What are candle fragrance oils?
Have you come across a scented candle before? Candle fragrance oils give candles their great scent and make them smell nice. These fragrance oils are also used in making perfumes. They are affordable and can be gotten from local stores or online. Fragrance oils are divided into synthetic and natural. Natural fragrance oils are also known as essential oils. The natural oils are not readily available and are more expensive. Synthetic fragrance oils are more popular as they come in larger number of varieties.
How much fragrance oil you need
Usually, only 6-10% of fragrance load is recommended for your candle. Going above that will cause problems with the candle. However, this also depends on the amount of scent throw. 6-8% is okay for a light or subtle scent throw. But you will need more (9-10%) for a strong scent throw. But note that strong scent throw is not really desirable. Subtle scent is okay for most people. The type of wax also goes a long way in determining scent. Widely used paraffin wax is renowned for throwing scent off very well. The two major factors for adding fragrance are weight and temperature (flashpoint).
How to measure your fragrance oil
In using fragrance oils for candles, the first thing you need to do is to measure the oil. This is a very tricky part. Even though the oils come liquid, measuring in terms of weight (grams) rather than volume (milliliter) gives a better result. This is because each fragrance has a different density. You will find that two fragrance oils that have the same volume may weigh differently. Measuring in volume can be inaccurate and may not produce desired results. Fragrances should also be measured according to loading. A simple formula would be to multiply the weight of the wax you are using by the percentage of fragrance loading needed. This means that if your wax is 250grams and your fragrance load is 10%, you would measure 25grams of fragrance (250 x 0.10).
When to add your fragrance oil
Before you add the fragrance oil though, make sure all other things are in place. This means you should begin by heating up your wax in a double boiler. Measure the needed fragrance before you start to melt the wax. This is important so that you will be focused on measuring the wax temperature. Fragrance (and other additives such as dye) should be added while the wax is melting.
The next concern in adding fragrance is temperature. There is something called ‘flashpoint’. The flashpoint of a fragrance is the maximum temperature for the fragrance before it begins to evaporate and diminish in quality. You should find the flashpoint of the product description page of that fragrance. The rule of thumb is that fragrance should be added when the temperature of the melting wax is at the flashpoint of the fragrance. If it is added at a temperature beyond this, the quality reduces. And when it is added at a lower temperature, both fragrance and wax will not bind properly. You would want to keep a thermometer close for this.
If the flashpoint of the fragrance is higher than 80°C, add it to the wax at 80°C. In case it is lower than 55°C, do so at that 55°C. For fragrances with flashpoints between 55 and 80°C, you can simply add it to the wax at the flashpoint temperature of the fragrance. After adding the fragrance to the wax, you can then stir gently so that they can bind well together.
Once you go through the steps carefully, you can then go on to other stages of candle making. That is, attaching the wick to the container (or mold), pouring the wax, leaving it to cool and so on. Once your candle is ready, put it to use and enliven the room with great scent.
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