How to Make Scented Candles With Essential Oils

Learning to make scented candles with essential oils is very simple once you understand which essential oils are best to use and how much to add. Beeswax and soy wax are some of the best waxes to use with essential oils for their capacity to hold the scent, slower burn rates, and ability to fill a room with their fragrance. They are two of the more environmentally friendly waxes on the market.

Utilizing a perfumery-based blend of essential oils with top, middle, and base notes creates a multidimensional fragrance that will last the burn time. Different fragrance strengths can be obtained by following the different ratios and recipe blends. You cannot go wrong with these magical yet tried and tested Pro Tips and Tricks.

What is an Aromatherapy Candle?

An aromatherapy candle is one in which deliciously pure essential oils are infused into the chosen wax. As it burns, it exudes its wonderful fragrance and all the benefits that the individual essential oils themselves bring to the finished product.

Many candles claim to be aromatherapy, playing on the words ‘aroma’ and ‘therapy.’ Unfortunately, many do not live up to the moniker as they contain poor-quality waxes and synthetic fragrances. While they might smell nice, they have none of the added benefits of a pure aromatherapy candle made with essential oils.

Ingredient labeling on candles is nowhere near as stringent as it is for skincare products. 

Often candles might include paraffin, synthetic fragrance oils, parabens, and phthalates.

Therefore, it is important that you are either buying from a respected and reputable source or making your own.

Also Read: How to Make Night Cream with Essential Oils

Soy Wax or Beeswax? Which One is Best for Candles

A dizzying array of candle waxes derive from two main sources: natural and mineral. Both sources provide waxes of different qualities. Knowing more about the waxes helps you make a more informed choice.

Many people choose soy as their wax base when making a scented candle. It is known for producing a more consistent release of fragrance for the entire burn time of the candle.

While some candle makers prefer to use only beeswax for pure, unscented candles as it has its natural honeyed fragrance.

For a professional aromatherapy candle, it would always be my wax of choice for the following reasons:

    1. Beeswax comes from a natural and renewable source and is one of the greenest candles you can burn. It is a healthy, sustainable, and wonderful eco-conscious choice.
    2. The beeswax is cram packed with incredible health benefits, naturally non-toxic (you could even eat it, but we don’t recommend it). The wax is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal even before you have added any essential oils.
    3. I find beeswax always burns clear and pure; it is generally soot free and, as they burn, emits negative ions into the air.
    4. Beeswax seems to burn a bit longer than a soy or paraffin candle of the comparative size.

In comparison,

    1. While soy wax can be an environmentally friendly alternative and is reasonably sustainable, it can be sprayed with toxic chemicals during the growing process. You cannot always guarantee that it is not GMO soy.
    2. Soy might not have the same capability for holding fragrance as paraffin alternatives, but as mentioned above, it does have a consistent release mechanism that lasts well.
    3. Soy wax is also particularly suited to plant-based fragrances and is a vegan alternative.
    4. It is generally clean burning and relatively easy to combine with wax dyes.
    5. Its creamy color and appealing texture make it the choice for people purveying a luxury aesthetic.

Also Read: How to Make Body Butter with Essential Oils

Essential Oils VS Fragrance Oils: The Pros & Cons for Candle Making

Now, there is no pretending here; there are pros and cons here for both, but let us just lay it out as it is.

The argument for using essential oils:

    • They are 100% pure natural plant products with amazing therapeutic benefits.
    • They can enhance your mood; it is well proven in various studies that lavender can calm you, and orange oil can uplift you, for example.
    • Essential oils are fragrant and used right; they can be long-lasting.
    • There is a much bigger shift to using natural ingredients as the world becomes more eco-conscious.
    • These natural ingredients are becoming a big selling point.

There are some downsides, though:

    • Despite being very fragrant, you will not always get the same level of infusion into the air (the throw). This needs to be factored into your recipe.
    • Because essential oil can be delicate little things, they can sometimes degrade as they become exposed to higher burning temperatures. This is what contributes to it not having a great ‘throw.’ Some oils are better than others; learning is key.
    • Oils are expensive, and you will need a lot to get a strong scent. For this reason, if you aim to sell them, you must pitch your price at the higher end of the scale.

Using essential oils will be perfect if I make a therapeutic-themed candle for my small bathroom. There is no huge room to fill with scent, and I will get the fragrance and benefits from the oils themselves.

If I were making a candle for the front desk of a big spa reception, then I would need to consider using fragrances for a better throw of fragrance. However, it would have no therapeutic benefits other than the beeswax itself.

Now that you know the pros and the cons, you can make an informed decision based on what is best for you and what type of product you wish to create.

Finally, in a modern world, we are being subjected to stronger and stronger fragrances, which frankly are unnatural and, in my mind, fill our homes with yet more chemicals. If we untrain our noses from these strong chemical fragrances, we can enjoy more subtle and therapeutic essential oils instead. I can advocate this shift as a household using very few chemically fragranced products.

Learn how to make scented candles from essential oils, and you can start to make this shift in your home too. Fill your air with natural fragrances instead of synthetics and chemicals.

Also Read: Best Essential Oils for Candles

How To Make Essential Oil Candles Smell Stronger

It can be frustrating when you learn to make scented candles with essential oils because when you add your essential oils to the melted wax, it smells really strong and amazing. However, the smell has significantly diminished once it is set and cured. You can do several things to help get a stronger scent from your candle.

Scenting the Wick

This one is a bit contentious and needs some experimentation because it works better with some oils than others. But you could try soaking your wick in a few oil drops BEFORE placing it into the candle jar.

Occasionally, it might affect the burn of the wick, but as I said, trial and error. See what works for you. In my experience, essential oils with what you would call a base note seem to work best for this. Not sure what a base note is? Check out my article How to Make Perfume with Essential Oils for more information.

Use Strong Scented Oils

This is perhaps the most obvious, but not one you immediately might think of. Use the strongest scented oils. If you check out the article link above, you will learn about the tenacity of an essential oil’s fragrance and its likelihood to last.

Many citrus oils are top notes; generally, the scents are harder to capture and more fleeting in their ability to last. Strong base notes like vetiver work well and have the tenacity to last the duration of the candle.

However, when making essential oil blends for candles, they should follow perfumery principles and include a top, middle, and base note. This helps to create a wonderful blend of fragrances to be released as your candle burns.

Essential oils like pine, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, patchouli, and rosemary all seem to last quite well and have a good throw.

Also Read: Homemade Scented Candle Ingredients and Recipes

Slow Burning Wax

Using the right wax is part of the key, so we have chosen to use beeswax here. It lasts the longest, as it has the slowest burn. Soy wax also burns quite slowly in comparison to paraffin wax.

Here, you must also consider how it ‘holds’ the fragrance. Both beeswax and soy wax are renowned for their ability to hold scents. When choosing wax, this is a strong factor when you learn how to make scented candles with essential oils.

Therefore, both beeswax and soy wax hold scent well and for longer, they also burn much slower, so the candle will last longer, slowly releasing the fragrance into the room.

Right Amount of Oil

There is a certain amount of trial and error in choosing the right essential oil to add to your candle, and you will learn as you go.

Bearing we are talking about how to make your candle smell stronger, here is some guidance for a strong-scented candle, utilizing the recipe below. Change the number of drops you use.

You can also use far less for a more subtle but acceptable fragrance level.

If you are making a candle for a small intimate setting, again, you can use far less essential oil to achieve a more subtle but no less beautiful effect.

How Much Essential Oil Do I need For a Strong-scented Candle?
Fluid Ounces of the Candle Jar 8 Oz 4 Oz 2 Oz
Amount of Essential Oil Needed 3 tsp 2 tsp 1 tsp
Equals the Number of Drops 300 drops 200 drops 100 drops
Bottle Size 15ml 10ml 5ml

You must find your balance here because too much oil is not great. Sometimes, adding too much oil can stop the candle from burning evenly and sometimes at all.

Follow the guide above as the maximum of essential oils to add. More tables can be found below for general all-purpose candles and a more subtle, lighter fragranced one.

Cover the Candle

This is one of the less obvious things to consider in making your candles smell stronger for longer. Cover your candle. Many exclusive candles come with a lid, box, or cover, and this is not just for decoration; it is so that between use, you can replace the lid or place it back into the box to help retain the wonderful fragrance for longer.

Don’t just discard that lid or box; use them.

No lid? You can use one of those stunning glass cloches instead; it is tempting to do that because they are so beautiful.

However, if your budget or space is not stretching to that…. You can even use saran wrap at a push. Get that fabulous aromatherapy candle with essential oils covered and protected to help it last as long as possible.

Also Read: Candle Making Tips: Top 10 Candle Making Tips for Beginners

Picking the Best Essential Oils for Candles

We have touched on choosing some of the best oils when you learn how to make scented candles with essential oils.

Where Will You Use The Candle?

Firstly, you need to consider what kind of candle you are making and where it will be used. Is it for an intimate space or a large space? You can get away with using less essential oil for those smaller spaces.

You can also choose oils that might not have the tenacity of those stronger base notes because you do not need the fragrance’s throw to be so powerful.

I am always utterly obsessed with Roses, and one of my favorite essential oil candle blends in the bathroom is Rose, Lemon, and Violet.

Once a year, I treat myself to just one rather (very- ssh) expensive candle for the year from my favorite company, and it was this blend that I chose last year, and it has been my absolute firm favorite ever since.

It is a blend that I could easily replicate if I wanted to. But the real skill is in the blending of the artist who formulated that recipe, and for that reason, I will buy another next year and enjoy their art.

In the meantime, I will experiment with different blends on a similar theme, and I heartily encourage you to do the same.

Choose Strong Scented Oils

As we have already discussed, focus on the stronger scented oils for candles that need a good throw and fill a space. They will last longer in the duration of the candle burn time.

Use Blends That Have A Top, Middle, And Base Note

Follow the perfumer's lead when creating your blend, and use a top, middle, and base note. While you may think it is a waste of time, including a top note which will be so fleeting, you may ask, why bother? Not using it can make the overall blend seem flat, dull, and a bit one-dimensional. You aim to build layers of fragrance and give it some body and life.

Make Sure Your Essential Oils Are Not Diluted

You must always ensure that you buy your oils from a reputable supplier that you can trust.

Always check your oils when you receive them that they are as described, have the right viscosity, and are not diluted in a carrier oil.

Recently, I ordered a 100ml bottle of Rose Geranium from a good supplier that I have been using for some years, and when I opened it, it just did not smell as strong as usual. A quick droplet rubbed between my finger and thumb told me all I needed, that it had been adulterated and mixed with a carrier oil to ‘water’ it down.

Generally, the ‘feel’ of essential oils is not ‘oily,’ They mostly have a light viscosity that disappears quickly upon rubbing between your thumb and finger - though this varies from oil to oil. But the Rose Geranium oil I tried was so oily and slippery that there was no hiding the fact it had been adulterated, too. It was disappointing but affirmed the need for a close and trusted relationship with my essential oils supplier.

Just a Safety Note: Remember you must always wash your hands thoroughly with a good quality soap after testing oils like this, and never do this test with an oil that is a known skin irritant.

Essential oils adulterated with carrier oils do not have the same fragrance strength, so they will not smell as strong. The added carrier oil can impair the candle's burn, and it could even struggle to stay lit if the oil ratio is too high.

The extra carrier oil could cause the candle to soot and smoke in some cases because of the uneven burn.

Also Read: DIY Candle Making: Make Your Candles at Home with 10 Easy Steps

How to Make Scented Candles with Essential Oils

Standard Candle-Making Equipment 

    • A double boiler purely to melt the wax (or an old saucepan and an empty tin can)
    • Disposable stirrer
    • Natural Candle wicks, you can even use those lovely wooden crackle wicks - (note they must be the right size for the pot you are using - follow the manufacturers' guide). 
    • Candlewick sustainers and suitable adhesive
    • Candle wick centering tool (or a long pencil)
    • Candle glasses (Heat proof)
    • Disposable Covering
    • Wax flakes or pellets.
    • Selection of Essential Oils


To make a general - all-purpose candle takes:

    • 6 cups Beeswax pellets/flakes
    • Natural candle wicks, sustainers, and suitable adhesive (Please check that you have the right size for the container you use).
    • 80–120 drops of Essential Oil (I used 80 drops of Lime (Citrus Latifolia Tanaka), 10 drops of Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides), and 30 drops of Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus).
    • 8-ounce jars 
    • Disposable stirrer
    • Disposable covering
    • Candle wick centering tool or pencils for securing wicks - one for each jar.


    1. Set up your workspace in a cool space with everything you need to hand. Cover your surface with disposable coverings, like newspapers, to catch any spills. Cleaning spilled wax up is no fun, I can tell you.
    2. Melt the beeswax over low heat using a double boiler to melt the wax (or an old saucepan filled with water to come halfway up a clean, empty tin can, containing your wax). Turn the heat up just a smidge; if you feel it takes more than a few minutes, it should melt easily and readily.
    3. Stir it with a disposable stirrer to break up clumps and aid the melting process.
    4. While waiting for the wax to melt fully, anchor the wicks to the bottom of the jar with an appropriate adhesive and ensure it is secure and unlikely to dislodge... Do not use wax; it will melt when you add the rest of the melted wax to the jar. If you are stuck, I have used Blu Tack in the past, but it is far from the best choice.
    5. Using the centering tool or a long pencil, align the wick to the center of the jar. If it is not straight at this point, it will not burn evenly. Take the time to get this bit right. It will pay off later for you.
    6. Leave the wax to cool just a little in the double boiler and then add in your essential oils and stir to combine thoroughly. Leaving the wax to cool a little will help preserve the integrity of the essential oils, as they can sometimes degrade in heat.
    7. Gently pour your wax into the candle jars in a steady stream, and try not to overfill your jar. Also, avoid slips and drips, as they can be hard to clean from the glass jar.
    8. Let the candles stand for at least a couple of hours to set solid.
    9. Cut the wick above the rim of the jar; it can be trimmed to size a little later and will be easier to do once fully set after 36-48 hours.
    10. Do not yet dispose of your excess wax; wait to see how your candles are set and if they need a top-up.
    11. Dispose of any wax by pouring it into a disposable container. I often use a muffin case. Do not pour down the drain; it will set and block your drain.

A small round of leftover wax is a really useful thing. Look at my pro tips below for more info.

Also Read: How to Make Face Serum with Essential Oils

Pro Tips and Tricks: Make your Candles

Your candle glasses must be heatproof - Do not be one of those people staring at a cracked glass jar while leaking molten wax runs down your kitchen cupboard onto your toes as you stand stunned that the glass jar cracked and broke. Your glass jars and containers must be heatproof. 

Candle Wicks 

Size Matters: My daughter-in-law passed me some jars of candles she had made with the warning NOT to light them because when you do, they set on fire. She was not sure why this happened and was discarding them. They were small jars, probably 50ml but made with a large gauge wick designed for use in an 8 Oz jar. The wick was too big for the size of the pot. It was as simple as that. You need the right size to wick for the size of your container. Otherwise, you could unintentionally create a fire hazard.

Centering the wick: This is another one of those small things that will reward you for the effort if you take the time to get it right. Get the wick dead center for a true and even burn.

Do not cut the wicks until set: Leave the candles to set before cutting the wick, and even cut them longer than the rim of the glass. I recommend leaving them a full 36-48 hours to fully set and cure before cutting the wick to the size you want. Avoid cutting them too short, or they may not even burn properly, the short wick getting flooded and overwhelmed with melted wax.


Affixing the sustainer securely: it is frustrating when you pour in your wax, and your sustainer dislodges and floats to the top. You must pour the wax out, clean the glass (no fun), and start again. Get it stuck down well to avoid frustrations and give it time to dry; you could even do this the night before.

Let the wax cool a little before adding oil: When you let the wax cool slightly, you subject your oils to less heat which helps to preserve their integrity at this stage.

Create them where you will leave them to cool: You don’t want to carry jars of hot wax once you have filled them, so consider whether it is easier to set them up in a cool place and take the hot pan to your workspace instead. Not everything has to be done in a hot kitchen.

Fire safety: Always make sure that you are following fire safety advice for the burning of any candles.

Disposing of the leftover wax: Do NOT pour this down the drain; you will block your pipes as this solidifies. Pour the leftover wax into a silicone muffin case, let it set, unmold and wrap it in parchment paper. With this, you can do so many things; check out my pro tips next.

Also Read: How to Make Facial Toner with Essential Oils

Things You Can Do With Your Beautiful Little Round of ‘Disposed’ Wax

    1. Wax your sewing thread and needle eye (keep it in your sewing box).
    2. Wax your button thread.
    3. Wax your curtain track to help curtain hooks transition smoothly.
    4. Wax stiff zippers.
    5. Dig your nails into it like soap when gardening to stop dirt from getting under your fingernails.
    6. Use it to condition your nails (add olive or almond oil and mix it in while the wax is still melted and pour it into a small tin instead).
    7. Use it to seal a special letter or invitation.
    8. Make a small tealight by pouring it into a tealight cup or a small votive jar.
    9. Make a wax melt, pour into a mold, leave until set, and then un-mold.
    10. Use it to make a filling for a small fragranced pouch. These are greatly used in your closet.
    11. Use a paper muffin case with a small piece of wick, and add a pinecone, a slice of dried orange, or dried pine needles to make a fire lighting starter. Light the wick and place it in the fire bowl with kindling; it will smell delightful.

As you can see, there is no reason to waste even a drop of precious wax, and you can utilize every last bit.

Also Read: How to Make Bath Bombs at Home

Here is a Few of My Tried and Trusted Blend Recipes

These blends are based on the recipe ratio above, using 6 cups of wax and working with between 80 -120 drops of essential oils.

General - All Purpose Scented Candle Blends
Using 6 Cups of wax
Blend name Top/Head Note Heart/Middle Note Base Note
My Favorite Blend 80 drops of
Lime Essential Oil (Citrus latifolia tanaka)
30 drops of
Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
10 drops of
Vetiver Essential Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides)
Forest Walk 20 drops of
Palo Santo Essential Oil (Bursera graveolens)
60 drops of
Scotch Pine Essential Oil (Pinus sylvestris)
20 drops of
Cedarwood Essential Oil (Cedrus deodara)
Beach Comber 30 drops of
Spearmint Essential Oil (Mentha spicata)
60 drops of
Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus citriodora)
20 drops of
Cypress Essential Oil (Cupressus sempervirens)
Meadow Bliss 60 drops of
Clary Sage Essential Oil (Salvia sclarea)
30 drops of
Marjoram Essential Oil (Origanum majorana)
10 drops of
Patchouli Essential Oil (Pogostemon cablin)
Tropical Paradise 40 drops of
Rose Geranium Essential Oil (Pelargonium asperum var roseum)
40 drops of
Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil (Cananga odorata)
20 drops of
Vanilla Essential Oil (Vanilla planifolia)

Important Questions

Are Essential Oils Flammable in Candles?

Essential oils can be highly volatile, so you must be careful around a naked flame. However, when essential oils are thoroughly combined into wax, they no longer have the same volatility making them safe to use in candles.

When you add your essential oils, they must be thoroughly incorporated and mixed well. You do not want to find air and oil pockets in the wax that could be volatile.

Consistent and thorough mixing is key here. Mix well, and there need not be cause for any concern here.

How Much Essential Oil Do You Put In Candle Wax?

As you have already found, this differs based on the type and strength of the candle you wish to design and create.

You have already learned how much oil you need to make a strong-scented candle using the table below; I have now included tables for general all-purpose candles and a much lighter and more subtle one.

How Much Essential Oil Do I need For a Strong-scented Candle?
Fluid Ounces of the Candle Jar 8 Oz 4 Oz 2 Oz
Amount of Essential Oil Needed 3 tsp 2 tsp 1 tsp
Equals the Number of Drops 300 drops 200 drops 100 drops
Bottle Size 15ml 10ml 5ml
How Much Essential Oil Do I need For a General (all) Purpose Scented Candle?
Fluid Ounces of the Candle Jar 8 Oz 4 Oz 2 Oz
Amount of Essential Oil Needed 2 tsp 1 tsp ½ tsp
Equals the Number of Drops 200 drops 100 drops 50 drops
Bottle Size 10ml 5ml 2.5ml
How Much Essential Oil Do I need For a Lightly Scented Candle?
Fluid Ounces of the Candle Jar 8 Oz 4 Oz 2 Oz
Amount of Essential Oil Needed 1 tsp ½ tsp 1⁄4 tsp
Equals the Number of Drops 100 drops 50 drops 25 drops
Bottle Size 5ml 2.5ml 1.25ml

How Soon Can You Light Your Homemade Candle?

I like to cure my candles for a little while after making them, and the curing time differs for the strength of the fragrance.

If you have used the ratio to create the strongest-smelling candle, let this cure for at least one week to ten days.

If you made an all-purpose candle, 5-7 days should be enough time to see that it cures nicely.

Lightly fragranced candles can be used after just 3 days of curing.

Though I sometimes leave mine for as long as a fortnight and find that when I do this, the scent lasts longer, and I get a better fragrance into the room. I always cover my candle jars as well. If I do not have candle glass lids, I will use saran wrap as a temporary covering until they are boxed. 

Final Thought

We have been on a lovely little journey of discovery together, haven’t we? It has been wonderful to have you along.

I am hoping, along the way, that you have seen the value of moving away from those strong, chemical-laden, paraffin-based, fragranced candles churned out in their millions across the country. They are not filling your air with goodness, even if it does smell quite nice, albeit mostly chemical.

Perhaps you will make that shift I was talking about, moving from those ultra-strong synthetic fragrances to purely natural, more subtle fragrances. It is not a move that you would regret.

I hope you now see the value in investing in the best quality natural waxes and fabulous, ethically sourced essential oils to create the most incredible and fragrant candles for your home and special places. Understanding the benefits of doing so, not just to the air quality of your home but the added therapeutic benefits of using the essential oils themselves.

I am hoping that you will be encouraged and excitedly enthusiastic about having a go at trying this for yourself. Discovering how easy it is to learn how to make scented candles with essential oils for yourself and maybe even for special gifts for friends and family. A welcome gift indeed.

Also Read: How to Make an After Sun Lotion

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