If you've decided to make your own candles, you might be asking, "How much scent do you use to make a candle?" The answer to this question will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the candle and your own personal preferences. The basic amount to start with for most types of waxes is one ounce of scent per pound of wax, but that can change depending on the type of wax and the amount of scent desired.
Candle Scent Basics
For many, the best thing about candles is their inviting scents. From fresh, crisp fragrances to candles that smell like baked goods, there are so many different smells to experience.
When you're making candles at home, it might seem tricky to figure out how much scent do you use to make a candle. Some of the factors that will influence the amount of fragrance include:
- The quality and type of wax you're using
- The size of the candle
- The type of fragrance or essential oils being added
- How strong you want the scent to be
Most fragrance oils and essential oils sold for the purpose of candle making will come with a recommendation for the amount used. These recommendations normally refer to added scent per pound of wax, and reflect the total amount of fragrance. If you're combining scents, it's important to keep in mind that you can't add the maximum amount of each scent to your candles, but rather a combination that adds up to this amount.
How Much Scent Do You Use to Make a Candle?
Here are some very basic guidelines for scenting a candle. Always refer to the instructions included with the fragrances for more detailed figures.
Essential oils vary a great deal, and you'll find that there are significant differences in these qualities:
- Strength of scent
- Ease of blending
- Staying power
Some essential oils can cause respiratory problems when burned, so always make sure that the ones you choose for candle making are appropriate for this purpose.
Generally, adding up to one ounce of essential oil per pound of wax is ideal. If you are working with soy or gel wax, start with half an ounce first and add a little bit more if a stronger scent is needed.
Fragrance oils are man-made oils that offer an extremely wide variety of scents. There are many manufacturers of fragrance oils for candle making, so the quality of the oil will vary from company to company.Most fragrance oils come with clear instructions for use. If you have one that doesn't however, start with one ounce of scent per pound of wax. This should be the maximum for soy or gel wax candles.
If you're using a very high quality paraffin wax, you can increase the amount of fragrance oils a bit, going up to 1.5 ounces.
Adding Too Much Scent
Adding more scent to a candle can be tempting, because most people really want their candles to smell great and last a long time. There can be serious problems that result from adding too much scent though. These include:
- Oily candles covered in residue that can appear to be wet
- Candles that catch fire, since scent oils are highly flammable
- Candles that smoke when lit
- Mottled colors in the finished candle
- Sputtering candles
- Candles with indentations on the surface, caused by pockets of oil that couldn't be dissolved into the wax
Since some of these problems are actually very dangerous, it's important to keep your fragrance or essential oils within the recommended guidelines for candle making.
Experimenting with Candle Scents
One of the most enjoyable things about making candles is that you can experiment with different shapes, sizes, waxes, colors, and especially scents. You might be surprised to learn that you don't really need a lot of scented oils to produce a nicely scented candle. Try different amounts of fragrance, keeping within the limits, to see what works best for your own preferences.