Our Ultimate Guide To Scenting An Unscented Candle

Finding a scented candle with a fragrance you like is not always an easy job, or you might have your favourite looking candle without any fragrance, both of which can be fixed by adding your scent to an unscented candle. 

Adding scent to an unscented candle is a simple process, all you will need is your favourite scent, whether an essential oil or fragrance oil, your candle with no scent, a lighter and a toothpick, to have a scent you simply add your oil into the wax of the candle.

We have composed a guide below that will take you through a step by step guide on two ways to add scent to your unscented candle, whether or not to choose fragrance oil or essential oil and what type of fragrance you should choose.

Let’s get into it!

Our Step By Step Guide To Adding Scent To An Unscented Candle 

Not only are scented candles relaxing, but they create a homey and cosy atmosphere in your home, eliminating bad odours and stimulating senses. 

You might assume adding scent to an unscented candle is difficult, but it is pretty easy to achieve once you have your fragrance picked out. 

We’ve listed two basic ways to make your scented candle from a normal wax candle down below. 

Using Fragrance Oil/Essential Oil

  • Step one – Pick out your unscented candle, you can find these pretty much anywhere, from your local supermarket to home furnishing shops. 
  • Step two – Choose the essential oil or fragrance oil you like, this should be something you don’t mind smelling for long periods, you can find them also at home furnishing shops. 
  • Step three – Now light your candle and let it burn for around half an hour, let at least an inch pool of wax build around the wick. 
  • Step four – Draw some of your essential oil and fragrance oil into a dropper and drop at least around 3/4 drops into the melted pool of wax, the number of drops you put in your candle will determine how strong the smell of the candle is, some oils have different concentration so check this beforehand. You can also mix oils to make different scents if you want.
  • Step five – Stir the essential oil into the wax with a toothpick starting in small circles around the wick and then to the outer edges, this will ensure the scent is spread evenly throughout the candle.
  • Step six – Now wait for the oil to completely set and become hard, this will allow the scent to develop and set into the candle.
  • Step seven – Relight the candle and let it burn for a few minutes, get a feel for the scent, if you can’t smell anything or the smell is too weak then repeat the steps above and increase the drops of the essential oil.

Adding Scented Cubes

  • Step one – Scented cubes are also known as wax cubes and already come with a fragrance/scent, you can burn these to release fragrance into a room on a device called a wax burner, however for this case we will add our scented cubes into our unscented candles.
  • Step two – Allow your unscented candle to burn for around 3-4 minutes and allow an inch of the wax pool to form.
  • Step three – Cut off a small amount of your wax cube and place it on the pool of wax formed on your candle.
  • Step four – Allow the wax cube to burn into the candle till they merge, now your candle will be scented a few times when burning. 
  • Step five – Repeat the process when your candle starts to lose its scent.

Benefits Of Adding Scent To a Candle

Scented candles are not only great for changing up a room and fragrance, but they are full of other benefits too, for your health and well being. 

So if you haven’t scented your unscented candle yet, this will convince you!

  • Increase focus – Scented candles provide focus, not only because of their light but also because of their scent, some scents such as lavender, lemon and orange can stimulate your mind and even help with productivity!
  • Helps sleep – Candles with scent are calming and provide aromatherapy, this can help you unwind after a long day and get better sleep. 
  • Reduces stress – Any candle scents such as lavender, chamomile and frankincense give great aromatherapy and provide de-stressing properties into the air, these allow you to relax and reach a calm state.
  • Eliminates odours – Scented candles are a great way to freshen up your home and can make your room smell beautiful, masking any bad odours.
  • Adds decor – Not only is the scent of candles beneficial, but they also look great and add decor on blank spaces such as tables or shelves.

Fragrance Oil Vs Essential Oil – Which Should I Choose? 

When adding scent to your candle, you will have to decide between fragrance oil and essential oil. 

Both oils provide scent to your candle but differ slightly, we will get into their differences below to help you decide on which type of oil is right for you.

Fragrance Oils 

Fragrance oils are synthetically made aroma compounds, the smell of these oils are very lightweight which allows them to reach your smell sense much faster. 

These oils are much stronger smelling than essential oils as they are made with chemical compounds instead of plants, they are often cheaper too and great for scented candles. 

However, as fragrance oils are not made from plant matter, they do have fewer health benefits than essential oils do, so are better for scent, not aromatherapy.

Essential Oils

These oils come from the ‘essentials’ of a plant, whether the flower or stem, the oil is derived only from organic plant matter instead of chemical compounds. 

Essential oils tend to have a longer shelf life too due to the fact they are made from plants and have better health benefits for aromatherapy, for example, a lavender essential oil is calming.

Downfalls of essential oils are their strength and their price. These oils are more expensive because they have a long manufacturing process which all comes from plants, their strength is also not as strong as fragrance oils.

Which Should I Choose?

Overall, if you are looking to make your unscented candles scented and want to get the best scent possible, fragrance oils are the better choice, as their scent will not be weak and you get the most smell for your money, however, it might be best to make your candle with essential oils if your looking for more health benefits and want the scent to be natural rather than chemicals.

Our Top Scents For Best Smelling Candles 

Figuring out what fragrance oil or essential oil to use in your candle can be overwhelming, fragrance oils are typically easier to choose as they are based on smells, but essential oils are harder to choose as their plants can produce different aromas and benefits when burned. 

  • Lavender – Mainly used to promote relaxation and calmness, great for winding down at the end of a long day!
  • Peppermint – This scent is great for refreshment in your home, the essential oil not only helps to de-stress but also can help with congestion.
  • Frankincense – An all-time holiday favourite, this is one of the best scents if you are looking to get in the festive mood and also lifts your mood.
  • Rosemary – A great candle scent to burn while you working, this increases concentration and focus while calming you.
  • Bergamot – Great for reducing anxiety with a hint of citrus which makes it refreshing.
  • Cinnamon – A warm and spicy scent that works great during the colder months or in the festive holiday seasons.
  • Sweet orange – Promotes feelings of happiness and well-being and is an all-rounder scent which the majority will love, this is a good scent to mask bad odours too.
  • Eucalyptus – A perfect scent that helps with nasal congestion and is also an anti-depressant.
  • Clary sage – This is great for stress relieving and has also been proven to help with depression.
  • Grapefruit – Grapefruit essential oil is an uplifting scent and also helps to rejuvenate energy.

Scent Recipes To Try

  • Spring floral – Try blending three drops of Ylang Ylang and Geranium essential oil.

Warm vanilla – Four drops of vanilla oil, six drops of sandalwood and 2 drops of rose oil create a warming holiday scent.

  • Holiday blend – Fifty drops of frankincense, fifty drops myrrh and thirty drops of peppermint bring you to Winter Wonderland!
  • Pick me up – If your looking for a mood booster scented candle try three drops of rosemary, two drops of orange and two drops of lemon essential oil, this will make you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day!

How To Pick The Best Scents For Your Candle

Picking which scent you want for your candle is not all about smell, you also should consider how it’s going to fit in your home, this will help you choose the best-scented candle for your space.

  • Consider your space – Think about where you are going to have your scented candle, for larger spaces you might want a stronger scent or for kitchens and bathrooms you might want an odour repellent scent such as peppermint.
  • Think about the purpose – Are you looking for a scent that can uplift you, calm you or mood lift you, this will push towards different scent categories such as citrus, lavender or minty scents.

Tips For Getting The Most Scent Out Of Your Candle

To get the most burn out of your candle and the best scent possible we have listed some tips and tricks for burning your newly scented candle down below.

  • Avoid tunnelling – Do not blow the candle out until the wax pool reaches the edges of your container, blowing it out too early can cause a tunnelling effect to happen on the candle which can lead to the wax all around the sides of the container not burning properly causing waste.
  • Use a candle of the right size – Choose the right sized candle according to the size of the room that you want to scent, for larger rooms you might need a candle with two or three weeks and for a medium room, choose a candle of medium size. Trying to use a small candle to scent a large room will not work.
  • Get a soy wax candle – Soy wax candles are the best for your health, normal paraffin wax candles can be harmful to your health when breathed in for long periods.
  • Do not burn it for too long – Avoid burning your candle for too long otherwise, this can weaken the scent and evaporate the scent too quickly.
  • Trim the wick of the candle – Always trim the wick of your candle to around 1/4-inch long each time your burn, this will help it to burn evenly without all the burnt bits. 

Why Does My Scented Candle Not Smell When Burning?

If you have followed our steps above only to find that your candle is still not producing scent when burning, don’t panic, there are a few reasons as to why this happens and most can be remedied easily to get a stronger scent. 

  • You didn’t put enough fragrance – You need to be putting enough drops of fragrance into your candle for the strongest scent, keep topping up the drops till you get the desired scent that you want.
  • Check the quality – Make sure you are using high-quality essential oils, failure to do so can lead to a weak fragrance and cheap smell, quality makes a huge difference when it comes to aromatherapy.
  • It’s too old – A candle that is too old will lose its fragrance, so if you’ve had a scented candle for a few months and its smell is starting to fade then you might need to top up the fragrance again.
  • Hot and cold throw – Depending on the type of wax your candle has, the different hot and cold throws it will have. Hot throws refer to the amount of scent your candle has once lit and cold throws mean how much smell the candle has when it’s unlit. 
  • It’s not the right size – As we mentioned above, you must make sure you are using the appropriately sized candle according to the size of the room you are burning it in, a larger room means a larger candle!
  • You are not burning it for long enough – On average you need to burn your candle anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours to get a noticeable smell from the candle, if your blowing it out too quickly then your not going to notice any change.

Frequently Asked Questions About Adding Scent To An Unscented Candle

Can I use perfume to scent my candle?

Never use perfume to try and scent your candle, doing so can release toxic fumes when you are burning the candle and it is also a fire hazard due to the alcohol content inside of the perfume. Instead, use fragrance oils if you after this kind of scent which are much safer to use and breathe in.

How to increase the scented smell of your candle? 

If you want to increase the smell of your candle you can try either; increasing the number of fragrance drops you put in your candle, use it in a smaller room, keep a lid on the container and burn for longer periods.

Are essential oils flammable in candles?

No, essential oils are safe to use in candles, the only worry comes when the oils make direct contact with the flame of the candle, this is why you should always blow the candle out and add essential oils in the pool of wax when it is turned off.

How many scents should I add to my candle? 

The amount of fragrance you drop into your candle depends on how strong you want the fragrance to be when burning, ideally, this should not be overpowering but not too weak either. The sweet spot is normally around 3-10 drops, but we recommend starting with a smaller amount then working your way up according to the strength you want.

Are fragrance oils bad to breathe in? 

Some fragrance oils are harmful to breathe in for long periods, they can indeed have negative health effects, so you shouldn’t inhale them for too long, you should always make sure you are using essential oils rather than synthetic as they are more natural. 

What essential oils should I put in my candle for relaxation?

There are many different essential oils you can use to de-stress within a scented candle but some of the best are lavender oils, cinnamon, frankincense, peppermint and chamomile. Avoid stimulating citrus oils, these are great for a mood boost but will not help you relax as they have stimulating effects.

How long will it take for my scented candle to smell? 

This depends but you will typically start to notice the fragrance around 30 minutes after burning, this depends on the size of the candle and the room you are in too, however.

Are wax burners better than scented candles for smell?

Both wax burners and scented candles are pretty equal when it comes to smell but wax burners are often more preferred as they do not have to have an open flame to release smell. 

Final Words

Overall, you can add scent to an unscented candle easily by letting it burn then adding essential oil or fragrance oil to the wax pool created. Never add essential oil while the flame of the candle is still lit and make sure to stir it after addition to ensure the fragrance is spread evenly throughout the candle. 

We always recommend picking a candle size according to your room and topping up the fragrance in your candle if it is too weak or become old.

Published by Kirsten

Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.

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