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March 06, 2019

Making Sense of Scents

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The 'En-Light-ener' Candle Making Newsletter
March 2019
When making that perfect candle, there are many components that must be matched up and used properly to optimize the performance of any candle. Buying the components and simply throwing them together can certainly make a good candle, but will it ensure best results? The answer is generally no, creating the best candle possible involves building a complete system and ensuring control through the entire process.

You must choose the best wax for your specific needs and as you research each wax, be sure to choose one that will perform as desired. Future newsletters will examine this subject in detail, but in summary, paraffin waxes have the tendency to deliver better fragrance. Soy wax is natural and has many other positive attributes, but is difficult to measure against paraffin blends. There are certainly exceptions on both accounts and as you start out, it might be worth trying out both to decide what will be best for you.

We have started the new year focusing on fragrance and trends, so now let's get to the fun part of diving into how you can choose a fragrance for your candle.

There are many different types of fragrances that can be used to help bring your candle creations to life. When fragrance companies develop and market fragrances they must take into account an array of factors including: olfactive profile, performance, stability, price, reproducibility and consistency. For fragrance buyers it often comes down to - Do I like the smell? Will it work with my wax? What is the price?

We are hoping the information below can help guide you through the process of selecting the best product that fits your needs.

Essential Oils (EOs) are a concentrated, complex mixture of multiple volatile (easily evaporated) compounds and are extracted from plants. EOs are used in many applications, including aromatherapy, massage and skin care.

It is very important to ensure that EOs are used correctly in accordance with all safety documentation and guidelines to avoid allergic reactions, irritations or other toxic effects from ingestion or improper application, despite the fully natural provenance. For example, essential oils should never be used when making gel candles. Due to the low flash point of many of them they should never be used in excess when making any candles.

Essential oils have characteristic odors that relate to their source - lavender, basil, juniper, orange etc. Certain EOs can be blended together, but not all EOs mix well with others; combining EOs without proper knowledge can lead to poor performance and other issues with the finished product. Although EOs are produced under the same conditions each time, due to the varying nature of the plants themselves (temperature, crop harvests, etc.) EOs are variable in their consistency.

Additionally, processes are usually inefficient - sometimes requiring 1000 pounds of grapefruit to produce 2 pounds of essential oil via a long, slow process. While essentials oils are commonly used in candle making, they have a tendency to be too expensive for many and because of the limited natural fragrances available, the selection is not as wide as with other options.

Fragrance Oils (FOs) are blends of natural and synthetic aroma compounds that can contain between 30 and 150 different components. Each FO is designed, created and blended by a dedicated team of perfumers, applicationists, chemists and evaluators to find the perfect balance between the poetry of natural components (including EOs) and the precision of synthetic aroma compounds. Fragrance oils provide the perfect combination of performance, ease of replication and pricing. They have the ability to draw upon a palette of thousands of individual components to create a vast array of scent profiles, pulling together notes and aromas to create artfully layered scents covering all major fragrance families from summery, fruity citrus fragrances to dark, heavy woody fragrances and everything in between. FOs can also be tweaked, modified, and perfected for the specific demands of applications such as burning well in a soy wax candle, or being skin safe and cosmetic approved for a skin moisturizing lotion.

After you have chosen either an essential oil or a fragrance oil, the next step will be to incorporate it into your candles. The advantage of essential oils is they are extremely concentrated and usually need about 1/2 of what most candle fragrances need. We generally recommend starting with 2 - 3% but again, testing must be done to ensure the levels will work in your candle and will burn safely.

When working with candle fragrances, generally the recommended percentage is anywhere from 4% up to 10%, although when working with higher percentage, be aware that the increase does not always translate to better performance. Candle fragrance can reach what is commonly called "point of diminishing returns". A candle with 10% might not deliver fragrance throw any more effectively than the one with 8% and will cost more to produce.

Last but not least, the process of integrating the fragrance into the wax is very important. To achieve the most consistent and accurate results, we recommend weighing out all components including fragrances. The smaller the batch size, the more accurate scale you will need. An accurate scale can help improve your process when weighing fragrance, additives, and dyes. The final and equally important aspect of fragrances is the temperature at which you add your fragrance. Most agree for paraffin, adding at about 10°F above your pouring temperature can achieve the best results. However, the internet has conflicting information around the ideal temperature for adding fragrance when making soy candles. Some firmly believe the soy needs to be taken to an elevated temperature like 180°F to ensure the fragrance fully integrates into the wax. However, the argument against that is that the fragrance could be burning off the entire time it takes to fully set up. Furthermore, as the wax starts to solidify, you can get fragrance bleeding to the top contributing to the "crusting" many get when they make their first soy candles.

The method we most commonly recommend is adding the fragrance at about 5°F above your pouring temperature, which will vary with soy from 115°F - 125°F. By doing this you can "lock" in the fragrance and prevent it from bleeding out of the wax.

The most important aspect of maximizing the fragrance throw on any candle is to experiment with some of these methods and find out what works best for your candle!
Project Contest
On behalf of the Candlewic Company, we truly want to thank everyone for your wonderful submissions. You've continued to make the judging very difficult. All of the projects were outstanding, and, as we previously stated, if your project was not selected for this issue, it will remain in the pool for upcoming issues. We are also accepting projects on a monthly basis, so please always turn in any exciting project you may be working on. In case you did not see our mention about this previously, all projects selected in 2019 will win a $100 Candlewic gift card and will also be entered to win a $300 Candlewic gift card in December if that project is selected by our readers as the best project in 2019.  
Our second winner in the contest is:
Melissa Lyn
I have made candles for nearly 20 years and absolutely love Candlewic's products and support staff. I hope everyone enjoys making my color changing/scent changing candles! You are only limited by your imagination. Thank you so much. I am disabled and on a fixed income and thought I would never win!
Color Changing Candle and / or Scent Changing Candle
Color Changing Candle and or Scent Changing Candle
Items needed: Wax of choice, fragrance (s) of choice, wicks, container, melt mold. Colorants.

You can do blue melts with yellow over pour and as it burns it will turn the wax green.

Or, how about red melts with a blue overpour and end up with a purple candle!

If you want to make Scent Changing candles you will need a mold that's slightly smaller than your container. Make them up in one scent, such as Apple pie, follow as above and thread into your wicks. Then you will do your overpour with another scent such as maple butter. As it burns it will combine the two scents together and the end result would be an Amazing blend...

How about trying three scents instead of two. The candle could start as apple pie with maple butter and end as pumpkin pancake with maple butter.

The possibilities are endless!
Enter for a chance to be next month's winner!
  1. Create your project*
  2. Send your project submission with pictures and easy-to-follow instructions to:
  3. We’ll select a winner for that month to receive a $100 Candlewic gift card and publish the winner’s project in our newsletter!
Then, during the first week of December 2019, we will publish to our website the 10 selected projects contributed by readers and ask all of our readers to vote for their favorite project. The contributor of the winning project will receive an additional $300 Candlewic gift card!

Please keep in mind that, even if your project is not selected for the particular month in which you submitted it, we may use it for another month. We may also use it as a post on Facebook, Twitter or one of our other social media accounts. If we do that, you’ll receive a $30 Candlewic gift card. We’re looking for fun, unique and exciting projects that will appeal to many of our readers.
Example Project Formats:
Yummy Fall Soy Candles All Natural Beeswax Garden Flare Candles
Decorative Streak Candles Decorative Swirl Candles
Recycled Chunk Candles Snowball Candle
Send your project submissions to:
Deadline to be featured in the April En-Light-Ener : March 25, 2019.
Winner will be notified by March 28, 2019, and featured in our April issue.
*The submitted project cannot be one taken from a competitor's website or social media pages, cannot feature a competitor's products, and cannot include links to a competing vendor's site, social media accounts, or products.
We are excited to announce that we have launched a great program for our customers anywhere in the US. We can now ship 5 cases of wax anywhere in the Continental US for one flat charge. For our friends on the West Coast, this program could mean 1/2 of the shipping charges you previously have been paying. Be sure to check out this program if you order 5 or 10 cases at a time.   
Shop Wax
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, Hi. I'm Chandler.
"Should I consider making tarts and/or clam shells?"
The interest in tarts and clam shells may be at an all time high and it is now becoming a must for any candle company to consider. What is great is that they are easy to make, are a great use for your extra wax and they require no wick because they are used in tart warmers. They can also be used as a way to sample your fragrances. The tart molds have the advantage that if you wanted to make floating candles, the same mold can be used. The clamshell molds are easy to use. Just by merely pouring wax into the clamshell and closing the mold, you have a finished product.

We recommend using the CBL-129 and the M-112 tart mold. Add about 5% - 7% fragrance and pour it around 180°F. Within a couple of hours they should pop right out of the mold. What is nice is that you can actually use this same mold to make floaters.

View All Fragrances & Scents
5pk Summer 2016 Fragrance Bonus Pack
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Agave Nectar Fragrance Oil
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Lilac Fragrance Oil
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Red Pineapple Red Pineapple Fragrance
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Merry Mint Fragrance Oil
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We hope you enjoyed this issue of the En-Light-ener. Thank you for your continued interest and support. Our goal is to make this newsletter as entertaining and educational as possible. Let us know if you have any ideas on how we can improve.
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Please visit our online catalog often to see what's new. As always, thank you for your continued business.
Candlewic Company
3765 Old Easton Road | Doylestown, PA 18901 | 800-368-3352
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