How Much Essential Oil Do You Put In Beeswax Candles?

While putting together my candle scents I started practicing and learning about the different essential oils that would be best for beeswax candles. The amount of essential oils added to beeswax candles is essential to the finished product.

You should add 1 oz (30 ml or 600 drops) of quality essential oil per 1 pound of melted beeswax. The industry standard is 6% – 12% fragrance load, which is approximately .96 oz to 1.92 oz fragrance per 1 pound of wax. Only heat distilled essential oils should be used in candle making and only those essential oils which do not release potentially harmful components for inhalation.   

A natural, earthy candle can be achieved by using beeswax, so it is to be expected that using natural essential oils, rather than synthetic oils, would improve on the scent of the candle. I have learned so much about aromatherapy and essential oils that I would love to share with you.

Measuring the wax and fragrance

One pound of wax will yield about 20 fluid ounces.

The calculation for wax needed is the number of containers multiplied by the size of the containers divided by 20.

6 (jelly jars) x 4 (oz per jar) = 24 total fluid ounces needed / 20 = 1.2 pounds of wax needed.

To determine the amount of fragrance, first decided your desired fragrance load (somewhere between 6% – 12%) Let’s choose 8% fragrance load. After we multiply by the fragrance load, we will convert to ounces by multiplying by 16.

1.2 (pounds of wax) x 8% (or 0.08) = 0.096 Pounds of fragrance

Convert pounds to ounces 0.096 (lbs of fragrance) x 16 = 1.54 ounces of fragrance

You can now use the fragrance chart below and a kitchen scale to measure and add your essential oil to your beeswax candle!

It is recommended to add essential oil to cooled wax, as cool as you can! You can warm your essential oil slightly, if desired, by placing the closed bottle in warm tap water prior to adding to your melted wax. After melting, use a thermometer to temp the beeswax to 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit (71-74 degrees Celsius). Work quickly once you add the essential oil to avoid reheating your wax and potentially losing your potency! You can learn more about what temperature to add fragrance to beeswax by reading my other post! Click here to be transfered to that post!

Essential, oil, conversion, measure, measuring, chart

Essential Oils 101

Pure, undiluted essential oils are always recommended over diluted, or rather cheap, essential oils. This said, essential oils are quite a bit more expensive than commercially produced fragrance oils. If this is your first attempt at making beeswax candles, it is easier on your wallet to practice and hone your skills with fragrance oils designed for candle making, rather than diving right into expensive essential oil scented candles.

When researching essential oil brands to use for candle making, there are a few things to keep in mind!

  • Purchase essential oils that are pure. Check the labels for the Latin plant name as well as the common plant name and the country of origin.
  • Choose essential oils that are packaged in dark glass bottles, rather than plastic or clear bottles as potency can be lost through anything other than dark glass.
  • Do not buy in bulk, purchase only what you can use within a year, as essential oils are 100% plant based and can lose potency or go rancid.
  • Choose essential oils which are heat distilled as they can handle the higher temperatures needed in candle making. Solvent or press expressed essential oils are fragile and shouldn’t be used in candle making.

Which Esssential Oils are best for candlemaking?

Favored essential oils for candle making, especially to check the boxes of low risk and low cost, are lavandin, lemongrass, benzoin, lime, ylang ylang, geranium, orange, spearmint, lemon-scented eucalyptus, patchouli, spruce and pine. Clove and cinnamon can also be used at low concentrations and can be blended with a citrus oil.  

Lavandin is simply a stronger lavender oil. It is also a bit less expensive for the application of candlemaking. Good quality lavenders can make your candle cost skyrocket when, essentially, you will be burning the final product!

Lemongrass is a great alternative to citronella as it isn’t as soapy, the same goes for lemon-scented eucalyptus. These can both be blended with geranium for a strong, long-lasting fragrance! Lime might be the best choice for your citrus note, but most citrus oils peak late and disappear early, so keep that in mind when pouring money into citrus essential oils! You can blend several Orange oils together for a complete, longer lasting citrus fragrance.

Clove and Cinnamon are holiday favorites, and you can add Spruce or Pine for an enjoyable holiday blend. If you are wanting to use Clove or Cinnamon for different times of the year, try to create a new scent by adding citrus notes or strong floral like geranium or ylang ylang.

Spearmint has a fresh, very herbaceous note and can add a lovely cool touch to your candle. Unfortunately, Spearmint and Peppermint don’t last very long and might not be the best choice alone. Patchouli will give you the earthy, first rain, smell you have been looking for! And to finish all of your candles, ylang ylang will smooth out most blends.

As for vanilla, my personal favorite, you will have to be creative if choosing the essential oil route vs the synthetic, fragrance oil, route. Benzoin might be your closest choice to vanilla. Benzoin is similar to molasses in the respect that it is sticky and dark and needs to be warmed to flow. Peru Balsam might also be considered for your vanilla note.

Which Essential Oils to avoid in candlemaking

Sandlewood, chamomile, neroli, rose and a good lavender should be avoided. These are much too subtle and/or expensive to use in candlemaking. Like I mentioned above, citrus will be difficult to perfect since it is such a light note.

It is also important to note, essential oils are not modified and are made in small batches compared to fragrance oils. Fragrance oils are synthetic and created in a factory, so they are very consistent. Mother nature, and essential oils, are temperamental, variable and behave differently each and every time! Keep meticulous notes and measure twice, pour once as you can not reheat a scented beeswax because it will burn off the essential oils before they are enjoyed.

Avoid using too much essential oil, or fragrance in general. Too much is not only wasteful economically and sustainably, but it can cause the candle to “sweat” with fragrance oils! Also, while rare, could cause flame ups during the burning process. Lastly the cold and hot throw could be much too overwhelming, creating an undesirable candle! Remember, everything you are adding to beeswax will need to pair with the sweet, honey scent that beeswax naturally produces!

Additional Tips

Beeswax is a natural byproduct of bees. It doesn’t always hold onto fragrance well. If you find that your scent throw is poor, you can add coconut oil to your melted wax. Start with adding 10% pure coconut oil, purchased from your local grocery store. This can help the overall appearance, improve your burn, and most importantly, allow your essential oils to adhere better and release when heated while the candle is burning! Some chandlers will add up to 25% coconut oil to their beeswax candles.

I also want to mention an aromatherapy idea I found while researching essential oils in candlemaking. Aromatherapy is a therapeutic medicinal treatment by trained professionals. While essential oils will be a natural way to scent candles, it isn’t aromatherapy! Using the sense of smell to treat a desired ailment is powerful, but in no way could an ounce, divided by 3 candles, dispersed into a large room give a dosage enough for an aromatherapy treatment. This can, however, produce a placebo effect, which is also a very powerful strategy! If lavender is calming during an aromatherapy treatment, then the smell and memory of lavender will also be calming to a patient. Our minds our powerful and smarter than we ever give credit to.

Essential oils and open flames do not mix. Do not ever add essential oils to burning candles or wax above 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


Erin is a crafty, fun-loving, mom who takes pride in her kid's creativity and talents.

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