There are so many options on the market for candle makers that choosing your products can get overwhelming. When it comes down to essential oils and fragrance oils, how do you choose? Can you mix the two when creating your candles?
Can you mix essential oils and fragrance oils in a candle?
Contrary to popular belief, yes, you can mix essential oils and fragrance oils when making your own homemade candles. Mixing the two will provide a stronger scent, a longer shelf life, and a lower cost to your candle, but can cost more to make a single candle the more essential oil you use. Because fragrance oils are synthetic, mixing the two will add non-natural material to an otherwise natural candle.
Knowing the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils is key when making decisions on how to make your candles. You should also know not just what factors into your candle’s scent, but how to mix the two oil types in your own candle batch. Read on to find out the pros and cons of mixing the two, and what you can do at home to experiment with these candle scents.
Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils: Know the Difference
Essential oils are derived from a natural source, concentrated liquids from typically organic plant matter. Because of the way they are created, they are often the strongest scents from that plant. The term “essential” comes from the way that the scent represents whatever the oil was created from—its scent is the essence of the plant.
Fragrance oils are manufactured scents that are typically synthetic and mixed in with a carrier oil. These oils have a tendency to have a stronger smell and when added to candles, make them last longer, and usually do not have any plant matter.
The main glaring difference is simply how they are made—essential oils are natural, while fragrance oils are manufactured. Fragrance oils are also not required to include any plant matter, regardless of how they smell.
Fragrance oils, though, are going to have a more intense smell than essential oils because they are specifically made to be that—a fragrance oil. Essential oils, on the other hand, have different uses, not all of them specifically for their scent delivery in a candle.
What factors into your candle’s scent?
When you’re making a candle, you want your products to have a strong scent throw. What is a scent throw? It is the aroma you get when you walk into a room with a burning candle. The hot throw is what it smells like when it is burning, while a cold throw is what it smells like when the wax is solid.
There are many reasons a candle can have a strong scent, not just their oil types—it can also come down to the size of the candle. If the candle is larger, the stronger the scent will be. Your wick also determines the size and duration of the scent throw.
What are the pros and cons to mixing essential oils and fragrance oils?
Because of their main differences, there are both advantages and disadvantages to mixing the two:
Pro: Candles with both essential oils and fragrance oils have a stronger scent
With their production, essential oils tend to be less strong in scent than fragrance oils, which are made specifically to fragrance items. Because you are mixing them together, you can enhance the already extant scent of the essential oils through the stronger scent of the fragrance oils. Make sure when you do that you do not overpower the scent of the essential oil with the fragrance oil.
Con: The more essential oils you use, the less intense the candle will smell
Because you intend to mix your fragrance oils, though, you will have to find a happy medium between the two types. The more essential oil that you use, the less fragrant the candle will be. Try to use more of the fragrance oil than the essential oil, or use the essential oil as the scent for your top notes instead of trying to use it as a base.
Pro: Candles with both have a longer shelf life
Because mixing your candle fragrance oils can change the make-up of your candle, it can actually increase the shelf life of your candles. Essential oils last much longer than fragrance oils—they can have a shelf life of fifteen years or more, although most usually land within the two-to-five-year time frame. Fragrance oils, on the other hand, only usually last about a year when left in the open air. Mixing the two can give you the opportunity to allow your candles to last longer for not just you, but your consumer.
What happens when your candles sit on a shelf? Both types of oils start to break down when they come in contact with light, heat, or oxygen. They will start to dissipate if not protected or with their lid on, so remember that with any of your candles, regardless of oil type.
Con: If you are making an environmentally friendly candle, using fragrance oils means you’re adding synthetic scent to your candle
The main difference between fragrance oils and essential oils is their creation, and while essential oils are naturally created, fragrance oils are synthetic. While fragrance oils are safe to use in your candles, they are created with chemicals that if breathed in too much can become toxic. More often than that, they can cause allergic reactions in both adults and children. If you are interested in creating an all-natural candle, steer clear of fragrance oils during your creative process.
Pro: Mixing the two can help reduce cost of your candles
Because of how they are made, essential oils can be much more expensive than your fragrance oil counterparts. That being said, mixing fragrance oils and essential oils in your candle can help reduce the price of how much you spend making said candle. That way, you don’t have to charge as much to make a profit. Be aware though, like mentioned before, using too much of the essential oil can not only make your candle more expensive, but have a weaker scent. Finding the right balance between the two is key when making your candles.
Mixing Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils: Tips and Tricks
When it comes to actually making your candles, you should note that regardless of the type of oil you’re using, you should use the same amount of oil you would always use in your wax. Don’t think you have to add more just because you’re mixing fragrance oil types, and make sure you only add two to three oils per blend.
There are three notes to a candle scent—the top, middle, and base. When you’re mixing fragrance oils and essential oils, you should make sure that your mixture of oils combines all three notes easily. Keep the top notes, or what you smell first, somewhere around five to 20 percent of your mixture, then add the middle or body for about 50 to 80 percent, and then five to 20 percent for your base notes.
When it comes down to it, you can mix fragrance oils and essential oils in your candles. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both, you now can easily make a decision regarding your own candles. Is cost more important to you, or do you want to make an all-natural candle? Are you more focused on having a strong scent throw? Regardless of how you answer these questions, you are now more equipped to understand the types of fragrance oils and how they will affect your candles.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much fragrance oil do I use when making candles?
In most cases, the rule of thumb is one fluid ounce of fragrance oil to one pound of wax. While this can vary depending on the type of wax or even the type of fragrance you’re using, it’s important to note that most manufacturers will label their products with the appropriate maximum of oil added.
What is the best type of wax to use for scented candles?
When you’re making a scented candle, paraffin wax is the best type for holding scent. Although not a natural wax, it holds scents the best compared to other types of waxes—palm wax and soy wax are great natural options for scented candles, while beeswax is the least likely to work, as it already comes with its own natural scent.
What’s the best wax type for essential oil candles?
When using essential oils, it’s important to know the proper type of wax to use. If you are sticking to essential oils for your fragrances, soy wax tends to be the best for mixing. Soy wax has a low melting temperature and can absorb the best natural oil out of all other waxes, and it is a natural candle wax to match with your natural essential oil blends.
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Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.