A well-crafted candle is lovely to look at and hold, but if you want to take a candle's appeal to a whole new level, think scent. Scented candles truly are one of the essentials (or let's say "esscentials") of candle making. After all, the fragrance from a scented candle can welcome you into a room before you even set foot in it. It can calm you down, or get you focused, or even sometimes revitalize you. What's great is that making scented candles is quite easy if you follow a few simple guidelines.
Use only essential and fragrance oils that are manufactured specifically for candle making. Alcohol-based or water-based fragrances don't blend well with waxes, and you'll find that even among essential oils, the quality of the oil makes a big difference.
Paraffin, soy, and palm wax do what's called 'throw scent' well and thus are fine choices for making scented candles. The sweet fragrance of beeswax can of course be enjoyed on its own, but it can also be combined with another fragrance. Keep in mind, however, that your fragrance of choice will smell slightly different when combined with the natural scent of beeswax.
Gel wax makes gorgeous scented candles but requires a little additional forethought. It's particularly important to only use fragrance oils designed specifically for use with gel wax. Otherwise, fragrance you use that's not suitable for gel wax won't mix well, producing flash points that ignite as you burn your candle.
How Much is Enough?
It can be fun experimenting with how much fragrance to add to get the subtlety or intensity of scent that you're aiming for. As a general rule, use between a half and one full ounce of essential oil per pound of wax. There are, however, blends of wax which can take one and a half ounces of essential oil per pound, making what's called 'triple scented' candles. For gel wax, the grade or density of the wax will be a factor. The lower the grade or density, the less fragrance you'll need to use.
Getting it Done
When it comes down to actually making a scented candle, the process is pretty much the same as making unscented candles.
• Prepare your mold and wick as usual.
• Melt your wax (In a double boiler for most waxes, but in a pot over direct heat for gel wax).
• If it's your choice to do so, add colorant (chips, liquid, or powder) to your melted wax and blend well.
• Add your fragrance to the melted wax, being sure to mix it in thoroughly.
• Do your first pour of wax into your mold, then do a second pour as necessary to fill any sink holes that develop during the cooling process.
• Allow your candle to harden completely for several hours then remove it from the mold.
As you see, there are only a few additional considerations to keep in mind when making scented candle, so have fun making "scents" of it all!