Beeswax can be tricky, sticky and quite fragrant in itself! Add a secondary fragrance to beeswax candles at the right melting temperature to create the perfect candle!
The best temperature to add fragrance to melted beeswax is 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit. (about 71-74 degrees Celsius) Essential oils should strictly follow the rule of 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid dissipation while synthetic fragrance oils have a higher flashpoint and can bond with the beeswax up to 180 degrees or their manufacture’s recommended flashpoint, if desired.
While Chemistry 101 can be fun, let’s leave candle making chemistry for a different post! Like I said, beeswax is tricky, and heat is both the savior and the enemy! I’ll tell you why you should add fragrance at 160 degrees and what to look out for in the future!
The bees knees of adding fragrance to beeswax
Beeswax melts at a temperature of 144 degrees Fahrenheit but should not be heated higher than 185 degrees as high temperatures can cause unsightly colored candles. Beeswax is sensitive to heat, while you can control heating and cooling of the wax, some variables can change the outcome of your candle.
The temperature of the room can affect the pour and setting of your candle. Likewise, your jars or containers have varying temperatures as well. Keep this in mind while you hone your candle making skills! Keep your work room (or kitchen) at a constant temperature. If you find your wax cools too quickly or vice versa, adjust your room temperature accordingly!
As your melted beeswax cools, watch for beautiful swirls of cooled beeswax. These caramel colored wisps are a sign of the beeswax cooling to approximately 165 degrees. Once you add room temperature fragrance oils or essential oils, you will see immediate thickening, quickly stir to combine the fragrance to the beeswax, re-melting the newly added oils. Your melted beeswax can be reheated slightly to keep a consistent liquid as you prepare to pour.
Throughout your candle making journey, you will be testing your abilities and experimenting with new potions as your imagination desires! Be sure to plan test candles as there are several factors for why your candle doesn’t smell exactly the way you anticipated!
Fragrance added too hot
If your chosen fragrance is added while the wax is too hot, it will cause evaporation and “burn off” of the scent before the candle is burned and enjoyed. The expanded, molten wax is ready to adhere to the scent, but the ambient temperature of the pot could cause the fragrance to dissolve rather than adhere.
Fragrance not stirred
While most fragrance oils are created to combine with wax, it is possible for the fragrance to pool at the bottom of your mixing pot. This could create uneven candles or uneven batches of candles. Always be sure to stir your fragrances into your pot of wax!
Not enough fragrance added
At the time of this writing, there was not significant sources to solidify a fragrance load for beeswax. The general rule is 6%, or 1 oz fragrance oil to 1 pound of candle wax. There are companies who use an 11% fragrance into their beeswax. While this simple ratio seems easy, and more fragrance the better, that isn’t necessarily true. Wax can only hold onto a small percentage (6-12%) of fragrance, this is called the fragrance load. If you add more fragrance than a wax can take, you will likely run into an overbearing scent, sweat droplets on your candles, and uneven burning, not to mention waste of fragrance.
The percentage of fragrance is completely up to you and your business model to how you like your candles to be scented. Beeswax has a sweet, natural and memorable scent on it’s own, so it’s a beautiful thing to accentuate the natural beeswax scent with other subtle scents. I wrote another article about how much essential oil should be added into beeswax candlemaking! You can find that article here!
Everything was done correctly, yet still something is wrong
Candle making is an art and a science! There will be variables! That is the fun part of it! Keep some of these ideas in mind while creating your masterpieces!
Weigh your fragrances rather than measuring with a spoon or dropper. Keep a notebook near your workstation to record your creations. This will keep you consistent and help you watch where your product is going!
Let your beeswax candles cure naturally! You just changed the state of your natural beeswax from a solid, to a molten hot liquid, back down to a solid. Give it some time to be itself again! Not only does the beeswax need to set and harden, it now has a new chemistry with the fragrance you just added!
Don’t let the wax simmer for too long once you add fragrance as you can simmer the scent right out of it! If you must keep your wax heated for extended periods of time, add a lid to reduce evaporation of your fragrance!
Last point to consider is your wick. We could talk for days about wicks because size does matter! A wick that burns too hot or too fast can burn off your fragrance. On the other hand, a wick that is too small or too cool can leave precious material on the outside of your container. This type of tunneling won’t unleash the fragrance that has bound with the wax.
Much like Ford vs Chevy, the topic of adding fragrance to candlewax is widely debatable. You may find a completely different method than I have explained above that works best for you and your candle concepts! Here at Brookota’s Creations we are ever expanding our knowledge on candles, particularly all natural candles. Keep reading in our blog to learn more about candlemaking and check out our own creations!
While preparing my next order of beeswax for candlemaking, I decided to compare the major suppliers and see which company can had the best deal! The average price of one pound of beeswax online is...
A few concerns were brought to my attention lately about manufacturing soaps and candles while pregnant. It can't be that bad, can it? I thought I might do a little research for myself! You can...