Scented candles can make a room smell heavenly, but sometimes the fragrance from the candle seems light or fades too quickly after lighting. Fortunately, there are several easy things you can do to make your scented candles release a stronger, longer-lasting aroma.
Use More Fragrance Oil
One of the easiest ways to boost the scent from a candle is to add more fragrance oil when making it. Fragrance oils are concentrated scents made from essential oils, extracts, and synthetic ingredients. Most candle recipes call for adding 1-2 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of wax. For a stronger scent, you can safely increase the fragrance oil to 3-4 ounces per pound of wax without impacting burn quality. Going above 4 ounces starts to saturate the wax and can make it impossible for the candle to hold a wick properly.
When adding more fragrance oil, stir well to fully incorporate it. If any oil pools on the top, it will not burn properly and the candle may smoke more. The extra fragrance boosts scent throw while the candle burns. Just take care not to overdo it.
Use Coconut Wax
The type of wax you use can also amplify how well a candle throws scent. Paraffin wax, a common candlemaking base, has very little natural scent itself. Coconut wax, on the other hand, has a mild natural coconut fragrance that helps lift and carry additional scents. The natural coconut smell mixes with the added fragrance oil to give a stronger aromatherapy experience. Coconut wax also holds more oil than paraffin, keeping scents stronger for longer.
Soy wax and beeswax also have light natural scents that can complement other fragrances. Try making candles with different wax types and comparing scent strength. Test different wax and oil blends to find your ideal candle fragrance formula.
Double Wick Candles
Candles release scent as the hot wax pool evaporates the fragrance oil. Creating a larger wax pool that heats up faster and stays warmer can make candles smell stronger. An easy way to do this is using two wicks in one candle container instead of a single wick.
The twin wicks heat the candle across a wider surface area, increasing fragrance dispersion into the air. Double wicking is great for large candles in big jars or decorative pillars. Just make sure to space wicks far enough apart for their melt pools to merge together into one pool. Too close, and the flames will compete for wax, giving an uneven burn.
You can also use wider single wicks, like eco-friendly paper coreless wicks, for a similar boosting effect. The larger wick diameter warms more wax to release extra fragrance.
Heat Candle to 180°F
Heating the candle wax fully helps activate and evenly distribute the scent oils before you pour candles. After adding fragrance oil to melted wax, carefully warm the mixture to 180°F. This helps fully evaporate any water content in the oil, allowing the pure oils to infuse the wax.
The elevated heat also helps scent molecules fully permeate all the wax. Cool the wax down to the temperature recommended by the wax manufacturer before pouring candles. Starting with wax that has fragrances activated through heating gives you an extra scent punch in the finished candles.
Cure Candles for 2 Weeks
Allowing poured candles time to cure before burning also helps strengthen their scent. As candles cure, oils settle into the wax. Curing anywhere from 1-4 weeks gives oil molecules time to bind tightly to wax molecules. The fragrance becomes embedded in the candle over time.
Fully cured scented candles will have a stronger initial scent when first lit compared to candles burned immediately after pouring. The cooling and settling process improves aroma throw. For best results, store poured candles in a dry place away from light while curing.
Use Dye Chips
If you color your scented candles, using dye chips instead of liquid dyes can also boost fragrance. Dye chips are concentrated color blocks that melt into wax as candles burn. The chips help lock in scent and slow down how quickly oils evaporate from the wax pool. This extends the burn time for fragrances.
Chips also minimize the amount of additive going into wax compared to liquid dyes. The more additives in a candle, the more they can interfere with fragrance oils. Use wax-soluble dye chips in coordinating colors to accent candle scents.
Trim Wicks Properly
For strongest scent, it’s important to trim candle wicks to the optimal height before lighting. Wicks that are too short will not burn hot enough to liquify wax and fully release fragrance. Wicks that are too long can create excess sooting that overwhelms scents.
Trim wicks to 1⁄4-inch before the first burn, then trim again as needed after each burn to maintain a lively flame about an inch tall. The ideal wick height provides peak heat to melt wax across the entire pool. Properly heated wax will throw the maximum amount of aromatic fragrance into the room.
Use a Candle Warmer
Candle warmers are a great way to fully melt the wax in a candle and circulate its aroma without lighting a wick. Warmers use a light bulb or heated plate to slowly heat the candle container. As the wax melts into a pool, scent is released steadily into the room.
Warmers are ideal for getting the most out of candles with the strongest scents. The wax can be warmed multiple times, reigniting oils each time. Just make sure to trim wicks before using a warmer so the wicks don’t smoke or ignite. Warmers maximize fragrance from a candle without consuming the wax through burning.
Mix Candle Wax with Room Spray
Here’s a bonus tip for re-invigorating the scent of a candle that has lost its aroma over time. Collect wax remnants from an old scented candle and add them to an unscented room spray.
Melt the wax snippets in a double boiler, then stir into a lightly fragranced room spray. The wax will re-infuse the spray with the candle’s intended scent. Spritz this candle-scent spray around the room for bonus fragrance. The wax scent pieces provide an easy scent booster.
With a few simple tricks, you can create scented candles that fill any space with beautiful fragrance. Experiment with different wax blends, more fragrance oil, and wick types to make candles that smell as heavenly as they look. Pay attention to curing, heating, and burning methods for candles that release the strongest possible aroma. Soon you’ll be making scented candles that scent any environment.