How much fragrance oil to use in your candle?

The exact fragrance load to use depends on the type of wax, the type of fragrance oil, and personal preferences of optimal scent throw. Candle-making involves testing and experimenting until you find that sweet spot where it all comes together. 

Using too little fragrance may result in a low scent throw, while using too much may get a strong hot throw and overload the wax, and cause candle sweating or curdling. The fragrance oil ratio may also impact what candle wicks to use and how the melt pool of the candle turns out. Finding the perfect balance is definitively one of the recurring challenges for all candle makers during the candle making process.

The recommended fragrance load for a soy wax candle is generally between 5% to 10% of the weight of the wax used in the candle. However, some blended waxes like coconut soy wax can usually take up to 12% (which will usually give a very strong scent throw).  

When measuring how much candle wax and fragrance oil we need, it is essential to note that we will work with the weight (in oz or grams), not in volume measures (e.g., fluid ounces)

Step 1 - Figure out your candle vessel capacity.

The candle vessel capacity is based on the size of the candle container and how much wax (in weight) will fit inside. For example, let's say that we know by testing that our candle should be 180 grams in net weight (only wax and oil). In this case, 180 grams (6.35 oz.) is our starting point. 

PS! Even if the size of the candle container is said to be e.g. 10 oz we typically do not want to fill it all the way up. Check out our short article here for tips on how to calculate the wax amount needed for a candle container. 

Step 2 - Decide on the fragrance oil load %

As already mentioned here you would probably need to test this. 6% is a good place to start, but let's use 10% as an example here (which should give a pretty strong hot throw).

Step 3 - Calculate how much candle wax to use

So now we know that our candle weight should be 180 grams (6.35 oz.) and we would like a 10% fragrance load. We can use the following formula to know how much candle wax to use:

[Wax amount (g)] = [Container capacity (g)] / [1 + Fragrance oil (%)]
 
In our example this will be:
[Wax amount (g)] = [180 gram] / [1 + 10%] = 180 gram / 1.08 = 166,67 gram
and in ounces:
[Wax amount (oz)] = [6.35 oz] / [1 + 10%] = 6.35 oz / 1.08 = 5.87 oz

 

Step 4 - Calculate the fragrance oil weight 

Now that we know what the net weight of our candle should be, and we have calculated the weight of wax to use it is straightforward to figure out the fragrance amount in weight to use: 

Fragrance amount (g) = Container capacity (g) - Wax amount (g)
 
In our example this will be:
Fragrance amount (g) = 180 gram - 166,67 gram = 13,33 gram
and in ounces:
Fragrance amount (oz) = 6.35 oz - 5.87 oz = 0.48 oz

 

The table below shows the the weight of fragrance oil to add for the candle tins in our candle making kit. This can be a guide if you want to experiment with making individual candles one at the time. 

Fragrance load (weight of oil)
Wax weight 6% 8% 10%
Candle Tin Size (oz.) (g) (oz.) (g) (oz.) (g) (oz.) (g)
8 oz 5.3 154 0.32 9 0.42 12 0.53 15
6 oz 4 115 0.24 7 0.32 9 0.4 12
4 oz 2.7 75 0.16 5 0.22 6 0.27 8
Total 12 344 0.72 21 1.0 28 1.2 34