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April 01, 2013

Spring Is In the Air


Spring Is In The Air

Ask some of the largest candle companies about the key to their success and, for most, it would be their reputation for making strongly scented candles. Ask any new candle making company what they would like their customers to say about their products - we are confident the response would be to have the best fragrances.

Can't Help But Smell The "Roses"

In all facets of our lifestyle, the sense of fragrances now play an important part in our life. When you start your day, normally you have a fragranced shampoo, soap and deodorant stick. You get in your car and have the car freshner (check out how many candle companies now offer car freshners). You put a load of laundry in with a fresh smelling detergent. Then you go ahead and light your candle which helps the entire room and/or home take on your favorite smell.

How Can I Jump Into The "Mix"?

The home fragrance market is definitely where the large consumer product makers have really put a lot of emphasis. Look at the number of room fresheners on the market; sprays, reed diffusers, plug ins, gels and others. In spite of all of these choices available to the consumer, the small/medium candle manufacturers can offer three things that your largest manufacturers cannot deliver. As the candle industry continues to change and evolve it will be important that you incorporate as many (if not all) of these into your marketing campaigns.

1. Offer A Large Variety Of Unique And New Fragrances

In order to achieve a wide acceptance of their product, large producers must focus on several fragrances that will have the widest market appeal. If you try to purchase a spray, there might be possibly 8-10 fragrances at the best retailer. But, in most instances, it might be just 4-5 on most retailers' shelves.

This creates opportunities because consumers desire more choices then the 4-5 their local market may offer. When making custom or smaller run candles, the opportunities are endless. At Candlewic we offer over 420 fragrances that can be blended and mixed in any number of combinations.

Focus on custom and unique fragrances that others may not offer. The other issue large manufacturers can have is offering fragrances for specific times of the year. Yes, they may roll out additional fragrance for the winter holidays but the selection can be limited.

When developing your line keep adding new and exciting fragrances. In some instances, if you have a great smelling scent you like and your customers seem to like, think about renaming it. This will definitely spark new interest in the product. With any good marketing program, how you title your candle and the presentation of the candle can be as effective as the consumer smelling the fragrance.

2. Provide More Glassware and Color Choices

Similar to the fragrance, the large candle producers must select glassware that will have wide market acceptance. Choose glassware that has a unique look or choose types that the large manufacturers are not using.

In addition to choosing the glassware, be sure to keep on top of the current color trends. While fragrance is an important component of the candle, color can be just as important when consumers incorporate candles into their home decor scheme.

3. Take Advantage Of A Candle's Unique Atmosphere

The third unique characteristic which separates candles from other room fresheners is that a candle can deliver many different types of atmospheres from a soft, warm and romantic one to a very festive setting. The atmosphere changes simply by how many candles are used and where they are placed.

When marketing your candles be sure to incorporate this theme into your materials. It seems every media source trying to promote the themes of warm, soft and romantic will have candles placed somewhere in the visual picture.

As you have probably experienced by now there are many key components of a candle that must be incorporated to ensure customers will come back. One of the key components to begin building a brand is having a great smelling candle from start to finish.

4. Clam Shells, Tarts and Wax Chips

Continue to offer products that complement your candle line. Right now one of the most popular items has to be the clam shell melts, tarts or wax chips. All of these are easy to make and in most instances you can use your existing waxes. Clam shells can be made with either Soy or paraffin wax. Be sure to check out this month's project to see how easy making these can be.

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Is 5-6% fragrance enough for my candle?

This is always a difficult question to answer in that in most cases only half of the information is available. While many fragrances suppliers have tried to simplify things and identify that it is the right amount, the reality is there are different strengths of fragrances. Some manufacturers may purchase for lack of a better term "more concentrated" fragrances where they may only need to add 2-4% to achieve good scent throw. Cheaper fragrances on the market may actually need 6-7%. In addition, the fragrance itself may dictate if that percentage is the right load, a cinnamon is generally very strong and you may be able to use a little less, whereas a lemon may need more to achieve the same scent throw.

Each scent and candle will require different amounts. The 5-6% is really a good basic number to use. One other quick note on fragrances - adding more fragrances such as 8-9% does not automatically mean you will have the strongest smelling candle. Candle fragrances do have a point of diminishing returns.

One thing we always stress to our customers is not to purchase fragrances solely by price. Not all fragrances are made the same.

View All Fragrances & Scents


Candle Terms

Scent Load
This is the amount of fragrance that is used to make the candle. Most people reference this in percentage. In most instances a scent load of 5-7% is what many people use to get started. There are other driving factors that determine what works best for you, but this is always a good starting point. In terms of measuring, this works out to be about 1 ounce to 1.25 ounces per pound of wax.

Double Scented/Triple Scented
When this term is used it generally associated with "marketing your candles". There is not a point of reference to what constitutes double and triple scented but the implication is to indicate 10%, maybe even 12% fragrance, is used to make the candle.

Polar Non/Polar These terms are used less now a days unless making gel candles. The gel requires non/polar scents be used to allow the candles to burn safely. When making paraffin, soy, palm and non-gel candles, the polarity of the fragrance is not important.

Quick Facts

When making pillars, a single 50-pound case of wax will yield approximately:

(diam. x length)
Shape Number of candles
3 x 3 Cylinder 81
3 x 6 Cylinder 41
6 x 3 Cylinder 20
2 x 3 Cylinder 182
2 x 6 Cylinder 92
3 x 3 x 3 Square 57
3 x 3 x 4 Square 42
3 x 3 x 5 Square 34

April 2013

Featured Project:
Making Clam Shells Melts and Tarts

Adding clam shells or tarts can be extremely easy, and, in many instances, you can use your existing wax formula and these products can then double as a way for you to send samples of what your fragrances smell like.

Ideally, the best wax to use for making tarts and clam shell melts is the CBL-129. It has excellent cold fragrance throw and will release very nice from the clam shell or the tart mold. You can use a low shrink wax but they do not release as well from the molds and soy can be brittle at times getting the wax out without breaking.


Step 1
If using a wax like CBL-129 or a paraffin wax take the product up to around 140°F. With soy you will only need to take the wax up to around 120°F or so.

Step 2
When your wax reaches the desired temperatures add your dye. With soy it will be easier to use liquid dyes because they will not have to melt like the color blocks.

Step 3
Add your fragrance. In most instances, since you want to deliver great fragrance throw with a small cube you should be closer to 7-9% fragrance which works out to about 1.25-1.85 ounce per pound of wax. Again a reason to use the CBL-129 is that it will hold that much fragrance.

Step 4
Lay out the clam shells and slowly pour your wax to the desired level.

When your wax is hard simply close and apply a label. You can custom design your own label for the front by going to

Step 4 (alternative)
If you wanted to make tarts you should heat the wax close to 150°F and then choose the mold you want to pour into. The Floating candle mold M-112 is one of the most popular choices but there are many other choices like hearts, ducks, ships and others. In addition soap molds can also be used for making tarts.

The nice thing about the clam shells mold is the packing. After pouring the only handling required is closing and applying a label. The clam shell also has a "peg hole" - making it easy to display on any retail location. These products are also a great way to use up your extra wax and maximize your wax yield.


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