to avoid pockets of unmixed fragrance in the completed candle.

Covering all these issues when shopping for a stable candle fragrance can seem like a daunting task. However, the popularity of candle crafting has caused many craft suppliers to provided detailed testing of fragrances. When choosing a source for your candle supplies, make sure that manufacturer provides data on flash point, concentration, and polarity of all their fragrance oils. In addition, you will need information on how much to use per candle, as well as assurance that the fragrance is intended for use in candles. Using fragrance oil designed for potpourri, soaps, or diffusers will not give you the desired scent and may even be dangerous since the fragrance could be flammable.



Besides synthetic soap fragrances that are created specifically for use in candle making, another option that some crafters prefer is the use of essential oils for scenting. Concentrated extracts from various plants, flowers, and herbs, essential oils are potent natural oils with often-potent fragrances. Furthermore, some people believe that they offer therapeutic benefits that make them useful when inhaled via candles. Although they do have pleasant scents, not all essential oils are suitable for use in candles. This is because they are highly volatile -- meaning that they evaporate quickly, even at room temperature -- and may develop a different scent over time or when exposed to heat. If you decide that you will scent your candles with these oils, confirm with the seller that they are appropriate for use in candles (for both scent and safety) and get a recommendation on how much to use.

Using Fragrance Oil

Once you have chosen your fragrance oil, you can begin making the candle to which you will add it. Melt your wax, adding color and other additives at about 190 degrees. Remember that this temperature will vary depending on the type of candle wax you use, so consult the manufacturer's directions. Wait to add your fragrance oil until you have the wax cooled to pouring temperature, which again will be directed by the product. Add the scent to the wax, using either a dropper or a teaspoon for an accurate measurement. Next, thoroughly stir the mixture to disperse the fragrance evenly through the wax. If you do not, your finished candle may have pools of unblended oil inside that can catch on fire. Finally, pour the wax into the prepared mold. Keep in mind how important it is to add the fragrance at the last minute and at the proper temperature. Otherwise, you run the risk of destroying the strength of the scent. Sometimes extreme heat at this phase can even effect the coloration of the oil, which can ruin a batch of dyed wax.

If you are a candle crafter aspiring to make deliciously fragrant candles, it is easy to do so. Each candle can be a distinctively scented creation, with fragrances ranging from gardenia to lemongrass to warm apple pie. The possibilities for enhancing your craft through scent are virtually endless as long as you buy oils carefully. Although higher quality scents will probably cost a little more, they are definitely worth the expense. Every time you smell a candle that you made yourself and are relaxed or invigorated by the aroma, you will be reminded that it was worth the investment.

© High Speed Ventures 2011