When making soy candles, knowing how much fragrance oil to add to candles is probably one of the most critical factors. If you fail in your measurement and add too little, you will probably end up with a candle that doesn’t have enough fragrance. But what would happen if you added too much?
What happens if you add too much fragrance to soy wax? Adding too much fragrance will cause seeping or leaching (which looks like little bubbles on the surface), which can be highly flammable. This may cause your candle to have a weak scent throw.
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If you are new at candle making and are still learning, you probably encountered cases where you added too much fragrance to your wax. Or maybe you added the fragrance at the wrong moment or the wrong temperature.
These are common problems that even veterans who have been in the candle business for a long time might encounter. Not adding enough fragrance is usually easily recognized. Once your candle is ready and has not had enough aroma, you know you probably have to add more.
But what happens if you add too much? Will it just end up with too much fragrance, or do other things happen? And if you do add too much, what can you do about it?
So what happens if you add too much?
Well, the first thing that comes to mind is it will have too much fragrance, but did you know that’s not always the case? It highly depends on when you add the fragrance or at which temperature, and finally, if you have mixed it correctly.
You might even end up with a very weak fragrance, even though you added too much of it. Also, the oil might separate itself from the wax, and as a result, you would end up with oil bubbles on top of the surface, also called candle sweating. You might think, hey, that’s ok. It will smell even better! Well, let me stop you there. These oil bubbles you see are highly flammable.
So you can imagine that once you want to light your candle, you might end up burning yourself, so be cautious if you see them.
Smoke is another symptom of too much fragrance, as the oils burn on the surface. Lastly, although this may sound strange, adding too much fragrance oil might clog your wick. As a result, your candle will have a weak scent.
What to do if you add too much?
There is an easy fix; you can add more wax to the mix, so you make up for the extra fragrance oil. However, it’s different if you have not used any measurements. It will be nearly impossible to really guess.
You might end up with something lighter just by adding wax, but if you are going in that direction, you might as well just start from scratch altogether.
Also, in case you have already cooled candles, melting them to start mixing again will probably cause the fragrance to be lost in the process, so I would not recommend it unless you know how much scent you used and how much wax.
How much is too much?
If you are not using proper measurement tools (digital scales are highly advised), you will often encounter this problem. Unless you are a veteran and have been making candles for years and work purely based on feeling, you are better off using the right tools to weigh everything.
Depending on the type of wax you are using, each has its fragrance load (the amount of fragrance you can add to the wax). But in this article, we will only focus on Soy wax.
The ideal amount for soy wax is between 6% and 10%. There is no fixed number on this because, to each of us, too much means something different. So it might be possible for you to have more than enough with 7%, while I, on the other hand, would rather say 9% is the sweet spot.
But whatever you do, you should never go beyond 10%. This is way too much, and you’ll end up with a failed batch of candles or maybe have something that might be dangerous (as it’s flammable) that is not taken care of properly. And if you mix fragrance oil with essential oil, the same rule would still apply.
If you want a good example of how much you need per oz candle, this article will give you all the info you need.
When should I add fragrance oil to soy wax?
If you have never heard of the phrase flashpoint, it simply means that it’s the temperature at which the oil/fragrance will or can combust if it’s near a flame or spark. Flashpoints can differ from candle type. Some might be 145° while others 170°. If you wish to know more about this subject, I would highly recommend reading this article.
If you mess up with this part, the end product will be affected, so you might not end up with the scent you were hoping for.
So, you need to add the oil fragrance below the flashpoint to have an optimum result.
If the flashpoint is below 130°, you must add oil below that. However, if it is between 130° and 185°, it is advised to add the fragrance at its flashpoint. Finally, if it’s above 185°, the fragrance must be added at 185°.
If the temperature is incorrect and is too high, the oil may dissipate or even burn off. If it’s too low, the oil might not be able to disperse and bind correctly with the wax.
How is perfect fragrance achieved?
The first and arguably most important thing one should be focused on when trying to get the perfect scent when making candles is using the right tools. I am talking about measuring tools and the right containers when I say tools.
You should avoid using a microwave as it makes it really hard to measure temperature with it. Lastly, the right ingredients, such as the right type of wick, oils, or wax, are essential to have a balanced final product.
The second is the temperature. As previously mentioned, using a microwave is a big nono because you will not be able to measure the temperature at all this way. You see, adding the fragrance at the right temperature is what makes the scent smell the best.
If added to a too high temperature, it may cause it to dissipate or even burn off. If added at a too-low temperature, you may prevent the fragrance oil from binding uniformly with the melted wax. The recommended temperature is around 180° – 185°, which is considered not too hot or too cold.
Adding the fragrance between 180° and 185° is particularly crucial if you are using thick and viscous oils. The main reason is that these types of fragrances need enough heat to be able to disperse through the wax.
The third is stirring. If you don’t stir enough, the oil and fragrance will not be able to mix well together. Even if you are using the right ingredients and using the right tools, and adding the scent at the right temperature, it all won’t matter if you are not stirring long enough.
Two minutes of stirring is what you should aim for. Even though this may sound like a long time, it is crucial to ensure that it gets mixed and binds to the wax properly.
Also, please try to stir gently; this will encourage the oil to incorporate fully.
A well-known tip I can give is to do a quick stir right before you pour the wax into the container; this also helps further for a good mix.