What Happens If You Put Too Much Fragrance Oil in a Candle

As you learn how to make your candles, there are many possibilities that could affect your candles—both positively and negatively. When you’re making scented candles, you need to have that fragrance oil to make it work—but what happens if you add too much to your wax?

If you put too much fragrance oil in a candle:
  1. Your candle can smell too strongly. 
  2. Your candle can smell weak.
  3. The candle can burn wrong, creating soot, smoke, or large flames.
  4. The candle can leech, or liquid can bubble on the top, causing a fire hazard.

There may be several ways your fragrance oil can affect your candle, but what is the difference between your options, and does it matter what you use? How do you fix the potential error of having too much fragrance oil in your candle? Read on to find out more. 

What is essential oil?

An essential oil is a fragrance oil derived from a natural source. Heavily concentrated, these scents are from organic plant matter and represent the strongest scents off the plant. The “essential” part comes from the fact that they represent the “essence” of the plant they came from. 

Not meant to be swallowed or consumed, these essential oils make a great all-natural fragrance oil for your candles. They also can be used on the skin, allowing for stimulation of the limbic system—this can help reduce stress, trigger your long-term memory, and help shift your behaviors. They are also used in aromatherapy, reducing anxiety, mitigating headaches, helping with inflammation, and promoting sleep. 

What is a fragrance oil?

What Happens If You Put Too Much Fragrance Oil in a Candle

A fragrance oil, on the other hand, is a manufactured scent. They are created synthetically and then added to another carrier oil like propylene glycol, vegetable oil, or mineral oil. Because they are a stronger scented oil than essential oils, they work very well within scented candles. One thing to note is that due to their synthetic nature, there is a possibility that they can release toxic fumes into the air, compared to the essential oil fragrance.

Does it matter which type of oil I use in my candles?

No, it does not matter which you choose. Both can be measured in the same way, and both have their advantages and disadvantages—an all-natural candle with an essential oil fragrance is longer lasting, while the fragrance oil is stronger and less expensive. 

One thing to remember is that in most cases, both essential oils and fragrance oils should be measured in the same way. Essential oils may have less scent to them, but adding more of them to your candles will not help to make it smell stronger—it will just create further issues in your candle.

What happens if I put too much fragrance oil in my candle?

There are several things that can happen to your candle if you put too much fragrance oil into your wax: 

Your candle can smell too strongly

This is the most obvious answer, but it can also be a health hazard. Too strong of a scent can overpower the senses and create allergic reactions if burned too much. It is also just uncomfortable to have such strong scents in your household.

Your candle can smell weak

While it doesn’t seem possible, adding too much fragrance oil to your candle can also create a weaker scent throw. Especially if you have already started to burn your candle, some excess oil can burn off in a large flame, leaving your candle with not enough fragrance to produce a strong scent throw. 

It can also cause your wick to get clogged, and when that happens, your candle will smell weak. 

Your candle can burn wrong, creating soot, smoke, or large flames

If you add too much fragrance oil, it’s possible that you could have some burn issues with your candle, including soot, large flames, or even smoke. If your candle is burning too high or causing smoke, it could be trying to burn off extra oil that is within your candle. Because there is too much fragrance oil, it collects near the wick, and that oil needs to go somewhere—so it creates a large flame and smoke. 

Your candle can leech, or liquid can bubble on the top, causing a fire hazard
What Happens If You Put Too Much Fragrance Oil in a Candle

Candle leeching can occur when you add too much fragrance oil to your candle. If you find that your candle has little drips of oil on the top and has a significantly strong smell, you have added too much fragrance oil to your candle wax or you added your wax into your candle too late in the hardening process. The oil has not been able to bind properly with the wax and will rise to the top of the candle. This can be an issue, as the oil is highly flammable and could cause a fire hazard.

Why is it important to measure your fragrance oil?

Because of the risks of adding too much fragrance oil into your candles, you should always measure your fragrance oil before mixing it into your hot wax. Not putting enough fragrance oil means your candle will not have a fragrant scent throw, while putting too much can cause all the errors included above. 

How much fragrance oil should you add to your wax?

While it depends on the type of wax, for most waxes, you should add one fluid ounce to one pound of wax. This isn’t always the case, though, as most manufacturers will list that information on their wax products. 

In most cases, waxes will have between a six and eight percent fragrance load. Even if they claim that they can hold more, stick with this percentage when creating your candles. 

While this may seem like an issue when creating your candles, don’t fret. There’s an easy fix— in most cases, you just need to add more wax. This is why it’s important to measure your wax and scents before mixing. You may end up with an additional candle, but you will have a safer, better smelling, better burning candle. Make sure you measure your candle wax and your fragrance oil; check the manufacturer’s notes before burning, and stick to the numbers given.

If you feel like your fragrance isn’t strong enough, consider switching fragrance oils or even wax types. As that can affect how strong your candles smell. Beeswax is the worst at holding scent, while paraffin is the best. You need to find out which waxes and fragrance oil types work best for the type of candles you’re creating; then stick with the formula. You can get creative with your candle scent types—just not the amount you put into your candles!

Related Questions

Can I mix essential oils and fragrance oils to create my scented candle?
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Yes, you can mix together both essential oils and fragrance oils. By doing so, you can create a stronger scent and eliminate the number of toxic fumes from the fragrance oils. If you do include both in the same candle, note that the candle will not be considered natural if you use fragrance oil. That being said, you can reduce the price of your candle, reduce the toxicity, and create a candle with a longer shelf life. 

How many scents should I add to my candle?

While it is ultimately your choice how many fragrances to add to your candle, the typical rule of thumb is limiting it to two or three distinct scents. It can very easily become overwhelming if you add too many. 

Can you create your own fragrance oils?

Yes, it is possible to create your own oils for candle making. To do so, you should start with a carrier oil of olive, almond, or jojoba oil in a jar, then place your natural items inside. It is usually some sort of spice or dried herbs; you can also use dried flower petals. Place them within the oil, submerge them, and mix them in. Place water in a pan, and then set your glass container and mixture in that pan and turn on low heat. This will infuse the oil with your scent. Do not boil the water! After about five minutes, cover your jar and leave it in a cool, dark place for a week, mixing it once per day. After a week, strain your mixture with cheesecloth and let it sit again. 

Looking to start your own candle making business, check out my startup documents here.

Other Articles of Interest:

What Do Consumers Love Most About Candles
What Does a Candle Maker Need? Must Have Items

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