Everything You Need To Know About Fragrance

Everything You Need To Know About Fragrance

If you’ve interested in learning more about fragrance, then you already know the important role that scent plays in making candles, soap, home, and beauty products. You may already be familiar with fragrance load, when to add the fragrance to your candle wax or soap base, and all about cold throw and hot throw.

But what if you'e reached the point where you are ready to order custom fragrances, would you know how to communicate what you are looking for in a scent?

Or maybe you aren’t big enough to meet the minimums of a large fragrance house, and want to try your hand at doing some custom fragrance blending on your own to give your candles a truly unique scent. Would you know where to start?

This fragrance guide will answer all of your questions! We'll go deep but for now, let’s begin with a basic introduction to the standard fragrance families along with their subcategories. You can browse all of makesy's fragrance oils here.


floral fragrances

  • Fresh floral: floral and fresh notes, fresh-cut flowers
  • Soft floral: florals and soft notes, floral with aldehydes and powdery notes
  • Floral oriental: floral and oriental notes, floral with orange blossom and sweet spices

    oriental fragrances

    • Soft oriental: oriental and floral notes, main notes include incense and amber
    • Oriental: oriental notes, main notes include oriental resins such as frankincense and vanilla
    • Woody oriental: oriental and woody notes, main notes include sandalwood and patchouli

      woody fragrances

      • Woods: main notes include aromatic woods and vetiver
      • Mossy woods: woody and oriental notes, main notes include oakmoss and amber
      • Dry woods: woody notes, main notes include dry woods and leather


      fresh fragrances

      • Citrus: woody and fresh notes, main notes include bergamot and other citrus oils
      • Fruity: fresh and floral notes, main notes include berries and other non-citrus fruits
      • Green: fresh and floral notes, main notes include galbanum and green notes
      • Water: fresh and floral notes, main notes include marine and aquatic notes


      aromatic fragrances

      • Fresh notes: main notes include lavender and aromatic herbs. 
      • This universal fragrance family includes elements from different families: the freshness from the citrus family, floral notes of lavender, the spicy-sweetness of a floral oriental, the ambery depth of an oriental, and the mossy woods warmth of sandalwood and oakmoss.


      gourmand fragrances

      • Main notes such as honey, chocolate, or vanilla, blended with patchouli or musk.


      chypre fragrances

      • Main notes of citrus, cistus, labdanum, and a mossy-animalic base note of oak moss and musk. 
      • Focus on fragrance materials predominantly from Mediterranean countries.


      understanding fragrance notes


      top notes

      Top notes, aka head notes, are the first notes you perceive. In perfumery, top notes quickly evaporate and leave the fragrance with the middle and base notes.

      However, in candles, top notes remain and are a large part of your cold throw.  And as we know, cold throw has everything to do with a customer deciding to buy or not buy our candle.

      Citrus is a typical top note. If your fragrance is mainly citrus, it most likely will have a great cold throw, but could less than overwhelm on the hot throw. Also, be very careful to not overheat your wax.

      It is recommended to add fragrances that are heavily citrus at 142 degrees, otherwise you risk the chance of the citrus fragrance burning off.


      middle notes

      Middle notes, aka heart notes, are the heart of your fragrance and tend to round out the overall fragrance and will linger into the base notes. Lavender and rose are typical middle notes.


      base notes

      Base notes and middle notes are the main theme of a fragrance.  Base notes bring depth and solidity to a fragrance.  Base notes might not be as perceptible in the cold throw of the candle, but as the candle begins to burn the base notes will emerge, along with the heart notes. 

      Be careful as some base notes can clog wicks if used in too high of dose, as they are too “heavy” to capillary up the wick.  These might include oak moss and benzoin.


      get blending

      This is all a very simple guide to candle scents but enough to have a basic understanding and to be able to communicate professionally with your vendors as well as your customers.

      This guide to candle scents might also now inspire you to mix it up a little on your own!  Try blending a citrus with a floral and a nice woody fragrance for a well-balanced custom scent. 

      How about a gourmand fragrance with floral and amber? The possibilities are endless. Get creative and step out-of-the-box and have some fun!

      You can turn your favorite makesy fragrances into endless creations. Check out our ever-growing collection of exclusive fragrance oils to find your favorite scent.

      We love sharing your creations! Don’t forget to share your creations and tag @makesy on Instagram or @makesyofficial on Facebook for the chance to be featured!

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