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How to Make Essential Oil Candles the Right Way

Learn how to make essential oil candles the right way with these key tips and instructions for essential oil candles that smell stronger! 

Scent is one of those things that makes life more interesting. From the perfume, you wear (here’s how I make my own essential oil perfume) to the laundry soap you wash your clothes and sheets in, to the body wash and hand soap you clean up with every day. Scent is something we choose every day and the choice is as personalized as it gets. 

For me, scent helps to make each space in our house feel like home. And candles incorporate scent in such a way that creates a comforting ambiance. But, unfortunately, many candles are made with considerably harmful chemicals. 

– Take paraffin wax candles made with synthetic fragrances, for example, they are the most widely sold, least expensive, and pose the most risks. We’re talking volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde released into the air with long-term health risks. 

Soy wax essential oil candles, on the other hand, offer all the scents we love without risks to our health!

And they look and smell just as good as store-bought options when you follow our tips and instructions on how to make essential oil candles the right way. 

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Fool Proof Essential Oil DIY Candle Tutorial

Related: DIY Reed Diffuser

Related: Ways to Use Essential Oils

How To Make Essential Oil Candles Smell Stronger

If you have made essential oil candles before you probably experience one or more of these scenarios: 

  • The essential oils smelled super strong when you added them to the melted candle wax, but then when they cured the scent was faint
  • Your homemade essential oil candle smells great when you give it a whiff, but when you light the candle the scent is gone
  • The essential oil blend you choose smells amazing in your diffuser but it doesn’t have the same effect in the candle you made

What can you do to make your candles smell stronger? Luckily there are few key things you can do to make candles smell stronger and keep the scent from fading. 

4 Tips To Make Essential Oil Candles Smell Stronger and Hold Their Scent

4 Tips To Make Essential Oil Candles Smell Stronger and Hold Their Scent

#1 Use Strong Scented Essential Oils

This may go without saying, but if you want to make essential oil candles that smell stronger, start by choosing oils that have a strong scent. Top note essential oils historically used in perfume making have a very noticeable scent. Think lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, lavender, or grapefruit. 

Although truth be told, the best essential oil blends for candles include a top, middle, and base note for an infusion of candle scent that releases a blend of scents as your candle burns. I share the best blend of essential oils for candles here

#2 Choose A Slow-Burning Wax

While it’s important to think about potential health risks when choosing a candle wax it’s also good to consider how well the wax holds scent. This is especially the case when it comes to how to make essential oil candles smell stronger. 

Choosing a candle wax such as beeswax or soy will cause the candle to burn more slowly. This allows a candle to retain scents longer and slowly release scent into the air when lit.  Adding up to a candle that smells stronger and lasts longer. A win-win, if you ask me! 

#3 Use the Right Amount of Essential Oils

Take time to do the math…

Not using the right amount of essential oils in a candle is one of the biggest candle mistakes. Add too little and you won’t have a noticeable scent. Add too much and your candle won’t stay lit, among other issues. 

So, how do you measure essential oils for candles? 

Rather you’re trying to measure essential oils for candles or trying to calculate how much essential oil you should buy for a DIY – you need an essential oil conversion chart! 

Beginning with a chart for how much essential oils are in a bottle: 

5ml bottle = 100 drops = 1 tsp

15 ml bottle = 300 drops = 1/2 oz

30 ml bottle = 600 drops = 1 oz 

How many drops are in a bottle of essential oil?

Print one from our Oily Chic Library as well as our easy essential oil candle conversion chart. It’s the easiest answer to how much essential oil you need to make a candle. 

Candle Size     You’ll Need

8 oz   1/2 oz = 300 drops 

4 oz   2 tsp = 200 drops

2 oz   1 tsp = 100 drops

#4 Keep Your Candles Covered

This is the easiest solution to helping your homemade candles hold their scent. Candle scents fade over time. This is true for candles made with synthetic fragrances or essential oils. To help your candles hang on to their scent longer cover them with a lid or glass cloche in between use. I love these colorful candle tins that come with lids! 

How do you make essential oil candles?

How to Make Essential Oil Candles

Essential Oil Candle Supplies:


1. Measure Wax and Place Wicks

Use a digital scale to measure 1.125 pounds of soy wax flakes. (Using a different size candle container? Use a candle calculator to figure how much wax you’ll need.)  Then adhere the metal tab of a cotton wick to a wick sticker tab. Carefully center the wick in the bottom of a glass jar and firmly press to adhere. Repeat for the second candle. 

2. Melt Wax

Pour the soy wax into a candle-melting pitcher to safely melt wax. Place the pitcher filled with wax inside a large saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water. Using the double boiler method, heat on medium to low heat. Slowly stir often with a heat-resistant silicone spatula.

3. Cool & Scent Wax

Remove the pitcher from the heat after melting. Then clip a candle thermometer inside of the pitcher. 

Allow the temperature of the wax to cool to 125°F before adding 1.25 ounces of essential oils. After slowly stir for a constant 1 to 2 minutes to thoroughly incorporate. 

4. Pour Scented Wax 

Last, gently pour your scented wax into each prepared glass jar. Place an optional centering device over each wick to help keep them straight during the curing process. 

How soon can you light your homemade candle?

Allow the candle wax to cure for a minimum of 24 hours before lighting. For stronger smelling candles wait 3 to 7 days! And make sure to trim the wick to ¼ of an inch before lighting. 

If you’ve been avoiding candles due to toxins, I’m sure you’ll be excited to make these clean-burning, eco-friendly essential oil candles! With just 4 steps, anyone can learn how to make essential oil candles at home. 

P.S. Don’t forget the free printable charts above! Tag #oilychic on Instagram to share your essential oil DIYs with us. 

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  1. I’m not sure what we did wrong but overnight the candles cracked. What did we do wrong? It was our first time and we live in Florida so I don’t know if that makes a difference.

    1. That usually happens for a few reasons – maybe you poured the wax too quickly or the vessel was too cold when the wax was poured, and then the candles cured to quickly. It can also happen if the wicks weren’t secure or you wiggled them after pouring. If it’s just the top of the wax, use a heat gun to melt the top layer completely and they will have smooth tops again.

  2. My hot throw seems weak and I was told to add my essential oils @ 185F and pour around 160F by suppliers but you state that it should be added @ 125F and then poured. I have tried adding also @145F and pouring @120F and the difference in scent is not noticeable? I use between 8-10% essential oils.
    I do warm the vessels and wrap them in foil and my room temp is around 75F and humidity around 35.

    Thank you

    1. Naru, that sounds like you’re using paraffin wax if you’re pouring adding oils and pouring at that high of temperature. They will mostly be burned off. Your second temps are better and most soy wax needs be poured around that temp. You could try a 12% load, but I wouldn’t go any higher than that or you’ll have wick and melt pool problems. You may want to consider using natural oils made from essential oils and accords if after 12 percent it’s not as strong as you’re after.

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