Make a Candle That Smells Strong When it Burns

Photo Credit: Scott. M. Liddell |
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Making your Candle Throw (or cast its fragrance over a wide area) is the primary goal of making a Fragranced Candle. This is not hard to achieve if you understand the basic parameters. There are 5 things to consider when making a successfully Fragranced Candle. If you have the following in place, the Candle will be excellent and Fragrant.

Do not be discouraged if your first try is not as good as you had hoped. These things are easily achieved when you know what to plan and look for.

1. Make sure you are using very high grade fragrance concentrates.

2. Make sure you use 1 to 1.5 oz of your fragrance per pound. (1 oz to 20 oz liquid wax) You can use less after testing for strength, but start here. With our fragrance it will run you out at that level, and you can back off to your desired fragrance strength. Also make sure that your fragrance is mixing completely into your wax. You will know this when you pour into your candle containers. If there is a bunch of unmixed fragrance on the bottom of the pot, raise your temperature next time and stir it in better before pouring.

3. Make sure your wax is holding the fragrance in the wax evenly, all the way to the top. You will know this if there is not any watery substance at the bottom of the container after it sets up. Also, if your candle has very little smell when initially lit or has to burn about half way down before it starts to smell good, then you know the fragrance is settling down into the lower part of your wax. To make sure this does not happen, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of the additive Vybar 260 to your container blend to hold it in properly. This will allow the wax to hold your scent in evenly to the top of the candle after it sets up and in most cases will not noticeably effect the burn of the candle.

4. So, now you have made sure you have; Quality fragrance, and you are Using an adequate amount of it, and the fragrance is mixing properly with your wax, and your wax is holding it evenly after it sets up, Make sure the top of the candle is level flat before lighting it. This means in most cases that no matter if you are using a one pour wax, or regular paraffin, you will still have to either do a repour if you are using regular paraffin to fill the crater in the center, or if you are using a one pour container blend, you will have to take a heat gun and remelt the top and fill any holes or dips in the top. Ideally, where the wick comes out of the wax will be level, or a little above the edges of the container where the wax touches the edge of the jar. (like a mini pyramid is shaped) If you do not do this, the wick no matter how big it is, will core down and drown out if it is in a well when lit. The candle tops are easily remelted flat with a heat gun. A hot hair dryer will work in some cases also. Take care not to light the wick with your heat gun, people will complain that the candle is used and want to return it if the wick is charred.

5. Ok, now here it is, the whole secret to a candle that throws is to know where the throw comes from. The throw and fragrance from a candle comes from the melt pool of the candle wax when it burns. The actual fragrance oil burning makes no smell at all. Raw fragrance only creates soot if burned directly with an oil lamp wick by itself. (don’t try that yourself by the way, its dangerous) This is why melts or tarts smell so good when used in a tart melter. The tart melter makes a melt pool to warm up the candle fragrance in the wax pool creating a warm updraft to spread the fragrance throughout your home. The same applies to a candle. The melt pool should be ¼ inch to the thickness of your pinkie finger at the most. A deeper melt pool can make your container hot and could possibly spill onto your customers table or carpeting if bumped so be careful and find the ideal melt pool for your container by varying your wick size up or down. A melt pool of ¼ inch works fine in most cases and will throw the fragrance as the candle is burning, making the melt pool, and creating a slight heat updraft from the candle that takes the fragrance with it to fill your home.


Steve Pollard has been in the Candles, Cosmetic and Personal Products Industry for over 10 years. His background includes Manufacturing, Product development and Formulation of Candles, Fragrance and Color development and personal products. For the Technical edge and to claim some valuable bonuses, you can subscribe to his popular newsletter at:

copyright 2006 –  The Candlemakers Store

Photo Credit: Scott. M. Liddell |

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12 Responses to Make a Candle That Smells Strong When it Burns

  1. Hunter Ballew says:

    Hi! I am planning to put up a candle making business and I would like to try to make one by myself. Scented candle is a plus. Thank you for this tutorial. Would definitely apply this! 🙂

  2. Lisa English says:

    I heard you heat wax to 180 degrees then a make sure it mixed well, cool to 150 degrees then add scent, mix very well. The pour at 130 degrees, it has something to do with making sure the wax is not too hot and the scent to stick to the wax. And use great scents too, when I use essential oils, like peppermint, they never have a good scent throw.

  3. James Bergman says:

    Thanks for the tip about keeping the wax pool to about a quarter of an inch. However, I just wanted to add that it is a good idea to reuse some of the wax from scented candles you already have. I recently bought a good coconut scented candle, and when the wicks burned out I melted the wax and made a new smaller candle.

  4. Zombie says:

    I need to know how to make candles smell like different thinks, like old books, or fireplace, or storn, or leaves, or wet grass. Please help me.

  5. gail says:

    How much fragrance do I use for two 8oz mason jar wax? Mine don’t seem strong enough. and the EricXlight wick recommended isn’t melting my candle. It burns down to the top of wax and burns out.

  6. Dawn says:

    Is there a link to buy fragrance for this?

  7. angie says:

    your wax should be at a certain temp for it to bind with the fragrance your manufacturers advice . I use a paraffin/soy blend (igi6006) and it is suggested with this wax to heat to 175-190 then add wax…then I let cool down to 155 to pour..your wick is a factor as well. 1lb wax to 1oz of FO

  8. Mona Kantor says:

    I am just starting my business and for now i am making gel candles the only problem i have is making candles smell when burning i have played a little bit, i bought medium grade wax should i get high grade wax or does that make a difference when it comes to fragrance. All of my fragrances are about 2 oz I made a candle that was one pound of wax and i used almost all of the fragrance bottle and i burned it but it still does not smell unless you are right on top of the candle please help me.

    • Nikki says:

      I’m having the same problem and I’ve tried a number of different things like letting the wax cool longer before adding the fragrance this seemed to make it worse and not smell at all. I’ve tried using a paraffin and soy wax blend, because when I started out I was only using soy at the time I didn’t know its hard to get soy to hold a fragrance or even throw it across a room. I’m getting ready to which to paraffin wax only I hear it holds the fragrance much better. I even tried buying fragrances from different companies some would have a chemical smell, others just didn’t small good at all and some had a strong smell until it was added to the wax and wouldn’t small at all while burning. I think the trick is in the fragrance. It says on different websites that you should get 100 percent concentrated fragrance oil, but they don’t work any better. If you figure this out please share the results. I’ve been on this one problem for over a year now thanks.

      • margie says:

        I too am having the SAME PROBLEMS!! My candles smell fantastic when they’re cold…but when I light them up…it just smells like there’s a candle burning…but no SCENT/FRAGRANCE at all!! I made 2 8oz candles, and used 1oz of fragrance in the batch to make just these two…they smell HEAVENLY when cold…but you light them…AND YOU GET NOTHING AT ALL. It makes me MAD AS HELL that I’m going through all this money and not getting what I’m TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH…PLEASE HELP!!!!

        • Kara says:

          URRGGHHH! I am having the same issue. I thought it was my wax (paraffin) I’ve switched to Soy because they have to cure and apparently soy cures quicker. I’ve read so many things online that are supposed to help… NONE of them have worked! It’s driving me insane. Has anyone figured this out?

    • Rosana Goncalves says:

      i need to kwom how to make my candles smell good .
      i am just starting.i used parafin and afterf i add the frangrance ,i need to add something to smell better,since the begining.
      where i can find same orientation

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