Pros & Cons of Essential Oils For Candle Making
Essential oils have become incredibly popular in recent years for candle making, body care, and aromatherapy as well as a variety of other uses. So…do essential oils for candle making deserve the hype?
WHAT ARE THEY?
Essential oils are natural, highly concentrated extracts from plants that are often fragrant. They can be found in the roots, leaves, stems, flowers, or fruits of plants and are extracted using a process called distillation.
Essential oils are potent, 100% natural, and can come from lavender, cedarwood, geranium, ylang ylang, orange, cinnamon leaf, cypress, patchouli, lemon, vetiver, clove, sage, and balsam…This doesn’t even scratch the surface, there are hundreds more!
In this blog, we’ll specifically address the pros and cons of essential oils for candle making.
THE PROS: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OILS FOR CANDLE MAKING?
We’ll start with the good stuff.
- Essential oils are 100% natural. Who doesn’t love that? This is by far the biggest benefit of using essential oils for your candles. In the age of transparency, many candle makers and cosmetic companies alike are beginning to shift to become more natural when it comes to the ingredients they use to create products. Using natural ingredients is a highly appealing characteristic. It’s factor that many consumers are increasingly aware of when making home and beauty purchases.
- Essential oils are highly fragrant (more on that later) and prized for their therapeutic and mood boosting qualities.Studies have shown that lavender can provide calming, anti-anxiety effects and citrus can make you feel more energetic and positive.For more on how fragrances can affect your mood, check out our blog Fragrances to Create a Feeling.
THE CONS: WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF ESSENTIAL OILS FOR CANDLE MAKING?
- Little to no hot throw. Ok, hate to be the bearer of bad news here and we know we just said that they are highly fragrant, but if you plan to use 100% essential oils for your candle fragrance you may end up with a less than subtle hot throw. Many essential oils degrade when exposed to the higher temperatures reached when burning a candle which is why not much scent is diffused, resulting in a disappointing hot throw. Having tested thousands of candles, this is something we have experienced firsthand as well as some essential oils giving off a funky scent while burning.
- Essential oils are expensive. If you plan to use 100% essential oils to fragrance your candles, plan to be in the higher price range as they are not cheap! Essential oils are pure extracts (not synthetically created) and it can take a lot of natural material to produce a little bit of oil. For example, it takes 250 pounds of lavender flowers to make 1 pound of lavender essential oil. And it takes 10,000 pounds of rose petals to make 1 pound of rose oil! (Source: EcoWatch) So next time you purchase pure essential oils, keep in mind you may be purchasing hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds of the plant itself. You don’t even have to go through the extraction process yourself.
OUR EXPERT ADVICE ON ESSENTIAL OILS FOR CANDLE MAKING
- Use blends of fragrance oils and essential oils. Be sure to look out for fragrances that are phthalate free and cruelty free, like those made by LAB & CO. This allows you to make candles that give off great scent throw (cold and hot), plus you can still harness the marketing power of using candles made with natural essential oils. It’s also more cost effective than using 100% pure essential oils.
- If you have your heart set on using 100% natural essential oils, look for blends of multiple oils versus just a simple one ingredient oil. This adds to the complexity and sophistication of the fragrance. Check out this 100% natural essential oil blend: Ylang Ylang from the Spa Collection. We also suggest adding in your fragrance to the wax blend at a slightly cooler temperature when using straight essential oils to prevent the degradation of the scent. Be sure to whisk the fragrance in with your melted wax for a minimum of 120 seconds.
Do you make candles with pure essential oils or essential oil blends? Check out our selection of eco friendly wooden wicks, natural wax blends, and exclusive fragrances – all of which contain natural essential oils.