Scent Guide for Candle Making

Important Fragrance Oil Information

We have regulatory documents such as the IFRA Certificate and Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) available for all of our fragrance oils. The IFRA Certificate contains a list of specific applications for each fragrance oil as well as the maximum usage levels for each application. You will need to refer to this document to make sure you are not using too much fragrance oil when using these scents to make anything. If you go beyond the maximum usage levels you can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and increase the risk of respiratory issues. If you are looking for a list of ingredients, you can find this information on the MSDS. The MSDS will also contain important safety information like what you should do in case there is a fire, accidental release measures, handling and storage guidelines, as well as any ingredients that are restricted by California Proposition 65.

Please refer to the detailed information for each fragrance oil for:

  • Specific Pricing for various sizes
  • A detailed description of top, middle, and base notes
  • A printable Material Safety Data Sheet - MSDS (California Prop. 65 restrictions found in each MSDS)
  • IFRA Certificates and Information (In compliance with the standards of the International Fragrance Association)
  • Phthalate-free information
  • Soap & lotion compatibility
  • Vanillin content
  • Gel compatibility¹
  • Flash point²

¹Fragrances that are indicated as gel compatible are compatible with Penreco Versagel for making gel candles. It is important to realize, though, that many of our fragrances may contain just a slight amount of a "polar" ingredient which would cause them to be listed as not gel safe when in reality, the fragrance may mix into the gel just fine. The bottom line is test, test, test for yourself to find out which ones work for you.

²Flash point information is very important when using these fragrances in gel candles. Most gel manufacturers recommend using a NON-POLAR fragrance with at least a 170° flash point. The flash point is the temperature at which a fragrance can ignite when it comes in contact with an open flame or a spark. It is still perfectly safe to heat a fragrance higher than its flash point provided there is no open flame, spark, or another ignition source.

How to Get the Best Scent Throw

Beginning candle makers can struggle with getting a strong scent throw from their candles. Follow these recommendations to get the most scent out of your candle:

  1. Follow the recommended fragrance oil load specific to the type of wax being used. The fragrance oil load is listed in the product description or you can view our soy wax guide or paraffin wax guide for a comprehensive list of the max fragrance capacities.
  2. Consider the temperature of the hot wax at the time you add the fragrance. The flash point for each fragrance can differ slightly and is listed in the product details, but we recommend adding your fragrance oil when your soy or paraffin wax is at 185ºF regardless of the listed flash point. Stir for at least 2 minutes to allow the fragrance to distribute evenly.
  3. Let your candle cure before you test burn. Curing is important to allow the fragrance oil to "spread out" into the wax evenly and provide the best scent throw possible. For best results, we recommend allowing your candles to cure for about a week.

How to Make a Custom Candle Scent

Whether you are a small business distributing your handmade candles, or if you are a DIYer that loves to make special gifts for friends and family, it is fun to make a unique scent that can set your candles apart and smell amazing! We love candle making because it gives us the opportunity to play and show our creativity. You cannot go wrong when playing with candle scent combinations, embrace the experimentation of candle making and find what works best for you.

Test Candle Method

The first and most straightforward method to test a custom scent is to measure out 2-4 separate fragrance oils into an empty container, add your mixture to hot wax, and make a test candle. Make sure you note the ratio of each fragrance so that the recipe can be scaled for larger batches. This method is a great option to test out a recipe if you are relatively confident that you will like the end results however, this method can be wasteful and expensive if you are in the beginning stages of testing or unsure if you will like the combination.

Q-tip Method

The Q-tip method is less wasteful than the test candle method and a great way to test out new scent combinations that you are unsure of. Simply dip a Q-tip into 2-4 fragrance oils you want to test and seal them into a small container or mason jar. Let the Q-tips sit for at least an hour before you open the jar and smell the combination. If you like the new fragrance, but want a certain scent to be stronger, you can add additional Q-tips to the container in a new ratio. Make sure to take note of the number of Q-tips for each fragrance so that you can replicate the new scent combination in a test candle.

Recommended Scent Combinations:

We currently carry over 375 high-quality fragrance oils for you to choose from which means there are nearly endless combinations for custom scents. It can be tricky to select fragrances that complement each other, but Lone Star has curated our own fragrance recipes that we encourage you to try! Some of our favorites are:

  1. Gemini Season - 1 part Eucalyptus Spearmint, 2 parts Lemon Lavender (type)
  2. Kylo - 1 part Leather, 1 part Firewood
  3. Southern Sass - 4 part Vanilla Bean, 1 part Leather
  4. Wayward Son - 1 part Flannel (type), 1 part Bow Ties & Bourbon (type)
  5. Spring Fling - 1 part Sunwashed Linen (type), 1 part Twilight Woods (type)
  6. Autumn Leaves - 4 parts Oakmoss, 1 part Fruit Slices
  7. Pumpkin Snickerdoodle - 1 part Snickerdoodle, 1 part Pumpkin Pie Spice
  8. Pumpkin Chai Latte - 1 part Pumpkin Chai, 1 part Vanilla Bean
  9. Winter Garland - 2 parts Clove, 1 part Fruit Slices
  10. Camp Crystal Lake - 2 parts Mountain Lake (type), 1 part Nagchampa

For fresh inspiration on scent combinations, visit our Instagram where we release a weekly fragrance recipe for you to try!

Phthalate-free Fragrance Oils

It is now widely accepted that some phthalates can have negative health consequences when ingested in large amounts. Lone Star is proud to offer a large list of phthalate-free fragrance oils. Phthalates are extraordinarily prevalent in cosmetic and household products and whenever it is possible, it is encouraged to avoid using products that contain phthalates. Our phthalate-free fragrance oils are top-performing and safe!

Measuring and Adding Fragrance Oil to Your Wax