The Best Essential Oils to Use in Candles

The Best Essential Oils to Use in Candles

If you’ve been thinking about making essential oil candles, we understand the hype! With an increasing demand for natural alternatives & a focus on individualized well-being, essential oils will continue to be an essential component in home fragrance products.

In this blog, we’ll share our recommendations on which essential oils work in candle making along with tips and tricks for how to use them successfully. 


what are essential oils?

Essential oils are derived from plants through a process of distillation. They are 100% natural & highly concentrated extracts. These oils offer more than just fragrance – they can positively influence your mood & well-being.


benefits of essential oils

There are many benefits to using essentials oils in your handmade products! For starters, essential oils are 100% natural, which is a highly appealing factor to many consumers when making home & beauty purchases. If you want to know more about the benefits, pros & cons of using essential oils in candle making, read our blog, pros & cons of essential oils for candle making.


do essential oils work in candle making?

Our lab experts tested five of our premium essentials oils to see how they performed in a candle. They assessed both hot and cold scent throws, while also closely monitoring any potential color changes in the wax. Each candle was crafted using our all-natural Virgin Coconut Soy™ Candle Wax & a 10% concentration of essential oil for optimal fragrance performance.


French Lavender Essential Oil:

  • Cold throw: Very strong
  • Hot throw: Very strong
  • Discoloration: None 


Does lavender essential oil work for candle making? APPROVED.

Lavender essential oil performed very well. Lavender maintained a fantastic scent throw once in wax, and did not discolor the wax at all. Virgin Coconut Soy Candle Wax is a creamy, white, glossy, luxurious looking candle wax, so it is easy to see when an oil has caused discoloration. 


     Patchouli Essential Oil

    • Cold throw: Very strong
    • Hot throw: Strong 
    • Discoloration: Wax turned yellow


    Does patchouli essential oil work for candle making? APPROVED.

    Patchouli essential oil performed well. The cold throw was excellent (the odor when the candle is not lit). The candle was also moderately strong while burning. It is important to note that patchouli is typically a dark green color. Being natural, essential oils can vary greatly in color from clear to dark green, orange, brown, or yellow. This caused the oil to discolor the wax and turn it yellow.

       Egyptian Geranium Essential Oil

      • Cold throw: Strong, the scent is more smooth
      • Hot throw: Strong, the scent is more smooth 
      • Discoloration: None


      Does geranium essential oil work for candle making? APPROVED.

      A common occurrence with essential oils is that the odor can change from the heat experienced while the candle is burning. Some essential oils can simply smell weaker, while others will completely change odor, and some may be completely undetectable at all. That is why it is so important to test each different oil you choose to use.

      Geranium essential oil did have a minor odor change - but we liked it! The scent was still strong for both the cold and hot throw. This essential oil did not discolor the wax at all. It has our stamp of approval!


         Organic Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

        • Cold throw: Strong 
        • Hot throw: Strong, slight shift in scent notes
        • Discoloration: Very minimal yellow discoloration


        Ylang Ylang is a beautiful essential oil with deep, rich, sweet floral notes. If you've never smelled this oil before, it is reminiscent of jasmine, neroli, and honey. It's definitely one of our favorites around here! 

        So, does ylang ylang essential oil work for candle making? APPROVED.

        While the odor was slightly altered while the candle was burning, this essential oil smelled strong and lovely. It slightly discolored the candle wax, but overall, was still a winner in our books!


           Cedar Essential Oil

          • Cold throw: Strong
          • Hot throw: Strong, slight shift in scent notes
          • Discoloration: Very minimal yellow discoloration


          Does cedar wood essential oil work for candle making? APPROVED.

          Cedar wood essential oil naturally has a very earthy, woody odor. Some describe it to be reminiscent of pencil shavings, cigar boxes, or saunas, which are all traditionally made from cedar wood. 

          Overall, this essential oil performed well for use in candle making! Cold and hot throw were both strong, though slightly altered while burning. Due to the natural color of cedar essential oil, there was minimal discoloration to the candle wax.


            considerations for using essential oils in candle making

            It's important to note that most essential oils are more expensive than fragrance oils due to the amount of natural material it takes in order to produce the essential oil, therefore can be very costly to make. However, if you have your heart set on making candles with essential oils, we highly suggest you conduct thorough testing & use essential oils with higher flash points. You can test utilizing lower than 10% essential oil (what we used) to reduce the expense as well. 

            Because essential oils are made from a single, pure ingredient, the odor of each of them typically does not have a lot of complexity. Essential oils are what we call "single noted", meaning they simply smell like one specific ingredient. If you're looking to create a more complex odor for your candles, and still want to use only essential oils, you can blend them together yourself or choose from one of our popular essential oil blends such as Focus, Sleep, or Cheer

            Another alternative is to use 100% natural fragrance oils which are more complex, sophisticated fragrances made from all natural and nature-identical materials. These natural fragrance oils are all designed to perform well in candle making, along with many other product formats such as soap making, perfume making, or creating bath and body products. 

            Lastly, if your top priority is to create a candle with the strongest, most unique and appealing scent possible, check out our Made Better non-toxic collection of fragrance oils for candle making


            are there any essential oils that do not work for candle making?

            This article mainly covers which essential oils that work well for candle making. Before selecting the essential oils we would test, we reviewed the Safety Data Sheets to screen out any essential oils that we knew most likely would not perform well or pose a safety risk. For example, most citrus essential oils such as lemon essential oil, orange essential oil, or grapefruit essential oil are notorious for their low flash points. The flash point is the temperature at which that essential oil can combust when exposed to an open flame. So when we are talking about making candles, which of course have an open flame, flash points matter. We would recommend staying away from all citrus based essential oils and being cautious with thorough testing on any essential oils whose flash points are under 170 F. For any essential oils sold on, you can find the Safety Data Sheet on each product page.

            Be sure to post your finished creations and use #makesymade for a chance to be featured on our wall of inspo! Happy making! 

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