Candle making is a science and it can be tricky getting the fragrance oil to wax ratio right for a new candle maker. Some candle makers like to push the limits on how much fragrance oil their candles can hold in order to increase the scent throw of the candle.
How much fragrance oil per pound of wax? Use .5 to 1.5 ounces of fragrance oil per pound will work for most types of wax. This number can be dependent on the candle type and the type of wax being used. The fragrance oil load for candles typically ranges from 6% to 11% by weight depending on wax type and additives.
The amount of fragrance oil you can use is dependent on the type of wax you are using and the type of candle you are making.
Container candles are the most popular type of scented candle because they have the best scent throw. This is because of the large puddle of molten wax you usually get when burning a container candle.
Calculating Fragrance Oil Load
We have a few simple formulas to help you calculate fragrance oil load.
The formula for calculating fragrance oil load is Wax Weight multiplied by fragrance oil load equals the amount of fragrance oil to use when making candles.
As recommended by CandleScience.com the fragrance oil load is between 3% and 10%. That gives you this result.
By weight in grams it is (450g Wax x 3% = 13.5g Fragrance oil).
By weight in grams it is (450g Wax x 10% = 45g Fragrance oil).
By weight in ounces it is (16 oz Wax x 3% = .48 oz Fragrance oil).
By weight in ounces it is (16 oz Wax x 10% = 1.6 oz Fragrance oil).
Fragrance Oil to Wax Ratio Depending on Candle Type
|Fragrance Oil||Wax||Candle Type|
|1 oz||16 oz||Paraffin Votive/Pillar|
|1.5 oz||16 oz||Paraffin Container|
|1-2 oz||16 oz||Soy Container|
|1.5 oz||16 oz||Soy Blend Pillar|
|0.5-1 oz||16 oz||Palm Oil Container|
|1-1.5 oz||16 oz||Beeswax|
Oil Amount and Scent Quality
Does more fragrance oil give you a better scent? Using more fragrance oil does not necessarily mean a better scent depending on the type of wax you are using. Paraffin wax is known for having one of the best scent throws, however, more fragrance oil is often used in soy wax candles. Soy wax candles are one of the most popular scented candle types.
Soy wax is a more natural and sustainable alternative to paraffin wax so it is often used when making scented candles. The additional fragrance oil used in soy wax candles is to help it achieve the same scent throw as paraffin wax candles.
In addition to the types of wax, fragrance oils themselves have their own usage rates that must be accounted for when making candles.
Popular Fragrance Oil Usage Rates
|Fragrance Oil||Usage Rates||Per Pound of Wax|
|Blueberry Cobbler||3-10%||.48-1.6 oz|
|Banana Nut Bread||3-10%||.48-1.6 oz|
|Chocolate Fudge||3-10%||.48-1.6 oz|
|Cinnamon Buns||3-10%||.48-1.6 oz|
|Pumpkin Souffle||3-10%||.48-1.6 oz|
|Cinnamon Chai||3-10%||.48-1.6 oz|
|Creme Brulee||3-10%||.48-1.6 oz|
|Fragrance Oil||Usage Rates||Per Pound of Wax|
|Amazon Grape||6-10%||.96-1.6 oz|
|Angel Wings||6-12%||.96-1.92 oz|
|Blue Summer Sky||6-12%||.96-1.92 oz|
|Anjou Pear||6-10%||.96-1.6 oz|
|Cinnamon Stick||6-12%||.96-1.92 oz|
As you can see from the above chart these different types of fragrance oil generally have a similar usage rate, however, each fragrance oil has a different flashpoint. In addition, the fragrance oil usage rates change when using them for making soap and lotion.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if you use too much fragrance oil? Using too much fragrance oil can cause your candle to burn irregularly, causing the wax to not set up properly, make the wick burn improperly and it can create a fire hazard.
What happens if you use too little fragrance oil? Using too little fragrance oil in your candle will not have a negative effect on your candle other than it will have a very weak scent throw.
How much fragrance oil for an 8 oz candle? Use .25 to .75 ounces of fragrance oil for an 8 oz candle. This equates to using 7-21 grams of fragrance oil depending on the fragrance oil load that you desire.
Why does my fragrance oil not smell strong enough? If it does not have a strong smell out of the bottle it could be that the oil itself was designed to have a more subtle smell than a strong one.
If it does not smell strong enough after being used in your candle this could be caused by a variety of reasons including, not mixing it in well enough, the wick is too small, the temperature at which the fragrance oil was added to the wax or that the candle was not allowed to cure long enough.
Does Fragrance Oil Brand Matter? The fragrance oil brand does not matter because most fragrance oil suppliers and wholesalers get their fragrance oils from the same manufacturers. Find a reputable wholesale source with good reviews and then look for the best price and you should still end up with a quality product.
Like everything quality matters. If you are buying a trusted brand you are more likely to get a high-quality product than you are buying from some random source on eBay or Alibaba.
Some fragrances are all-natural and some are created artificially and quite a bit of science goes in to creating these scents. Using a less than reputable supplier might leave you with an inferior product.
Where to buy scented candle fragrance oils?
- Candle Science
- Lone Star Candle Supply
- Aztec Candle & Soap Supplies
- The Flaming Candle
Candle Science has an extensive selection of fragrance oils. They have locations in Durham North Carolina and Sparks Nevada.
CandleWic has a large selection of candle making supplies and fragrance oils, in addition, they have soap making and diffuser supplies located out of Doylestown PA.
The Flaming Candle has a variety of candle making, soap making, and fragrance oils and they are located in Atlanta GA and they ship from their warehouse in Hiram GA.
In conclusion, some waxes give you a load range that allows you to choose how much fragrance oil you want to use, and some fragrance oils have a load range that they should be used in. In addition, you have a temperature range that needs to be met when mixing fragrance oil with the candle wax. It is the job of the candle maker to make sure these ranges are all met so that they can produce the best possible product.
The biggest piece of advice I can give someone that wants to try a new fragrance or brand of fragrance oil is to test it in a small batch and give it an appropriate amount of time to cure based on the type of wax they are using before testing it. This should give you an idea of what type of finished product you could have for your customers.
If you want to know more about selling candles and the economics behind it you should take a look at my article titled How To Sell Candles.