Many of us have taken to candle making, it's become extremely popular during lock downs, forget sourdough, forget knitting - it's all about candle making. It's a great way to relax and unwind, plus you get a beautiful candle (or seven) at the end of it. But if you're new to candle making, you might be wondering when the best time to add fragrance oil is.
The short answer is that you should add your fragrance oil when the wax is in the liquid - but you probably already knew that, just making sure you're paying attention ;)
There are a few challenges when beginning your candle making journey, some of which include: wicking, selecting containers, wax types, when to add fragrance oil. In this article we are going to dive into the latter, when's the best time to add the fragrance oil for the ultimate hot and cold throw. There's no point going to all of this effort if the candle is rubbish... We want pungent smelling beauties!
The problem is there's so much conflicting information on the internet with candle making and I think it's a subjective experience, you need to do your own tests and play around with different waxes, wicks and containers. Have fun with it, figure out what works best for you.
If you're looking for an easy way to figure out the ratio check out this fragrance oil calculator, it does all of the hard work for you.
When making candles, always err on the side of caution and add less fragrance oil rather than more. You can always add more later if needed but you can’t take it away once you've added it. Less is more people!
You're all set, eager to start a new batch of candles. You've decided that you require 300g of candle wax to fill your base and you know your wax can take a scent load of 10%. So you take 10% from 300g which is 30g, therefore you need 30g of fragrance oil and 270g of wax. This is simple to do. Simply follow the instructions listed below and you're halfway there!
There are a few key things to remember when adding fragrance oil to soy wax:
- The ratio of fragrance oil to wax should be between 6-10% - anything more and your candle may not set, anything less and you might as well not bother. You also need to bear in mind the wax, some soy waxes will take up to 8% and some soy, coconut blends will take up to 10%
- The fragrance oil should be added when the wax is between 80-85 degrees Celsius, is what most people suggest and do.. However for me personally I feel like I lose too much scent, it almost feels like its burning off into the atmosphere - whether or not this is strictly true.
Here's what I've been doing (and boy have I test a lot and still test, but don't take my word for it, you'll need to do your own testing.)..... I heat the wax up to between 75 and 80 degrees Celsius, I let it cool to 60.c which is when I add my fragrance oil. I stir it on and off for at least two minutes to make sure its incorporated - I find this temperature hot enough to incorporate the scent into the wax and also cool enough to not burn off any scent. I then let it cool down to between 55 - 50.c and then pour, they start to set really quick.
I find with this method I get a great scent throw hot and cold.
Using more fragrance oil does not always guarantee a stronger scent throw. In fact, using too much fragrance oil can make your candles smell bad. If your candles smell burnt, you’ve used too much fragrance oil. Try reducing the amount of fragrance oil you use by half and see if that helps.
Determining the right amount of fragrance oil is up to you and your testing. Subtle fragrances such as rose might need more like 8 - 10% to get a nice smelling candle and something potent like cherry may only need 6% but this is where your own personal testing comes into play - it's tedious I know.
Each wax has a recommended fragrance oil load it can take, using more oil than the recommended amount can lead to safety hazards which is certainly something we want to avoid when playing with fire. On the other end of the spectrum too much fragrance oil can also cause the wick to clog resulting in a really poor scent throw...Which is sort of the opposite to how your brain works, surely more fragrance oil equals more scent...
As a final piece of advice, always store your candles in a cool, dark place. Heat and light will cause the fragrance oil to evaporate, so avoid storing your candles near windows.