Can you mix fragrance oils with essential oils for candles?

Most people think that fragrance oils and essential oils can’t be mixed together, but is this really true? Some say that some of the best-smelling candles are made with a blend of both types of oil.

Fragrance oils and essential oils can be mixed to create a product that has a strong scent and a longer shelf life. There are many possible combinations, but to achieve a balanced scent, oils must be a combination of the top, middle, and base notes, and the recommended one is 20% (top), 50 to 80% (middle), and 5 to 20% (base.)

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There are a lot of different opinions out there about whether or not it’s safe to mix fragrance oils with essential oils. Some people say that it’s okay if you’re using the same type of oil (i.e., only citrus essential oils with citrus fragrance oils), while others say it’s never a good idea. Most people don’t know that you can mix fragrance oils with essential oils to create your own custom candles.

What is the difference between essential oils and fragrances? 

The main difference between fragrance oils and essential oils is that the first ones are manufactured, whereas the second ones are natural. Fragrance oils are usually fabricated synthetic scents that have added chemicals. 

These additions allow fragrance oils to produce a much stronger smell and hold the product longer. On the other hand, essential oils are natural products extracted from a diverse assortment of plants thanks to processes such as steam distillation, solvent extraction, and, lastly, expressed oils.

Another big difference is in their pricing. Fragrance oils are less expensive than essential oil because they’re made in a laboratory and can be produced anytime.

They also don’t rely on seasons or harvesting times like those with natural sources, making them very convenient. 

Can essential oils and fragrances be mixed?

Since you can use essential oils in candles, you can also mix them with fragrance oils. Whether you use one or the other is a matter of preference and budget. They can also be replaced or interchanged one with one another if that works for your formula. 

Why would you want to mix essential oils and fragrances?

You can mix two or even three fragrances and essential oils together to achieve a stronger, more lasting scent for your product. You might also want to include fragrance oils into the blend to stay on your budget and not go over it since a product made entirely of essential oils is more expensive, and the scent might fade sooner than with a mix of both oils.

And holding a stronger scent for a longer period does not mean adding more fragrance oil. In fact, it’ll only have a stronger scent, but it won’t stay for long. Here is how much you need for an 8 oz candle.

Also, adding too much oil will eventually lead to problems, such as sweating, which might be combustible in the right conditions, especially when it reaches its flashpoint, if not taken care of.

Can you mix essential oils and fragrance oils together for candles?

Yes, you can mix essential and fragrance oils when making candles. The number of oils you put into your candle mix will depend on the qualities you are looking to achieve with your final product — whether it is to make its smell as strongly and noticeably as you like or whether you want to make its shelf life last as long as possible, although you shouldn’t add more than two or three oils to the blend.

What to look out for when you start blending essential oils and fragrances?

The first thing you need to decide before you begin blending essential oils and fragrances to create something is what you want to achieve from the whole process. You should ask yourself questions like when and where you’ll use it and what the primary purpose will be (help someone relax or become energized, therapeutic reasons, for ambiance, etc.) and choose the right oils for the intended purpose (for example, lavender can help one relax, eucalyptus or lemon can make one energized, and so on.) 

Once you have a clear or approximate idea in your head, you can start gathering the materials. Another important thing you should look out for is how well the chosen ingredients or individual scents mix or complement each other in the final blend. Watch out for those that are complete opposites.

Furthermore, oils can be classified into “notes,” a categorization that represents how long a scent takes to evaporate and how strong it is. There are three notes: top, middle (also called heart), or base (head.) 

Although almost all oils can go into the product, if you are looking to achieve the perfect balance, many recommend that the mixture combine all three notes. 

If you put too much base oil, then the scent might feel heavy and overwhelming, and, on the other hand, too much of a top note can make the nose itchy since the scent will be too strong.

How to mix essential oils with fragrances for candle making

When you start to mix oils to get the perfect scent, we have already mentioned that you need a nice balance between top, middle and bottom notes. To keep track of the number of oils you should include, you can use the following percentages: around 5 to 20% for top notes (what you smell first), 50 to 80% for the middle (the body of the scent), and 5 to 20% for base notes (what lingers after the other notes dissipate.) 

Some common oils for the top note can be grapefruit, lime, bergamot, coriander, petitgrain, spearmint, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, or tangerine, to name a few. For middle note oils, you can use cardamom, geranium, juniper, rosemary, chamomile, melissa, oregano, cilantro, and cypress. And finally, for base notes, some common oils are cassia, myrrh, sandalwood, rose, frankincense, ginger, jasmine, cedarwood, vetiver, or ylang-ylang.

Essential and fragrance oils should be added in drops to the mix. Depending on the amount of wax you are using, there is a ratio between the fragrance and the candle that you be taken into account. You shouldn’t add more than 1-2 oz ounces of fragrance per pound of wax in most cases. For example, you should add around 30 to 40 drops for an 8 oz candle. In short, the percentage of fragrance used shouldn’t account for more than 6% of the entire candle. 

We recommend starting with the minimum number of recommended drops and adding more if you feel that the scent is still too faint. Make notes of whatever you do to keep track of the formula. Remember to stick to the percentages mentioned above when adding the drops of oil so you don’t throw the balance out entirely. It’s all just a matter of trying and experimenting with the blends!

Here is a video with instructions on how to mix essential oils and fragrances:


You can mix fragrances and essential oils when making candles. However, there are no absolutes when it comes to blending fragrance and essential oils to get that perfect scent for your homemade candle. You can follow the percentages to keep the scent nice and balanced, but you can also mix and play with both types of oils a little until you finally get the desired result or that gives you satisfaction.

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