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Fragrance Guide - How Much Fragrance Oil to Add to Your Soy Wax Candle

Part 1 - The Key to a Properly Scented Candle
Part 2 - Understanding the Flash Point of Your Scents
Part 3 - How to Calculate the Percentage of Fragrance to Use
Part 4 - How to Correctly Measure your Fragrance Oil
Part 5 - Adding the Fragrance Oil to Your Candle

Knowing how to properly fragrance candles is vital to ensure that the scented candle has the appropriate scent throw without compromising the stability of the candle itself. If you are having troubles with your scented candles, this guide will show you how to get a strong scent throw in soy candles.

Part 1 - The Key to a Properly Scented Candle

The key to a properly scented candle is to ensure you use the correct ratio of fragrance oil to soy wax. Most waxes will hold no more than 12% fragrance oil before the stability of the candle starts to become affected (i.e. curdling and sweating of the candle). As a rough guideline we recommend using between 6-10% fragrance oil in your candle.

The amount of fragrance you will use in your candles will depend on 3 factors:
1. The strength of the scent
2. The type of wax
3. The flash point of the fragrance oil (when it evaporates)

Part 2 - Understanding the Flash Point of Your Scents

Before you start calculating how much fragrance oil to add to soy wax you will need, you need to understand the flash point of your chosen fragrance. The flash point of a fragrance refers to the temperature at which the scent evaporates.

This becomes a problem when the fragrance oil you are using has a low flash point (evaporates at a lower temperature).

For example, let's say you are using a fragrance oil with a flash point of 65 degrees celsius (i.e. it evaporates at 65 degrees celsius) and you mix it with molten wax, which is heated to 80 degrees Celsius. This will heat the fragrance oil to a temperature above its flash point and thus cause the fragrance oil to evaporate as your candle cools and sets. Ultimately, this leads to most of your scent disappearing from the candle by the time it has fully cooled.

Part 3 - How to Calculate the Percentage of Fragrance to Use

Working out how much fragrance to use is a both an art and a science. As a starting point you can use the following two rules:

For a fragrance oil with a subtle scent: If the fragrance oil you are using has a subtle aroma then you should try adding a higher ratio of 8-10% fragrance oil to soy wax.

For a fragrance oil with a strong scent: If the scent is strong, first try using a smaller percentage of fragrance oil and test the scent throw by burning the candle - between 6-8%.

Remember, each wax will have it’s own maximum scent load, you can find out the maximum scent load of wax purchased from our store by checking the product description of the wax on our website.

Note that subtle fragrances also tend to have a lower flash point and can evaporate at temperatures as low as 55 degrees celsius. In Part 5 below, we explain how these fragrances oils are correctly added to your candle (you combine the fragrance oil with the wax at lower temperatures).

Part 4 - How to Correctly Measure your Fragrance Oil

Why you always should measure in grams and not mL

Many candle makers calculate their fragrance oils in volume using millileters. However, this is actually not the best approach as many fragrances have different densities (the thickness of the oil). If you measure in this way, you can end up accidentally adding too much of the thicker fragrance oils and too little of the thinner fragrance oils. If you do this, you run the risk of miscalculating the amount of fragrance oil you need to use - while this may not make a difference for smaller batches, for larger batches this small difference can really add up.

Measuring your fragrance oil in weight (grams) instead of volume (mL) is the most accurate way to ensure you are using the right amount of fragrance and avoid any miscalculations due to different densities in oils.

Calculating how many grams of fragrance you will need for your candle

Once you have calculated the percentage of fragrance you wish to use (remember you do this in Part 3 above) you then need to weigh the fragrance oil to measure how much you need to add to your candle.

The formula for calculating the amount of fragrance oil is as follows:

[grams of wax used in a single candle] x [percentage of fragrance oil you wish to use] = [grams of fragrance oil you will need per candle]

For example, if you are making a candle with 500 grams of wax and you decide to add 7% fragrance oil to the candle, then you would calculate it as follows:

500 x 0.07 = 35 grams

That’s it, now you have the grams of fragrance you need to add to your candle. Use your scales to measure out the amount of fragrance you have just calculated.

If you don’t have scales, you can still measure your fragrance oil in mL - however you may find yourself experimenting a little more before you find the right mix. Just remember, subtle scents tend to be a little less dense so therefore more ml is required to achieve the right ratio of fragrance oil to wax. Conversely, stronger scents tend to be more dense and therefore require less ml to achieve the right ratio.

Part 5 - Adding the Fragrance Oil to Your Candle

When adding fragrance it is important that it completely combines and binds to the wax. For this reason you need to ensure you are adding the fragrance oil to the wax at 80 degrees celcius or the highest temperature the scent can stand (the scent’s flash point).

When scents are combined with the wax above their flash point temperature they can evaporate and diminish the overall scent the candle holds. However if the wax is too cold the fragrance oil will fail to combine with the wax. To avoid evaporation or failure of the fragrance oil and wax to combine follow the below steps.

Step 1 - Check the flash point of your fragrance

You can find out what temperature to pour your fragrance by checking the flash point of that fragrance on the product description page for that fragrance.

Step 2 - Combine the fragrance oil with the molten wax at the optimal temperature based on the fragrance oils flash point

The flash point is equal or greater to 80 degrees celsius: Combine the fragrance oil with the molten wax when the wax is 80 degrees celsius.

The flash point is below 80 degrees celsius but higher than 55 degrees celsius: Combine the fragrance oil with the molten wax when the wax is at the flash point temperature of that fragrance.

The flash point is is below 55 degrees: Combine the fragrance oil with the molten wax when the wax 55 degrees (but no lower).

It is important to remember that when you are combining the fragrance oil at less than 80 degrees Celsius you will need to mix the fragrance thoroughly for 2 minutes or more, this will ensure the fragrance has combined with the wax.

Below is a cheat sheet summarising the important facts when combining fragrance. Feel free to share to your personal Facebook, Pinterest or even email to yourself for future reference.

Tip: You can mix lighter scents with a fragrance oil that has a higher flashpoint, such as vanilla essence. The result is a more stable scent that can be combined at a higher temperature.

Disclaimer: We have taken every effort to ensure that this guide is as accurate as possible. However Crafty Candle Supplies cannot guarantee or take responsibility for any errors or omissions in this information. Crafty Candle Supplies intends for this information to be used as a guide only and accepts no responsibility for actions or outcomes that are a consequence of using the information above. Please take every safe precaution in the making of candles, or experimentation of the candle making process.

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