Can You Add Essential Oils To Burning Candles?

Essential oils are a perfect addition to many homes, cosmetics, diffusers, and even candles!

You can get an essential oil to suit every mood, and when you use 100% pure essential oils, there may even be some health benefits that you can reap! 

In this article, we will be exploring the use of essential oils in candles. In particular, we want to check out the safety issues regarding the use of essential oils in burning candles, and why you might want to use them. 

So, if you are interested in using essential oils in candles, and want to find out about some specifics regarding burning candles, this is the article for you. 

Are Essential Oils Flammable When Used In Candles?

Essential oils are indeed flammable. This means that due care should be taken when using them around candles and any other open flames.

However, this does not necessarily mean that you can’t use them, just that you have to be more careful! 

The heat of the lit candle flame is hot enough to make the essential oils flammable for sure, but when you use essential oils in a candle, you do not tend to pour them right onto the flame itself (well, at least we hope not). 

Provided you do not just spray essential oils over the open flame, then you should be able to safely use your chosen essential oils in your candles without fear that they are going to be flammable. 

It is also worth noting that it may be more dangerous if you are using fragrance oils or essential oils that aren’t 100% pure.

Fragrance oils and non-pure essential oils often contain highly flammable chemicals and so should not be burned in a candle. 

How Do You Use Essential Oils In a Candle?

The best way of adding essential oils to your candles is to actually add them to the pool of wax. This will mean burning the candle for a short period first and then adding in a few drops of your chosen essential oil.

This way, the essential oil will be able to blend with the already melted wax, making the scent throw a little easier. You could extinguish the flame before you do this but act quickly to ensure the wax is still hot and melted. 

The reason why adding your essential oils to the wax is the best choice is because the wax remains at a steady temperature that is hot enough to allow the scent to spread, but not too hot that the essential oils will be burned. 

All you need to do is to add one or two drops of essential oil such as lemongrass, lavender, or any other essential oil that you like to the melted wax pool and sit back to enjoy the aromatherapy effects. 

This is a cheap and convenient way of using essential oils that will only require a drop or two at a time. This is also great if there are multiple different scents that you want to try out first before committing to a favorite.

You can simply add a different essential oil each time you light a candle until you find one that you like. 

If you want to get a little more creative, there is another way that you can add essential oils to your candles. This is by making your very own essential oil candles.

You can buy different kits from craft stores and online to guide you through how to do this. 

This way you can put the scent into the candle itself and choose whatever scents you want. You can even mix a few different scents if you want to! 

You are not as limited as you would be if you use the method we listed above as you can mix and match depending on your mood. 

For example, if you want a relaxing candle you could use lavender and chamomile oil. If you want an energizing candle you can add in lemongrass and peppermint oils. 

The downside is, this method uses a lot more essential oil, with the typical candle requiring around 20 to 25 drops of your chosen oils per ONE CUP of wax that you use! 

This can work out pretty expensive compared to the method we listed above, but it does last longer so may well be worth it in the long run if you want to use your essential oils in candles often. 

It should also be noted that it is always best to use pure essential oils that are 100% organic. Cold-pressed is best but if not, distilled is fine, just as long as they do not contain chemicals. 

This is to ensure they will be safe for use in your candles and that they will not irritate your skin, lungs, and chest in any way.

This does mean that they will be more expensive when compared with chemical-laden (but cheaper) fragrance oils. 

When Burning, Why Does My Candle Not Smell?

Candle infused with essential oils

One of the most common reasons why people choose to add essential oils to their candles (aside from the wonderful benefits of aromatherapy of course) is because the candles they are using seem to lose their smell too quickly.

In some cases, people accidentally buy unscented candles and get confused when they light them and they have no scent.

However, sometimes, many people buy scented candles that have a very faint smell or don’t even smell at all when they are meant to be scented. 

I mean, is there anything more disappointing than buying a rose-scented candle but finding it barely smells of anything? No, we didn’t think so. 

There could be a number of reasons why your candles aren’t smelling as they should be, and we will be covering them below. 

Both of the reasons we are listing are the most common and are generally the reasons why people add their own fragrances in the form of essential oils to their candles. 

It May Be That It Is Too Old

Like food (although we don’t recommend wearing them) candles have a limit on their shelf life. Perhaps it is better to compare them to perfume. 

Have you ever smelled a bottle of perfume that has been open and unused for years? Check out your grandma’s bathroom next time you visit and you’ll know what we mean! 

That scentless, odd, chemical smell that happens to perfume can also happen to old candles. The wax loses its beautiful scent and instead takes on a weird musty or scentless smell.

It is super unimportant that you use candles pretty soon after you get them. This will ensure that you get the absolute most out of them. 

If you do not plan to use them for a while then you should at least keep them safe in an airtight container, out of the way of the sun, and any other heat sources such as heaters, radiators, and cooking equipment. 

This will extend their shelf life for as long as possible and help them to retain that all-important fragrance. 

The same goes for candles that you have made yourself.

Sure, you may have jam-packed them with essential oils, but this doesn’t mean they are exempt from losing their smell, it just means that there is more smell to lose (and more money to waste if you look at it like that). 

The best fix for this is of course prevention to stop it from happening in the first place. However, if your candles have lost their smell, you can try adding some of your favorite essential oils to the melted wax when you burn them. 

It May Not Contain Enough Fragrance

If you have a new candle that does not have much of a scent, then it could well be the case that there has not been enough fragrance added to it. This is especially common when the cable is handmade.

To fix this issue, you can simply melt it all down and try again, add some of the essential oil to the pool of wax when you use it, or simply remember your mistake and correct it next time. 

However, if you have bought the candle from someone else, you should contact them to see if they can offer a refund or exchange.

They would likely appreciate the feedback since they may need to fix their recipe for that particular candle to include more essential oil to fragrance it. 

How Long Does It Take For Candles To Start to Smell?

We get it, you can feel pretty impatient when you get a new candle. You will light it and want to smell the gorgeous scents right away.

However, this is not always possible. The reason for this is because it can take a little while for the scent to be ‘activated’. 

Generally, you can expect your candle to start giving off a beautiful scent within about 30 minutes of being lit. This is because you need to wait until the wax is heated up and it starts to liquify. 

It does not usually reach its maximum scent capacity until it has been burning for around one and a half hours to 2 hours. 

At this point, the scent of the essential oils within the wax will be released into the air and will be diffused with the air particles to create a gorgeous scent in the room. Sure, it requires lots of patience but it is so worth it!

However, you may be wondering what you should do if you are in a rush and need your room to smell god now. For that case, you may be considering room spray instead. This does not need to be the case! 

We have some good news! If you have added in some essential oil after the candle has already started burning and there is a pool of wax, then you should begin to feel the effects (or is that smell the effects) immediately.

This is because they get released into the air a lot sooner 

Is There a Way You Can Make Your Candles Smell Stronger?

Yes! There are a few different methods that you can try out to make your candles smell stronger.

First and foremost you should only use the absolute best quality essential oils that you can afford. These will have the best, most natural scents. 

Secondly, you should not scrimp with the amount of essential oils that you are using in your candles.

Less is not more when you are making homemade candles, and if you really want to make a statement you need to add in at least 20 to 25 drops of oil for every pound of liquid wax! 

Our third recommendation is that you always follow the candle-making instructions you are using to the letter.

This is especially true if you are a beginner. The recipe will have the exact amount of everything you will need to make a well-scented candle. 

Lastly, ensure that you keep the candles in an airtight jar or container when they are not in use to preserve their life even longer. Use them within a few months of making them to get the most out of them. 

You may also want to consider using waxes such as soy or beeswax for a natural, safe, and environmentally friendly candle.

These have good scent throws, and whilst they aren’t as potent as the scent throw in paraffin, they may be safer.