One of the best advantages of using candles is that scent oils can be added to them so they can throw off pleasant odour. Nowadays, scented candles are very popular and are even more desirable that unscented ones because of the nice ambience they give the room. In making scented candles, two categories of scent oils are popular: essential oils and fragrance oils. The focus of this article is essential oils.
Essential oils are made up if aroma compounds extracted from various (non-fatty) parts of a plant by distillation. They are so called because they contain the pure essence of the plant they are gotten from. That they are called essential does not define them as important in any way. But using them is a great way to scent candles.
Since essential oils are made from plants, they are completely natural as against synthetic fragrance oils. This is an advantage but it also means essential oils are more expensive since they require a lot of resources (which may be scarce) to be made. But in using essential oils, just a little goes a really long way (they are very concentrated) and you can be certain you would be getting enough quality for the money spent.
Most plants are known to have medicinal properties and these qualities are transferred to essential oils, which I have mentioned are made from plants. Essential oils are popular for their ability to lift people's moods and even keep one healthy. Such is their power. This, however, depends on the oil used (the type of plant it is gotten from) as different ones have different effects. The type of condition a plant is grown in also determines the quality of oil made from it. This is why oils made from the same kind of plant may scent differently. It is part of why one must always buy essential oils from trusted brands for better quality.
Essential oils are not as popular in candle making as their cheaper synthetic counterpart because of their high cost, mentioned earlier. Even, producers can make fragrance oils to mimic the scent of certain essential oils. But that is the limit, as the medicinal qualities of the natural ones cannot be replicated. Some aromatic compounds linked with diseases like cancer are found in synthetic copies of natural oils. So they are not a very healthy option. There is nothing is better than getting original essential oils that are wholly natural. Apart from the fact that they give stronger scents, they benefit their user's health.
How to Add Essential Oils to Your Candle
Note that essential oils can be used to make a wide variety of products and not just candles. But in using them to make candles, some considerations have to be made. I believe you already have basic candle making knowledge as I would be skipping most of the information and highlight only aspects relating to adding scent oils. Besides, there are various types of candles and different ways to make candles but that is not the scope of this article.
In using essential oils for candle making, above all that would be mentioned here, ensure you follow the instructions that come with your oils. I would only give general information here but the instructions with each oil package are specific and must be followed for best results. That noted, let us go into the considerations.
The weight of your wax determines the amount of essential oil to be used. If you are making container candles, double of the amount of wax flakes that fill the container is what you would need. Get digital scales before making your candles and measure the raw wax. Refer to the oils instructions to know how much you need according to the weight of the wax.
The temperature of the wax is also important, with the flashpoint of the oils. The flashpoint of a scented oil is the maximum temperature it can reach before it begins to diminish in quality. It is also known as the temperature point at which a scented oil exposed to fire, or even a spark, will combust. This is because they are flammable. Essential oils should not be added to the wax at a temperature below or higher than their flashpoint. If lower, the oil and wax would not combine well. And if higher, the quality would reduce. Keep your thermometer close. Also, you can blend two waxes with different flashpoint for a median effect.
Melt the wax before adding scent to it. Just a few drops would go a long way. Another reason to use just a little is that too much scent in your candles can even be irritable to the nose. Essential oils generally have a strong scent, but they still differ in scent. You would need fewer drops of oil for a very strong scent oil and more for a not so strong one. Once you add the scent, use a rubber spatula (or a wooden spoon or even the thermometer) to stir the wax gently for a couple of minutes so the oil can combine well with the wax. Nevertheless, consider that scents would weaken a little once the candle hardens.
Note that if you need to blend two different essential oils together, do so before adding them to the wax. Do not just add drops of one to the wax, then drops of the other after that. Mix both together well.
Let us now consider some essential oils for candle making. Note that some people are allergic to certain essential oils. So you might want to consider family and friends with allergies in making your choice. There are a whole lot of essential oils and we cannot cover all here. But we would look at the popular ones and I'm sure you would find a good choice from everything.
The Most Popular Essential Oils for Your Candles
Basil essential oil smells somewhat like camphor. It is great for fighting infections caused by viruses. Its flashpoint is 176°F.
Clary Sage essential oil has a fruity, rather than woody scent. It brings relief from stress, headache and respiratory issues such as asthma and cough and has a flashpoint of 174°F.
Petitgrain essential oil works well when combined with other essential oils, especially those with a citrusy scent. But it is still good when used alone. Use Petitgrain to energize yourself and lift your soul. It, however, has a low flashpoint: 151°F.
Rose essential oil is best used in romantic settings. It smells just like a real rose bouquet and its scent brings calmness to the soul. But it is one of the most expensive types of essential oils. It takes many thousands of rose petals to produce just one kg of this essential oil. But with the lovely ambience it gives, it is worth the price.
Lemongrass essential oil does a great job repelling insects. With its cool lemony scent, it works great for people with digestive issues or even those battling with depression. Flashpoint: 169°F.
Palmarosa essential oil gives one of the most health benefits with its fresh floral scent that smells a little bit like a rose. Since true rose oil can be pretty costly, you can go for this instead. It helps to purify the air around the candle by removing harmful bacteria. Use this often and protect your respiratory and immune systems. Flashpoint: 199°F.
Star Anise essential oil or simply Anise essential oil has been proven to treat respiratory issues such as flu and cold. It is a very strong scent and dull essential oils get stronger when used with it. Flashpoint: 194°F.
Cinnamon essential oil is gotten from the bark of cinnamon. This one mainly affects comforts the body and mind and enhances various brain activities. It is one of the best of essential oils, especially if used with soy wax and smells great. Flashpoint: 194°F.
Atlas Cedarwood essential oil is one of the essential oils with the highest flashpoint (212°F). It lessens the effect of arthritis pain and to stop coughing. Use this too if you have depression symptoms.
Geranium essential oil has a floral scent that helps for headaches and stress. Like Palmarosa, it purifies the air by ridding the environment of harmful bacteria and virus.
Vetiver essential oil has a spicy scent that helps overcome insomnia and depression. It also helps overcome arthritis pain and muscle aches. It has a high flashpoint of 212°F.
Ylang Ylang essential oil is good for soy candles too. Its great scent is effective against stress and depression. It also has a very strong scent so use fewer drops than you would normally use for others. Flashpoint: 189°F.
Clove essential oil can be used as a stimulant or an aphrodisiac. At 212°F, it belongs in the group of high flashpoint oils.
Patchouli essential oil has an earthy scent that provides relief and calm when depressed. It works well with other essential oils too when blended. Flashpoint: 212°F.
Lavender essential oil is probably more popular than most oils on this list. It has a soothing and relaxing smell and very strong scent that relieves one of anxiety, lulls one to sleep and even has positive impact on one's nervous system. Flashpoint: 162°F.
These are the most popular and best essential oils you would find. They all smell nice and would give you the ambiance you seek in your candles. Feel free to blend different essential oils together when working