How to Make Scented Candles
Candlelight is great for creating ambiance of any kind in a room, especially when you are going for something soft and romantic. This is one of the reasons candles are so popular – the atmosphere you can create in a room with them is wonderful and varied. But the possibilities are multiplied even further when you are working with scented candles, because adding fragrance always boosts the mood, whatever that mood may be.
Learning how to make scented candles begins with understanding that most waxes are made from oil, and therefore they are closer to oils in their chemical composition. This means that when you choose a fragrance to add to your candle wax, it should also be an oil composition rather than water based or alcohol based perfumes. As you know, water and oil do not mix, so if you use a water based fragrance, it will simply settle on the bottom of your melted wax and not actually perfume the candle like you want it to. The important thing here, assuming you are not a chemist, is to ensure that the scents you use are actually intended for candle making purposes. Don’t worry if you are afraid that this will limit your candle making at home options. Most any craft store carries a mind-boggling plethora of candle fragrances. If, by some chance, your local craft store does not stock the scent you must have, there are plenty of online retailers that will carry it.
Making Scented Candles is Easy
The wonderful thing about scented candles is that you can smell their fragrance even when the candles themselves are not lit. They make outstanding gifts and anyone you give them to will appreciate them even more knowing that they are handmade. As you learn how to make scented candles you will realize that the process is the same as making regular candles. You first have to decide which type of wax you are going to use, as that can affect the amount of fragrance you should use to make the scent actually work. In general, the more fragrance you use, the stronger your candle will smell, whether you are using paraffin (the most common type of wax used for candles), expensive beeswax, palm wax or soy wax. However, the most common candle making at home mistake of the novice is adding too much fragrance. Adding too much scent will adversely effect the candles burning performance and could even lead to unattractive pitting. This especially applies when it comes to using gel wax. Extra caution is required when making scented gel candles.
If you plan to use gel wax, pay special attention to the density. Gel candle wax comes in different densities, and a low density gel wax will not hold as much fragrance as a higher density wax will.
How to Make Scented Candles Successfully
In order to make any type of candle, you have to first melt the wax before you can pour it into your candle mold. Be careful not to set the temperature of the stove top too high because wax can burn – especially gel candle wax. If you are using gel wax, keep a chemical fire extinguisher close by just in case! After the wax is melted, you can remove it from the heat source. Next is the final step in learning how to make scented candles. Are you ready? Once the melted wax is removed from the heat source, simply add your fragrance oil to the wax. A general rule of thumb I use is to add one ounce of fragrance oil per every pound of wax which will give you a 6% fragrance concentration. I adjust up or down from there depending on the type of wax and scent strength I am going for. It is extremely important to make sure that you do not add too much fragrance, since certain issues can arise from having too much in your candle, like the candle not burning properly, or you could even end up with pools of liquid in the candle (not pretty, and potentially dangerous). If you keep records of how much fragrance you add to the different amounts of wax you use, then you will eventually hit on the right amount for you to get the smell you want without the puddles of liquid in the candle. Some good advice I was once told was that it is far easier to add fragrance when experimenting for the right concentration, than it is to take it away.
Candle making at home is a fun and rewarding activity. Playing with scent will add even more variety and depth to your candle making endeavors. When you learn how to make scented candles successfully, not only will you appreciate it, but your recipients will too