Whether a candle is cold or burning, a strong scent throw means the scented candles has been well crafted. When we talk about a cold scent through, we mean what an unlit candle smells like i.e., the solid wax. A hot scent throw is the fragrance you can smell when the candle is burning.
Both scent throws are different in terms of strength because the fragrance is designed to be strong when a candle is burning. The fragrance’s intensity depends on several factors. These include how strong the oil is and the flashpoint (how hot it has to be before it evaporates). Also, the wax type influences a candle’s scent throw with soy wax and other natural waxes being among the best for good scent throws. Take a look at my recommended soy wax available on Amazon, its great quality and holds fragrance great.
If you’re new to candle making you might wonder when you should add fragrance oil to your soy wax for optimum results.
So when should you add fragrance oil to soy wax in candle making?
You can add your fragrance oil when your soy wax has fully melted and is around 170 °F (77 °C). At this point the soy wax will be transparent with no evidence of soy wax flakes floating around, you can now remove from the heat source and begin to add the fragrance oil.
But there’s much more to it than that.
Why is it important to add fragrance oil at the correct time and temperature?
Even though candle-making is exciting, it’s important to be patient. Don’t get carried away and think timing and temperature don’t matter – they do! Patience is key, and you’ll get a better-finished product as a result.
Allows fragrance oil to blend sufficiently
Temperature is important when adding fragrance oil. Even if the wax is molten, if the temperature is too low, the fragrance and wax can’t bind properly. Without proper binding, the scent throw is affected, and you could even experience seepage. This is when oil strangely leaks from the candle. You want to avoid this happening!
Using the correct amount of fragrance oil
It is so important if you want to make a candle with perfect scent throw that you get the right ratio of fragrance oil to wax for your container size.
To do this I recommend using my free online fragrance oil and wax calculator that will work out the correct quantities for you.
Don’t burn off the oil with wax that’s too hot
Additionally, if the wax is too hot, it won’t work well either. With a high temperature, you might get your wax binding to your fragrance oil but as the wax cools, the oil will burn off and so your final scent throw – both hot and cold – will be weaker.
Therefore, finding that perfect temperature is so important and will give you the best results. Be sure to check your fragrance oil’s flashpoint too.
To do this make sure you use a good quality and accurate thermometer like this one.
To learn more about scent throw have a read of my guide.
Fragrance oils and flashpoints
When we talk about flashpoints, we’re referring to the temperature when a particular liquid evaporates. Typically, you’ll find fragrance oils have their flash points written in their product descriptions or own their manufacturer’s website.
What we usually see are fragrance oils with three distinct flash point ranges:- Less than 131 ° F- Between 131 °F and 175 °F- 176 °F and above
Once you know what your chosen fragrance oil’s flash point is, you’ll be able to incorporate it into your wax at the right time. Typically, fragrance oils that are subtler in terms of scent will have lower flashpoints.
When is the correct time to add fragrance oil to soy wax?
If you’re working with soy wax, you should add your fragrance when the wax reaches 50 to 60 °F above the melting point of the wax. So, if you’re using a soy wax that melts at 125 °F, heat it up to around 175 °F to 185 °F before you add the fragrance. This will also mean the wax is at a good pouring and storing temperature too.
Balancing the time and temperature to add fragrance oil to hot soy wax is a delicate process. As mentioned, you need to consider the oil’s flashpoint. So, heat up the wax and then let it cool to the fragrance oil’s flash point and then stir it in. If the fragrance oil has a flash point that is below 176 °F, you’ll need to stir it for a couple of minutes to ensure it binds properly.
What temperature should soy wax be before adding fragrance?
Before any fragrance is added, the soy wax should be heated to at least 160 °F (but not more than 185 °F). This important window will mean the best result for your candle.
It’s not just the temperature of the wax you have to think about. You also need to warm up your jar too otherwise the hot wax will be going into a cooler jar, which means it won’t set properly.
Essential oils – why temperature matters
Since essential oils are concentrated volatile liquids, they evaporate easily. Because of their volatility, we need to be mindful of temperatures when adding oils to wax. After all, we don’t want to buy expensive oils for them just to evaporate during the candle-making process.
The difference between essential oils and fragrance oils
Don’t get confused between the two, they’re nothing alike! Unlike fragrance oils, essential oils are plant extracts that are 100% natural. Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are made up of essential oils, resins, and some synthetic aromas.
Essential oils are great if you’re wanting to sell a 100% natural product, but fragrance oils are often better in terms of both hot and cold scent throws. Working with essential oils is much more expensive, as you’d expect.
I have written a full guide to fragrance oils vs essential oils and each ones benefits. Have a read if you would like to learn more.
As well as considering what temperature to add the fragrance oil, you also need to bear in mind that different waxes require different pouring temperatures. For soy wax, this is 120 °F to 140 °F. So, after mixing in your fragrance oils, you need to wait a while further until the perfect pouring temperature is reached.
Once poured, the candle will need to cool and cure for up to 12 days. This will allow the candle wax to become fully firm and for the best curing of your fragrance oils.
Conclusion – when to add fragrance oil to soy wax in candle making
Who’d have thought temperatures mattered so much? Well, as we’ve seen, they certainly do! So, remember, not too hot and not too cold, and don’t pour until the pouring temperature has been reached! We hope these tips will help you make someamazing candles!
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