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Making Scented Candles

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 21 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Scented Candles Aromatherapy Scented

Scented candles are a great way to create a warm, relaxed or rejuvenated ambient atmosphere in a room. Candles have a knack of producing a flattering light, great for romantic evenings in. Scented candles also make a fantastic addition to a long, hot soak in the bath.

Because smell is so intrinsically linked to our other senses and memory, it is a major factor in contributing to our overall feeling of wellbeing. So whether you need a relaxing, winding down session, want to stimulate and rejuvenate your mind, or provoke reminiscent feelings of festive seasons gone by, scented candles are one way to achieve the state of mind you desire.

But why not get even more enjoyment out of your candles, by making them yourself? Hand made candles make ideal gifts for friends or family, suited to any occasion. This article looks at how to easily make your own scented candles.

How To Make Scented Candles

To make scented candles you’ll need a few ingredients and some equipment:


Stearic Acid

Paraffin Wax Beads

Colour Block

Wick (with wick sustainer)

Fragrance/Essential Oil


Double Boiler (or two metal pans, one placed over another half filled with boiling water)

Metal Pouring Jug


Glass or Container

To start, you will need to decide just how much wax and stearic acid you need. At first this might be a bit hit and miss with estimations of quantities, but remember, one can never have too many candles! Bear in mind that the ratio of stearic acid to wax is 1:10 – thus if you need 500g of wax, you’ll need to add 50g of stearic acid.

You will then need to tip the measured quantity of stearic acid into the double boiler, adding a few shavings of the desired candle colour into the mix. Remember that the more shavings you add, the stronger the colour will be. You can then add the paraffin wax beads, and leave to gently dissolve for a few minutes. Never allow the water to boil over – the water should only simmer underneath the pan.

The next stage is to add in your fragrance oil. You can buy specific candle fragrance oils from candle suppliers, or perhaps try some essential aromatherapy oils. For fragrance oils, around 1-2 drops per 100ml is needed, although this may vary. At this stage you can also add in some decorative features, such as dried rose petals, dried orange or cinnamon shavings. These will add to the fragrance and create an interesting look to the candle.

Before taking your wax off the heat, make sure that it has achieved a temperature of around 130F - 180F (50 to 80 °C). Then taking your wick and wick sustainer, and place a small dollop of wax on the bottom of the glass, fixing the wick sustainer in place. You can then add a little more wax and leave to set (holding or securing the wick upright), before pouring the remainder of the wax into the metal jug, and then into the glass or container. You may find that you need to pad out the area with newspaper to help capture any wax spillage.

You may find that the centre of the candle sags or sinks slightly. If this is the case, using a barbeque skewer or thin pencil, you can make holes into the candle and add in more wax to make it more solid and stable. You might need to do this a few times before the candle has a flat, solid surface.

The final stage is leaving the candle to set – depending on the volume of wax you’ve used, this may take a few hours. Once the scented candle has set, you can trim the wick, ready for use.

Budget Aromatherapy Scented Candles

One way to make your own hand made budget aromatherapy candles is to collect together scraps of candlewax from old candles, and melt them to form a new candle. You can melt the wax in a double boiler, adding a few drops of essential oil of your choosing. To finish your quick, easy budget aromatherapy scented candle, place a long wick inside a jam jar and pour in the melted wax, holding the wick upright until the wax has sufficiently set.

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