Mixing Fragrance Oils for Candles – Basics, Tips and Best Practices
by Kunti Michelle Feeney on Mar 10, 2022
Fragrance mixology is a truly satisfying hobby to pick up when you need a quick escape from your routine. A great way to relax your senses, learning fragrance mixology can help you create luxury and aromatic products like perfumes, soaps, lip products, lotions, and even home crafts like scented candles.
While other products are often used regularly to feel good on the outside, scented candles can help you feel calm and relaxed on the inside. The aroma present in these candles makes them a perfect addition during therapies and healing sessions. Each scented candle has a blend of a few fragrances that provide your senses with an olfactory treat. But how exactly do we know what is the right proportion for mixing fragrant oils for scented candles?
Fragrance Oil Blending Notes
Simply speaking, the proportions for fragrance oil blending depends a lot on three notes – Top Notes, Middle Notes and Base Notes.
A top note is a fragrance that hits your senses first. The compounds used to make the headnotes pull you towards the source of the fragrance and are usually the strongest notes present in the blend. These scents are fresh, bold, yet very volatile, owing to the light molecule composition that makes them evaporate quickly. Top notes usually comprise citrusy or floral fragrances.
These notes are the heart of every fragrance blend. Middle notes balance the top and base notes and emerge just before the top notes fade. This ensures a consistent release of fragrance throughout the candle’s burning time. All the prominent fragrances like bright florals, gourmands, woody and fruity usually make for the middle notes. They stay for as long as two to four hours and hold your attention throughout, thanks to the lovely fragrances that comprise this note class.
Base notes tend to linger around for approximately four to six hours and provide depth and longevity to the blend. This note class usually comprises sweet and spicy fragrances that leave a lasting impression after the candle flame extinguishes.
Understanding the Right Blending Proportions
Blending the right amount of fragrances is crucial while creating a satisfying fragrant mix. Make sure you blend the three notes in the recommended quantity to create an appealing fragrance.
- It is usually recommended to put 5 – 20% of strong oils or top notes into the blend
- Middle notes can be anywhere between 50 – 80%
- The blend must have up to 20% of base notes
Fragrance Oil Blending Basics
Now that you know the recommended amount and correct way of mixing fragrant oils for candles, let’s understand why is it important to test your blend before pouring it right into the wax.
Fragrance oils are one of the costliest ingredients in a scented candle. Experimenting with the blend without testing it might lead to a blunder and prove to be really expensive for those stepping into the scented candle making industry. Therefore, it is essential to quality check your fragrance blend and ensure that your candle stays cost-effective. You can test your blend in two ways:
Use a blotter strip
Using a blotter strip is one of the easiest ways to test different fragrance combinations. Blotter strips usually have two red lines to guide you. If you want one fragrance to be stronger than the other, dip it into the fragrance bottle till the second line. If you want all the fragrances to be equally strong, dip the blotter strips into the fragrance till the oil reaches the first line. Allow these strips to dry for 10 seconds and fan them under your nose together. This will help you identify whether your blend came out exactly how you wanted it or not. Make sure you use a different blotter strip for different fragrance oils.
Use q-tips or cotton balls
Another effective way to identify the right blend is by using q-tips and cotton balls to mix the fragrances and leave them aside for three days. Put a few drops of the oils you want to mix onto a q-tip or cotton ball using an eyedropper. Keep them in one plastic bag for the fragrances to mix. This allows you a clearer idea of whether your fragrance blend stays fresh and smells great even after a few days of mixing it.
What Makes for a Good Fragrance Blend?
Using simple fragrances in your custom mix is key.
Blending basic scents delivers the best results. Once you have the right fragrance blend, you must start adding it into the jar along with the wax. As a rule of thumb, fragrance mixes with a load of 6% - 8% ensure a perfect scent throw without hampering the candle’s burning abilities. However, this percentage can be adjusted to 10% depending upon the type of wax used.
As a standard we recommend you to use 1 oz of fragrance mix per 1 pound of soy candle wax. When the correct temperature is reached, this wax can hold a fragrance load of up to 10% i.e. up to 1.6 oz of fragrance mix in 1 pound of soy wax.
Note: You must add the fragrant mix to the wax before it reaches the flashpoint of the scent blend. A flashpoint is a temperature where the fragrance may catch fire or become volatile.
10 Best Fragrances for Scented Candles
Here are some of the best fragrances that can be used in middle and base notes:
- Lemon Myrtle
- Sweet Citrus
- Tonka Bean
Other Fragrant Oil Mixes
If fragrance blending has already piqued your interest, here are a few tried and tested fragrance mixes that you can start with:
- Salted Caramel + Almonds + Vanilla
- Mimosa + Mandarin
- Champagne + Strawberry
- Vanilla + Patchouli + Sandalwood
- Bamboo + White Lily
- Blackberry + Vanilla
- Vanilla + Tonka Bean + Condensed Milk
- Lavender + Rosemary
Benefits of Blending Fragrances for Scented Candles
Mixing fragrance oils for candles works wonders when used in aromatherapy and other mindful practices. It can help alter mood, induce calm and stimulate senses while ensuring a relaxed body and mind. Therefore it is often used in spas, meditation sessions, healing therapies and at home or office.
Fragrant Oils vs Essential Oils
Often confused as one, fragrant oils and essential oils are completely different from each other. Fragrance oils are made synthetically and have an intense scent compared to naturally derived essential oils. Yet, both contain aromatic plant parts that contribute to the scent.
On the other hand, both - fragrant oils and essential oils differ in usage. While fragrance oils are used in perfumes, lotions, sprays and scented candles, essential oils are endowed with medicinal properties that can help heal the skin and body.
Here’s a much clearer take on the difference between the two:
Synthetic (Plant and Lab-made)
Between 6 – 12 months
Between 2 – 15 years
Expensive but less than essential oils
Mixing Fragrance Oils for Candles - FAQs
Can I Add Soapmaking Scent Oils to Candles?
Fragrant oils are essential while making scented candles and soaps. You can definitely use the fragrant oils used for making soaps to make scented candles. However, you must be wary of the amount of fragrances oils mixed for candle making.
Can all fragrant oils be used in candles?
Yes, all fragrance oils and essential oils are suitable to be used in candles. Fragrance oils have a stronger and an intense scent throw compared to essential oils. However, make sure to refrain from using water-based scents and perfumes when blending with candle wax.