Soy wax and Essential oils

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Silver

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Dear candle makers!
I have been trying to make some soy wax container candles and although the candles smell great on their own, they seem to have no hot scent throw. I have used the maximum allowable fragrance content as per factory directions for the soy chips and have cured the candle for a couple of days but the scent still seems quite faint. My question is this - is it possible to achieve a good hot scent throw with essential oils, or are candle specific fragrance oils the only way to go? Any tips or tricks to getting that essential oil to shine through or am I just wasting the EO's? If possible I would love to make the essential oils work as I am a little sensitive to some fragrance oils and get a headache from burning them.
Many thanks,
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KristaY

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I haven't any problems with hot or cold throw using soy but I haven't tried EO's only because they're too precious to me. What type of soy wax are you using and what temps are you adding scent and pouring?
 

green soap

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I have had good results (good heat throw) using citronella essential oil for candles. My other EO attempts (lavender, rosemary, clary sage) have been a waste of EOs. I would like to find others that work besides citronella, but there is at least one for you.
 

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I use the Soy Container Candle Wax (NatureWax by Cargill C3) from New Directions and I added in the EO at 130 F. The maximum scent load indicated by the manufacturer was 6% by weight so that is what I went with. This amount of EO made the candle look kind of lumpy and slightly bubbly, but I was going to look past that if it only gave off some scent when lit.
That's an interesting mention Green Soap - I wonder if it's just that some EO's give a better hot throw then others. I will also try to make some more candles with different oils and see, but I would still like to find out if maybe there is something wrong with my procedure.
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KristaY

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Hmmm.... I haven't used that exact brand of soy wax but everything I've read says the max scent load for soy is 12% (2oz per lb of wax). One brand says it can hold up to 15%. Also, the melting point of the wax I use is 122 F so I add scent at 155-160 F (as long as the flash point is above that to avoid it "burning off") and pour at 140-145. I think you might be adding scent when the wax is too cool. By adding at 130 it's going to bring it down several degrees which might hit at or below it's melting point. I also learned the hard way that it's easy to understir in the scent. I had to remelt a few candles in a bain-marie and remix, lol. So that's another reason I add the FO at a higher temp; it forces me to stir longer so the scent has plenty of time to blend with the wax.
 

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Oh I see! I was so afraid of adding the EO's at a higher temperature for fear of them 'burning out', I might have been shooting myself in the foot. And that's also a good thing to keep in mind - I might not be mixing the oils well enough into the wax as well, it would certainly explain the slight misshapen texture that the candles have. I will try to increase the EO amount as well and see if it helps. This is lots to consider, thank you very much!
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Chefmom

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In my experience with making candles, fragrances that are designed to be diluted in wax and burned work best in candles. Essential oils are volatile natural oils that are not designed to be burned. If you wish a true essential oil scent and dispersion, like for aromatherapy I personally would use a reed diffuser, tealight water diffuser or an electric diffuser. Using water to hold the oils and gently warming them so the volatile aroma isn't changed by combustion would be better for the expensive oils.
 

topofmurrayhill

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You usually won't achieve good scent throw in candles with EOs, and some of them really shouldn't be burned. There's no reason that FOs would give you a headache and EOs not, since both are chemically complex, unless there is a particular substance perfumists use that bothers you. Just find the FOs that you aren't sensitive to.

There are a few EOs that can be made to work, but that's too advanced a project for a beginner. Making safe and well-performing candles is harder than most people suspect. You have enough to learn before you can get into EOs, including how to make FOs throw well.
 

Saipan

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I add a bit of stearic acid and vybar to help extend throw but it also depends on the scent. Some just don't throw when hot, some don't throw when cold.
 

joy.

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Dear candle makers!
I am a little sensitive to some fragrance oils and get a headache from burning them.
Many thanks,
Silver
I get a headache from most FOs, too. I don't think it's the actual fragrance molecules that are the problem - it's all the other fixatives and junk they add to the mix.

I've had pretty good luck with some EOs: Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Cinnamon Bark & Clove seem to throw really well in my soy wax candles. I add about 10% beeswax though. Maybe that's the trick.
 

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