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October 04, 2019

Fragrance: Everything you need to know

Cause and Effects

Here at All Australian Candle Making Supplies & Kits we are often asked by candle makers to assist when their candles are misbehaving.

Maybe they have set strangely or they are burning differently than expected. In this blog we will address a few of the common reasons, strategies, and solutions regarding this and how Fragrance may be the culprit.

First, let’s get through the basic rules:

  • Always use the recommended dose of fragrance for the wax you are using. Always by volume, not weight. Generally;
    • Soy Wax – 5-8% (50-80ml per 1 kilo of wax), C3 is 6%
    • Soy wax for pillars – 5-8%, however less is better as extra oil content makes wax softer, and pillars work better when harder.
    • Fusion & Fusion Clear – 5-18% (50ml – 180ml per 1 kilo of wax)
    • Palm Waxfor pillars - 5-8% (50-80ml per 1 kilo of wax),
    • Palm Wax for containers – 5-8% (50-80ml per 1 kilo of wax),
    • Paraffin for Pillars candles – 5-8%, however less is better as extra oil content makes wax softer, and pillars work better when harder.
    • Essential oils are stronger in scent and more flammable. We recommend using a maximum of 5% (50ml for every 1 kilo of wax) across all varieties of wax.
  • If your candle’s scent is soft (not as strong as anticipated)
    • Check that it hasn’t settled to the bottom of the wax in the candle jar. If it has, this means you added the fragrance when the wax was too cool and it didn’t blend well. Add fragrance when the wax has reached higher temps of 80-85 degrees Celsius and stir well.
    • Your nose may have adjusted to the scent. Try walking out of the room and back in after a few minutes.
    • Your space may be quite large for the candle (however this is rarely the case)
    • Keep in mind that commercially made candles that are strong are often wax blends, which include Paraffin and hold a higher level of fragrance. You cannot compare the strength of this style of candle with your 100% Soy Wax candle.
  • The top of your candle is mottled, lumpy or has multiple sink holes
    • You have most likely over fragranced your candle and the wax hasn’t been able to absorb it.
    • You may have poured your candle too cool – 70 degrees of lower can contribute to strange setting patterns, like cottage cheese etc. We recommend pouring between 75-80 degrees Celsius.
    • You may have poured 10 of the same candles, with no variation however 1 or 2 have a little sink hole. In this case, it truly is a mystery of candle making! We recommend correcting with a quick top up if theres extra wax and space allows, or using a heat gun from Bunnings to re-melt the surface. A good quick fix!
  • Your wick is never to blame!
    • Our Wick and Tab assemblies are made from Cotton wicking, coated in a vegetable wax so that they stay straight.
    • The fragrance travels up the wick, carried in the candle’s melted wax which keeps the flame burning.
    • Candles will “mushroom” on the wick, too much mushrooming could be caused by your fragrance (and the quality of it, not usually an issue for us!) or by too much fragrance- try using less in your next pour. Once your candle has been extinguished and is cool, snap off the old carbonised wick for a fresh start. This also keeps the flame at the size you measured for initially.
    • Keep out of drafts to minimise flame movement, therefore reducing extra carbon.
    • The shape of the candle vessel ie parallel sides are best. Odd shapes can cause air-starvation of the flame making the flame to dance around. This will throw carbon around on the inside of the glass.
    • If you experience what you feel is too much “smoking” or carbonisation coming from the wick, again this could be caused by your fragrance (and the quality of it, not usually an issue for us!) or by too much fragrance- try using less in your next pour.

The fragrance loading does not necessarily relate to the strength of the scent “throw”. Some waxes like C3 require less but the wax throws the scent effectively. Other waxes such as Paraffin blends hold higher amounts of fragrance but it may not correlate (3x more fragrance may not equal a 3x stronger fragranced candle).

It’s important to note too, that Fragrances are all manufactured by different companies and with different ingredients. Our Coconut and Lime fragrance is not the same as another company’s Coconut and Lime fragrance.

The information written here is the property of All Australian Candle Making.


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