One of the most amazing things that you can do after a long day is to light a candle. A candle can make everything seem possible. You feel like you’re in a cleaner environment, you’re much calmer, and all the stresses of the day are suddenly gone.
Candles can do all of this just by being lit up and adding a warm ambiance to your room, but if you have a scented candle, it is a real game-changer. Scented candles can transform your space into a seaside escape or a campfire in a matter of minutes.
But what if the candle that you have so lovingly poured yourself, or the candle that you bought thinking how nice it would be to smell, isn’t smelling as strong as you want?
You may more than disappointed as candles that promise good scent throw but fail to do so, can be heart-breaking. But there are steps you can take to make up for it.
So how do you make a candle smell stronger? You can add more fragrance oil to an existing candle or ensure the ratio is high enough when making one. Adding oil at the right temperature and letting it cure are important. Whether making or purchasing a candle, choose the right wax and type of candle for the space to maximize scent throw.
If you are making your candles, there are many tweaks that you can make right from the start to the end of the process when you pour the candle.
If you have a store-bought candle that does not smell as strong as you would like it to, many hacks ranging from the use of essential oils to using them in rooms suited to their size can help you get the best scent throw.
In this ultimate guide, we will talk you through the reasons why your candles may not be smelling as strong as they can be. We will go through the ways you can make them smell stronger and what you should be doing when making your candles to ensure good scent throw.
Why Don’t My Candles Smell Strong?
Picture this: you are browsing your favorite home store and come across a juicy collection of candles. You know you shouldn’t be buying any more candles, since you have so many at home, but you can’t help but smell a few.
The candles all have lovely scents and you cave in and buy a few. You come home, spend the day doing what you do and after the long day, sit down and light the candle, ready to enjoy the delicious marshmallow scent or heavenly aroma of a pine forest.
You wait and wait but the scent seems to not be as strong as you thought it would be!
It has been a while since you lit your candle and you can’t smell your candle if you move even a few short yards away. Now you’re wondering why your candle isn’t smelling as strong as it did in the store or compared to your other candles.
Why is this?
Not Enough Fragrance Oil
The scent that a candle has comes from the fragrance oils that are added to these candles. The more oil in the candle, the stronger the fragrance.
Some manufacturers cut costs by adding as little of the fragrance oil as they can as it is very expensive. This serves you somewhat well as well as you won’t have to pay too much for a new candle. If you’re choosing a candle for ambiance and lighting more than scent, this subtle aroma is not always a loss.
If you’re making candles at home and feel like your candles are not coming out as strong smelling as you would like, this could be because you are not adding as much fragrance oil as you should be. The average measure of wax to oil should be 1 ounce to 1 pound of wax.
The type of wax that is being used to produce the candles also makes a difference in how well the candle will throw its scent when it is burning. Coconut wax and soy wax are two types of waxes that are great to use as oils blend with them well, especially with coconut wax.
Now, if you have added a lot of fragrance oil to your candles and they still don’t smell as strong as they should, the temperature of the mixture when adding the oil could be the culprit.
If you are adding these oils when your mixture is still very hot, most of the fragrance will steam away as the candle cools. You want the mixture to cool a bit before adding fragrance oils.
How to Make Store-Bought Candles Smell Stronger
If your store-bought candle leaves a little something to be desired in the scent department, there are some measures you can take to help maximize the aromas coming off of your candle.
1. Choose the right size.
One of the first things that you should be looking at when buying candles at any store is the size of the candle compared to the size of the room you want to use it in.
You can’t expect a small candle to fill up a large room with a strong scent; it just won’t have the strength for it.
Larger candles that have multiple wicks are better for larger rooms such as a living room or an open-plan kitchen space. Medium-sized candles with one wick will be great for smaller rooms such as bedrooms while small candles will only be able to scent up a bathroom or a small entryway.
2. Keep it lit long enough.
The wax pool that is created when you light your candle is what makes the candle scent make its way through your room. You should be lighting your candles for a long enough time so that the wax pool can at least reach the edges of the container and that will increase the scent throw of your candles.
3. Add fragrance oil.
If you don’t have a very complexly scented candle, you can always add a few drops of fragrance oils to your store-bought candles to make sure they have a stronger scent when burning. The amount of oil you need to add is dependent on how big your candle is as well as the temperature of the wax when it is melted.
Make sure that the melted wax does not have a very high temperature as the fragrance oils will not mix in very well and will burn off while the candle cools. Candles made out of coconut wax will have a stronger scent due to the nature of the wax to absorb oils better, so look for those when shopping for candles.
Most of the store-bought candles have a lot of different scents mixed in so replicating that with fragrance oils can be a hassle.
4. Choose the right candle to begin with.
Look for candles that have solid wax tops, as greasy and oily waxes will not produce good candles and you will never be able to get a strong scent throw from them.
At the end of the day, buying candles that look high quality, are made from coconut or soy wax, and promise a good scent throw is your best bet.
As we said before, coconut and soy waxes tend to absorb oils better and have a stronger scent. When deciding whether to pick up another candle at the store, check the wax type. You’re less likely to be disappointed with the aroma strength if you pick the right type of candle.
You should be looking to buy candles from stores and brands that are trusted and promise a high-quality candle. There’s a reason Yankee candles, for example, are so popular. We can’t guarantee you’ll love every scent, but with a popular brand like that, chances are quite good that you will smell your candle just fine!
How Can I Make Candles With a Stronger Scent?
While there is little you can do to make a store-bought candle smell strong, there is a lot you can do to make sure that the candles you are making yourself have a really strong scent throw when you light them around your home.
1. Use the right amount of fragrance oil.
One of the first things you should be very careful about is the amount of fragrance oil you use in your candle.
The general rule of thumb is to use 1 ounce of the fragrance for each gram of wax that you are using. However, for each different type of wax that can be used to make candles, there is a different recommended percentage of fragrance that should be added.
You should be using scales to measure each of these as that gives you the highest chance of success. Remember to always check the recommendations for your wax type before you start adding your fragrance oils in.
You can always add more of less potent fragrance oils. And of course, using stronger oils in the first place is an obvious way to make sure your candle smells strong.
To help you gauge the amount, you can guess fairly well by the smell before it’s lit. Essentially how strong the cold throw of your candle is, is pretty much the strength of the hot throw when it’s lit.
2. Add fragrance at the right temperature.
As we’ve mentioned before, the temperature at which you add your fragrance also matters in how strong your scent throw will be.
The optimal temperature to add your fragrance oil is 185 F. Stir the oil gently through the melted wax and the oil will bind well with it.
3. Let the candle cure first.
Once you have poured your candles into the container of your choice, you then need to let them cool off. Candles need to cure for them to throw scent properly as well as to burn evenly.
Let your candles cure for a minimum of 3 days before burning. But if you can wait long enough, 1-2 weeks is the optimal cure time.
4. Use the right wick.
The type of wick you are adding to your candles will also affect the way your candles will burn, and that can affect the scent throw. Using wicks that are suited to the size of your container and wicks made from natural materials such as hemp will yield a great scent throw as well as an even burn.
5. Store candles properly.
Store your hand-poured candles in a cool, dark place away from any heat or sunlight as that can take away the strength of the fragrance from the candle. Always have a lid on when your candle is not burning to prevent any of the fragrances from escaping.
How to Make Wax Melts Smell Stronger?
For those of you out there that don’t want to invest the money or time in buying or making candles, wax melts are a great alternative. Wax melts are scented and by warming them in a warmer, you can fill up your home with delicious fragrances.
Whether you are buying wax melts from the store or are making your own, you may come across a problem in the strength of the scent that they have. Just like candles, you can also make your wax melts smell stronger by following a few easy steps.
For store-bought wax melts, you should be ensuring that you are buying them from a reputable manufacturer as low-quality waxes will never be able to have a good scent throw. Some manufacturers also use a lot less fragrance oil to cut costs and that is something that will leave you wanting more with the fragrance.
For homemade wax melts (yes you can make your own!), there are a couple of steps you can take to maximize the scent they give off.
1. Add the right amount of fragrance oil.
When making your wax melts you should be taking care of the amount of fragrance you are adding. The temperature at which you are adding the oils also needs to be controlled according to the wax you are using.
2. Use the right wax.
Coconut and soy waxes are the best ones to use if you are looking for a strong scent throw. These waxes bond to the fragrance oils better than others which means that when they melt, the scent will be much stronger.
3. Add a little more.
Since wax melts will melt in warmer, you can always add a few drops of essential or fragrance oils to further make the scent throw much stronger.
Be careful not to add oils to melts that you have been using for a while as the wax will not be strong enough to bond to any oils and you may just burn them.
4. Choose materials and design carefully.
Other considerations that apply to candles also apply to wax melts, such as the size of the room and the size of the warmer you are using to melt your wax melts. The type of warmer you are using and the heating element in it will also affect the way scent moves around.
What is the Best Wax For Candle Making?
One of the most popular waxes that are used in candle making is soy wax. It is a cleaner alternative to paraffin wax and is derived from soybean oil.
Another alternative is coconut wax which is made from coconut oil and is slowly becoming the wax of choice for people making candles at home.
What Happens If I Add Salt to My Candle?
Salt essentially slows down the rate at which your wax melts. It provides you with a more economical and slow-burn meaning your candle will last for a longer time.
Can I Use Vanilla Extract to Scent My Candle?
Yes, you can. Vanilla essence, along with ground coffee, ground cinnamon, and other powdered spices can be used to add color and fragrance to your candles.
What Happens If I Add Too Much Fragrance Oil to My Candle?
If you have accidentally added too much fragrance oil to your candle, you may experience uneven burning on your candle.
The scent throw will be strong but depending on what temperature you added the oil, it may have burnt off already. The wax may be disturbed by the excess amount of oil and not burn as evenly or cleanly as you would like it to.
Candles can add a warm touch to your home. Whether you opt for scented or unscented candles, they are something that you can light at the end of a tiring day and just feel the stress burn away as the wax melts.
Scented candles are a class of their own as they can transform your space into a beachy paradise or a cozy winter night in a matter of minutes.
Sometimes though, your scented candles may not smell as strong as you want them and that can be a problem.
If you are buying your candles from a store, you need to make sure you are buying a big enough candle for the size of your room as that will affect the way scent is thrown by the candle. You should also be looking to buy high-quality candles as low-quality wax will never bond with fragrance oils as well.
When making candles at home, add enough fragrance oil to your candle in comparison to the amount of wax you are using. Control the temperature at which the oils are added and see the difference it can make in the way your candle throws the scent.
Whether you are trying to make your candles smell stronger or your wax melts, we hope this guide helps you figure out ways to do either. Through this guide, you can learn why your candles may not be smelling strong and how to make sure you have a strong smelling candle at your disposal always.