In order to make good quality candles, you will need to have an in-depth knowledge of the different types of waxes, essential and fragrance oils, colouring additives and required equipment. You will also have to know the candle making process with its important points and aspects to keep in mind. In this article, we are going to detail what you have to know about the different wax types with regards to scent throw. As a strong scent throw will determine how much your customers can enjoy lighting your candle, this should be number one priority. Let’s see what you need to know about scent throw and what the best candle wax is for scent throw.
What do you have to know about scent throw?
In order to understand and choose the best wax, first you have to know what a scent throw is. The expression means how well your candle’s scent spreads, how strong it is and how long it stays in a larger space. When it comes to scent throw, it is important to differentiate between cold and hot throw. Cold throw is the strength of the scent in itself – before burning it – and hot throw is what we talk about when the candle is already lit. The two doesn’t have a linear connection, meaning that a strong cold throw won’t guarantee an equally strong hot throw and vice versa.
It can be a logical question why cold throw is important. As it is not relevant when burning, some people can think it is not relevant. However, if you think about it, the cold throw is actually the feature based on which your customers can choose. As they can’t light the candle in the store, they can only judge the candles by their cold throw. Therefore, you can even consider it a marketing tool for your candles.
To go into details, your candle’s scent throw is dependent on the fragrance molecules and its speed of evaporation into the air. Interestingly, the different essential and fragrance oils – which provide the scent of the candle – evaporate at different temperatures and rates. Based on this difference, we can talk about top, middle and bottom notes of candles.
Top notes come from the ingredients with the lowest evaporation points, so these are the first fragrances you will smell. They start quickly but also don’t last too long. Middle notes have higher evaporation points which means you have to burn your candle for some time before starting to smell them. They linger longer and are followed by bottom notes which are deeper and more full-bodied.
Candle wax and scent throw
After the basics, let’s see how candle wax will affect the scent throw of your candles. As you might know by now, different waxes have different basic features. One of that is how good scent throw they can provide. From this perspective, you can find all the necessary information below.
Paraffin wax is made with the by-product from petroleum purification which has made it less popular in the last decades. Not only it lacks environmentally friendly features, but it also releases toxins while burning, thus being problematic for the customers’ health. Its biggest advantage is being cheap and cost efficient. Furthermore, even those against using paraffin wax admit that it is the best choice when it comes to a strong scent throw. Candles made of paraffin wax can produce a really strong scent as it carries a high fragrance load. Therefore, it will result in really strong fragrance which can easily fill a larger open space too.
Unlike paraffin wax, beeswax is not problematic due to health reasons, however when it comes to protecting the environment, it is still not the best choice. One of the advantages of using beeswax is its ability of neutralizing air pollutants, thus basically cleaning the air while burning. When it comes to the scent throw, it is not as strong as paraffin wax. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that beeswax has a naturally sweet scent on its own. This can both be an advantage and a problem based on which essential of fragrance oil you plan on using with it.
One of the most popular waxes thanks to being both environmentally friendly and vegan. It has a lower melting point than other waxes and it burns clean without producing much soot. Its wide popularity is indisputable, even with a relatively worse scent throw. Yes, unfortunately when it comes to having a really strong aroma, soy wax is not the best choice. However, it is also important to note that thanks to its lower melting point, soy wax burns more slowly than paraffin wax. Therefore, a soy candle can provide a longer-lasting scent, even if not a such strong one compared to paraffin candles. Lastly, for some people, having a less overwhelming scent can actually be an advantage. So, there are always two sides to every story!
Eco-friendly and plant-based wax which is relatively new on the market. It is growing increasingly popular in recent years, but still a bit harder to find and more expensive. When it comes to the candle making itself, coconut wax is really great to work with. Especially considering that this type of wax carries the scent really well. Therefore, it is a great choice if you want to end up with a strong scent throw.
All this can give you a nice idea of which wax might work best for you. However, there is one more aspect to keep in mind. Unfortunately, even if you do everything perfectly, sometimes your candles will end up having a really weak scent throw. The reason is that sometimes the chosen wax and essential or fragrance oil just don’t blend. There are times when they simply won’t be compatible and thus your candle will have a weak fragrance. This is one of the many reasons why it is always advised to test before producing in larger quantity. By experimenting, you can also get more experience in which waxes work best with your chosen, most commonly used oils.
What else affects the scent throw?
Apart from the choice of candle wax, there are other aspects to take into consideration. Below you can find a short list of points to consider. The most obvious one is the additives you use for the unique fragrance of your candles. Basically, you can either choose essential oils or fragrance oils. What can affect the scent throw is the quality and quantity of the chosen oils, as well as the temperature at which they were added in the wax.
Let’s start with the quality. Like with all other ingredients and even equipment, poor quality will have its effects on your candles. This means that if you have a reasonably successful business, investing in more expensive and good quality ingredients is crucial. Make sure to choose brands which you have already tested or at least read good reviews of. One more aspect of oil quality is how strong they are. That is determined by the amount of solvent, so keep that in mind as well.
Moving on to quantity, this is the trickiest part. It is obvious that adding too little essential oils will result in a really weak scent throw. However, too much can also be a problem. As opposed to how it would be logical, more oil doesn’t necessarily mean stronger scent. Yes, it sounds strange at first but hear out the explanation. The reason behind this is that by adding too much essential or fragrance oil, you can face several problems which will lead to poor burning qualities. More than advised oil can either clog your wick or can result in the oil to separate from the wax. Both of these problems will make your candle burn irregularly and can potentially cause fire hazard as well. Due to all this, it is advised to always to check the recommended amount of fragrance oil based on the wax you are using. Keep that in mind when you are measuring the ingredients. But for a small help, generally 0.5 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of wax is advised.
Lastly, the right temperature is always to key during the whole candle making process. This also applies to when you add the oils. However, it is not as easy as simply having one number in mind. You will have to add the oils at different temperatures into different types of waxes. So, based on which one you are working with, the right temperature can be anywhere between 160 and 200F. In general, a lower temperature will be right for the soy wax and a higher one for paraffin.
Based on all the information above, strictly based on scent throw, paraffin wax might be your best choice. However, if your brand is based on environmental protection or vegan products, you have to opt for soy wax. Even though it has a less strong scent, with the right essential and fragrance oils, you can still end up with amazing and good quality candles.
Candle scent throw F.A.Q
Q: What is scent throw in candles? A: Scent throw refers to the strength and diffusion of fragrance from a candle. A good scent throw means that the fragrance is strong and noticeable, even when the candle is not burning.
Q: What is the best wax for scent throw? A: The best wax for scent throw depends on personal preference and the desired outcome. Soy wax, beeswax, paraffin wax, coconut wax, and palm wax are all popular choices, each with their own pros and cons.
Q: How does soy wax compare to other waxes for scent throw? A: Soy wax is known for having a great scent throw and can hold a lot of fragrance oil. It also has a lower melting point, which means it can release fragrance at a lower temperature.
Q: Can beeswax produce a strong scent throw? A: Beeswax has a natural, sweet scent that blends well with other fragrances. While it may not produce the strongest scent throw, it has a long burn time and can release fragrance slowly over time.
Q: Is paraffin wax a good choice for scent throw? A: Paraffin wax is a widely available and affordable option that can hold a lot of fragrance and release it slowly over time. However, it is derived from petroleum and can release harmful chemicals when burned.
Q: What are the pros and cons of using coconut wax for scent throw? A: Coconut wax has a great scent throw and can hold a lot of fragrance oil. It is also a natural, renewable resource. However, it can be more expensive and difficult to work with than other waxes due to its soft texture and lower melting point.
Q: What is the unique texture of palm wax, and is it a good choice for scent throw? A: Palm wax has a unique, crystalline texture that can create interesting visual effects in candles. It also has a high melting point, which means it can hold a lot of fragrance and release it slowly over time. However, it can be more expensive and difficult to find sustainably sourced palm wax.
Q: How can I enhance the scent throw of my candles? A: To enhance the scent throw of your candles, you can use high-quality fragrance oils, add the fragrance at the right temperature, use the correct amount of fragrance oil, and cure your candles for several days before burning them. You can also experiment with different wicks, containers, and candle-making techniques to find what works best for you.