Essential Oils in Candles: Is It Right For You?

Imagine stepping into a room filled with the comforting scent of lavender, or the invigorating aroma of lemongrass. These delightful experiences are not confined to luxury spas but can be brought to your home with the simple strike of a match. Welcome to the enchanting world of essential oils in candles!

This practice, which combines the artistry of creating candles with the science of aromatherapy, offers a unique way to enhance your living space. Whether you're seeking relaxation, energy, or simply a beautiful scent that fills your home, using essential oils in candles can deliver. In this blog post, we'll illuminate the ways you can incorporate these natural essences into your own home through candles, and why they might just light up your life.

Introduction to Essential Oils in Candle Making

The art of candle making has been around for centuries, evolving from a practical source of light to a tool used for ambiance, celebration, and relaxation. Today, it's not just about the light or the color of the wax; it's also about the scent that fills the room when the wick is lit. This is where essential oils come in. They bring an added layer of complexity and customization to the candle-making process, elevating it to a new level of sensory delight.


lavender essential oils with the plant beside it

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that carry the unique scents or "essences" of their origin plants. From the calming aroma of lavender to the uplifting scent of citrus, essential oils offer a broad spectrum of possibilities for scenting candles. But their role goes beyond just providing a pleasant smell. They can also offer therapeutic benefits, connecting candle making to the ancient practice of aromatherapy.

The Role of Essential Oils in Candles

When used in candles, essential oils serve a dual purpose. First, they provide the scent. When the candle is lit, the heat helps diffuse the essential oil molecules into the air, filling the room with a natural fragrance. Unlike synthetic fragrances, essential oils are derived from real plants, so they can create a more authentic and complex scent profile.

Secondly, essential oils can offer potential aromatherapeutic benefits. Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. While scientific research into aromatherapy is ongoing, some studies suggest that certain essential oils can help promote relaxation, reduce stress, boost mood, or even improve sleep.

For example, a lavender-scented candle might aid in relaxation and sleep, while a citrus-scented candle could help uplift your mood and energize your mind. It's important to note, however, that while many find these benefits helpful, essential oils are not a cure-all and should be used as a complement to other health practices.

The use of essential oils in candles combines the craft of candle making with the potential benefits of aromatherapy, creating a product that is not only beautiful and fragrant but also potentially beneficial for your well-being.

essential oils beside an EO candle

Pros and Cons of Using Essential Oils in Candle Making

Like all ingredients and methods in crafting, using essential oils in candle making has its own set of advantages and challenges. Understanding these can help you make informed decisions about whether and how to incorporate essential oils in your candle creations.

Advantages of Using Essential Oils

One of the main advantages of using essential oils in candles is the authenticity of the scents they provide. Synthetic fragrances often aim to replicate particular smells but may fall short, resulting in a scent that feels artificial. On the other hand, essential oils are extracted from the actual plants they represent, delivering a scent that's more true-to-life.

Another advantage is the potential aromatherapeutic benefits that essential oils offer. When diffused into the air through a lit candle, certain essential oils are believed to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, boost mood, or support focus, depending on the oil used.

Lastly, essential oils are a natural and renewable resource, which aligns with the growing consumer demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products. They're derived from plants without the use of harsh chemicals, making them a green choice for those looking to lessen their environmental impact.

a lit aromatherapy candle

Challenges with Essential Oils in Candles

Despite the numerous benefits, there are also challenges to consider when using essential oils in candle making. One of the main challenges is cost. Essential oils are highly concentrated and require a large amount of plant material to produce a small amount of oil, making them more expensive than synthetic fragrances.

Another challenge is the variability in scent strength and performance. Some essential oils have strong, robust fragrances that hold up well when heated, while others may be more subtle or change character when exposed to heat. This can make it tricky to predict how the final candle will smell.

Additionally, not all essential oils are safe to use in candles. Some oils have a low flash point (the temperature at which they can ignite) and can pose a fire risk. Others may release harmful compounds when heated. Therefore, it's crucial to research and choose your oils carefully.

Lastly, while the potential therapeutic benefits of essential oils are enticing, they should not be overstated. The effects of aromatherapy are subjective and vary from person to person. Essential oils are not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment.

Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils in Candles

When it comes to scenting candles, there's often a debate between using essential oils and fragrance oils. Both have their merits and can create wonderfully aromatic candles, but they also have significant differences that can affect your candle-making process and the final product. You can learn more about fragrance oil candles here.

Understanding the Differences

Essential oils are natural products extracted from plants through methods like distillation or cold pressing. They capture the "essence" of the plant, including its scent and beneficial properties. On the other hand, fragrance oils are synthetically made and contain artificial substances. While they can mimic a wide variety of scents, including those not available as essential oils (like 'fresh linen' or 'birthday cake'), they don't offer the therapeutic benefits associated with aromatherapy.

Another key difference is their strength and behavior when heated. Fragrance oils are designed to be stable, consistent, and strong, even when exposed to heat. Essential oils are more delicate and can change or lose their scent when heated, depending on the specific oil.


various essential oil materials as well as a full bottle


Why Choose Essential Oils Over Fragrance Oils

Choosing essential oils over fragrance oils comes down to personal preference and your priorities in candle making. If you value natural ingredients and aim to create candles that not only smell good but may also provide aromatherapeutic benefits, then essential oils are a great choice. They offer complex, authentic scents that can transform a space and potentially influence mood and well-being.

Additionally, if environmental sustainability is important to you, essential oils might be the better option. They are renewable resources and don't contain the synthetic chemicals found in fragrance oils, which can be better for the environment.

However, remember that working with essential oils can be more challenging due to their cost, variability, and safety considerations. It's crucial to familiarize yourself with the properties of each essential oil you use, to ensure a safe and successful candle-making experience.

Non-Toxic Essential Oil Candles

In the quest for healthier and more environmentally-friendly lifestyle choices, non-toxic candles are gaining popularity. These candles, often made with natural ingredients like soy wax, beeswax, or coconut wax, and scented with essential oils, offer a cleaner alternative to traditional paraffin-based candles. They align with a growing consumer demand for products that are safe for people, pets, and the planet.

The Appeal of Non-Toxic Candles

Non-toxic candles appeal to consumers for several reasons. First and foremost, they're made without harmful or synthetic chemicals. Traditional candles often contain ingredients like paraffin wax, which can release potentially harmful pollutants when burned, including carcinogens. In contrast, non-toxic candles use natural waxes that burn cleaner and are less likely to produce harmful emissions.

Secondly, non-toxic candles scented with essential oils offer an authentic and natural fragrance experience. Consumers are increasingly seeking out products that avoid synthetic fragrances, which can sometimes cause headaches or allergic reactions. Essential oils not only provide a variety of pleasing scents but also potential aromatherapeutic benefits.

Lastly, non-toxic candles align with an overall shift towards more sustainable and conscious consumption. Many such candles are crafted with sustainability in mind, using renewable resources, ethical sourcing practices, and eco-friendly packaging. This makes them an attractive choice for consumers looking to reduce their environmental impact.

Whether it's for health reasons, environmental concerns, or simply the desire for a more natural product, non-toxic candles with essential oils offer a compelling alternative to traditional candles.

an essential oil bottle

Conclusion: The Benefits of Essential Oil Candles

In conclusion, candles made with essential oils offer a range of benefits that make them a wonderful choice for those seeking a more natural, health-conscious, and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional candles.

Firstly, the use of essential oils provides a natural fragrance that not only smells delightful but also carries potential aromatherapy benefits. From lavender's calming properties to peppermint's invigorating aroma, essential oil candles can enhance your mood and create a soothing atmosphere in your home or office.

Secondly, essential oil candles are typically made with natural waxes like soy, coconut, or beeswax. These waxes burn cleaner and produce less soot than paraffin wax, making them a healthier choice for indoor air quality. Plus, they're renewable resources, contributing to the sustainability of these products.

Thirdly, choosing candles made with essential oils supports the shift towards conscious consumption. By opting for these candles, you're choosing products that are free from synthetic fragrances and harmful chemicals, aligning with a lifestyle that prioritizes health and environmental responsibility.

Finally, there's the simple pleasure of enjoying a product that's been crafted with care and quality. Essential oil candles often reflect the artisan's commitment to creating a product that's not just functional, but also beautiful and enjoyable to use.

In the end, the decision between essential oils and fragrance oils in candles comes down to personal preference and priorities. But if you value natural ingredients, health benefits, environmental sustainability, and a superior scent experience, essential oil candles are certainly worth considering.


Feeling a little confused? Don't worry, we have your back with our Guide To Scented Candles. Click here to check it out.