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How to Make Strong Scented Candles: 7 Easy Steps

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Like so many others, I am obsessed with scented candles. I recently decided to have a go at making my own and quickly decided on soy candles as the best option. Making the candles smell strong enough to fragrance my whole house was my top priority.

This is how to make extra strong scented candles: Through lots of research, and some trial and error, I learned the trick is to use 100% pure essential oils. It’s really that simple.

Choosing your favourite scent is half the fun! I change the smell of my house based on the season. In Spring I love candles smelling of lavender, lemon and rose. Walk into my house in winter and you’ll smell the comforting aromas of orange, cinnamon and vanilla.

A rookie mistake I made the first few times I tried to make scented soy candles was not using enough essential oils. You have to use much more oil in your candles than if you were using a synthetic fragrance because essential oils don’t smell as strong.

how to make strong scented candles

You may be wondering why I don’t just use synthetic fragrance oils. As much as I want my home to smell like a floral meadow, the safety of my family always comes first. Essential oils are natural and don’t send any toxins into the air. Luckily, if you use them in the right amount, soy candles with essential oils can still smell amazing!

Choosing the right essential oils is key! Essential oils fall into three categories:

  1. Top Notes – This is the first (and usually strongest) scent you can smell in a candle. They are the cheapest oils and include cinnamon, eucalyptus, orange, lemon and peppermint.
  2. Middle Notes – These usually have a softer scent and you will smell it after the top note evaporates. Middle notes include lavender, rosemary and chamomile.
  3. Base Notes – These last the longest time and evaporate slowly. Base notes include jasmine, rose, vanilla and sandalwood.

For the strongest smelling candles, it is best to create your own blend using scents from each note. This is the part I enjoy the most – It’s basically a really fun experiment!

To help all of you candle lovers out, I’ve prepared a step by step guide of how to make strong scented soy candles and keep your home smelling glorious!

What do you need?

The first step for making the perfect candles is gathering your materials. Here’s a list of things you will need:

  • Containers – Whether that’s Mason jars, old candle holders, jam jars or something entirely different.
  • Soy wax – Either flakes or pellets are fine. You can use a different type of wax, but I really love soy wax.
  • 100% Pure Essential Oils – There are so many great scents to choose from! Prepare your blend ahead of time by choosing your oils and mixing them together.
  • Wicks – Some people choose cotton wicks, others choose wooden wicks.
  • Glue gun or sticky tape – As random as this one sounds, you will need one of these to stick your wick into place.
  • Heatproof container – A jug or pot depending on how you plan to melt the wax.
  • Stirrer – A wooden spoon or something similar works fine.
  • Measuring cup – To measure the wax.

Now you have all of your materials, the next step is… Making your candles! This is a really fun activity that you can do on your own, with friends, as part of a craft group or even for some bonding time with the kids!

Step 1 – Prepare your containers

If you are using old candle jars, make sure all of the old wax is removed. Your jars need to be clean and completely dry

Step 2 – Stick the wicks

Hold the wick next to the jar and measure the length and then add a few extra centimetres. Hold the wick in the centre of the jar and attach it using either the glue gun or the sticky tape. If you choose tape, make sure it is double-sided, or fold it around itself to make it double-sided, as you will need it to stick to the jar and the wick. Make sure the wick is securely in place by attaching wick holders (or clothespins for those of us trying to save a little cash) across the top of the jars.

Step 3 – Measure out your wax

You can use a kitchen scale to measure out your wax flakes or pellets. If you don’t have one to hand, you can work out the capacity of your jar and then double it. So, if your jar holds one cup of liquid, you will need two cups of wax flakes or pellets.

Step 4 – Melt the wax

There are two quick and easy ways to melt your wax.

  1. Fill a pot with a couple of inches of water and place your pouring pot inside the first pot. Melt the wax on high heat, checking the temperature often using a kitchen thermometer. You are looking for a temperature of 180℉ and for the wax to be a complete liquid.
  2. Pour the wax flakes or pellets into a heatproof jug. Warm it in the microwave for one minute, take it out and stir and then warm for another one minute. If the wax is not completely liquified, warm in 15-20 second intervals until it is.

Step 5 – Add the essential oils

Once the wax has cooled to roughly 130℉, the fun part really begins! For the best smell, you’ll need between one and two ounces of essential oil for every pound of wax you use. I know that sounds like a lot, but trust me, the smell will be worth it! Make sure you mix the oil in properly.

Step 6 – Pour the wax

Slowly (I can’t stress this part enough) pour the wax into the jars. You will need to let the wax cool and set for about 12 hours before you touch or move them.

Step 7 – Trim the wick

Trim the wick to your desired length and then enjoy your beautiful creation!

Following this guide should help you to make strong-smelling soy candles for you to enjoy, or even as a great gift! All you need to do now is decide what to do with all the money you’ve saved from not buying expensive pre-made candles!