This is a subject that we receive a lot of questions on. There are many factors that can affect the scent throw in finished candles. Below is a list of some of the variables that can impact scent throw:
Type of Wax Used - Fragrance oils, even those of high quality, can perform very different based on the type of wax used. Some fragrance oils, no matter how much trial and error, just will not blend with certain types of waxes. Soy waxes are known to be more ‘picky’ about the fragrance oils that work well in them. As a general rule, paraffin waxes still provide better scent throw than soy waxes.
Fragrance Oil Brand - Some fragrance oils are manufactured stronger than others using more natural ingredients and lower amounts of solvent, which tones down the fragrance strength.
Fragrance Notes - Not all fragrance oils are meant to have overpowering strength. Some of them are designed to provide a soft, subtle scent.
Amount of Fragrance Oil Used - Using too little fragrance oil will lead to a candle with very little scent throw. We recommend using our fragrance oils at 1 oz. per pound for optimal scent throw. There are fragrance oils on the market which are manufactured at lower strength levels and may require up to 1.5 to 2 oz. of fragrance per pound. Also, using too much fragrance oil does not necessarily mean it will increase the scent throw in a finished candle. Adding too much fragrance oil can lead to impaired burning characteristics.
Temperature at Which the Fragrance Was Added - Adding fragrance oil add too high of a temperature may cause it to dissipate, or burn off, in the melted wax. Adding fragrance oil at too low of a temperature may prevent the fragrance oil from disbursing and binding uniformly in the melted wax. We recommend adding fragrance oil around 180° - 185°, which we have found to be a good temperature that is not too hot or too cool.
Additives Used - The use of additives, such as vybar, can enable wax to retain higher fragrance loads. However, many waxes on the market today come pre-blended and already contain additives. They are able to retain fragrance loads of 8% - 12% and the use of additives is generally not needed as this is sufficient fragrance retention. There are certain waxes, such as straight paraffin wax, where additives can aid the wax in holding higher amounts of fragrance oil.
Proper Wick Selection/Size - Having the right wick size to achieve the proper burn pool can help with the scent throw. Too small of a wick will create a small burn pool, which will lead to poor scent throw. Too large of a wick may burn too hot and actually burn off the fragrance, which also can lead to poor scent throw. Finding a wick that has a nice steady flame and creates a full burn pool of approximately 1/4" to 1/2" deep can help with achieving good scent throw.
Time Allowed for Curing - While there are many schools of thought on this, we have found the following to produce the best results:
- Paraffin Wax - Allow to cure for at least 24 - 48 hours
- Soy Wax - Allow to cure for at least 1 - 2 weeks