How to Make a Candle Smell Stronger

Candles have long been a favorite for those looking to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in their homes. As a result, the scent of the candle plays a crucial role in achieving this desired ambiance. However, sometimes, the fragrance may not be as powerful as you’d like, leaving you wanting more. In this article, we’ll explore how to make a candle smell stronger, ensuring a perfect aromatic experience.

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that not all candles are created equal. The quality of the ingredients and the craftsmanship that goes into making candles can greatly impact the strength and longevity of the scent. Therefore, when it comes to selecting a candle with a strong scent, begin by seeking reputable brands that use high-quality materials and have a proven ability to deliver the desired fragrance.

Another aspect to consider when aiming for a stronger scent is the type of wax used in the production process. Different types of wax can hold different levels of fragrance, with some proving to be better carriers of scent than others. In the following sections, we will elaborate on various tips and methods to help your candle release its full olfactory potential.

Choosing the Right Wax

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is the most common type of candle wax. It holds fragrance well and has a high melting point, which can lead to a more robust scent throw. However, it’s important to note that paraffin wax is derived from petroleum, making it an unsustainable resource. It can also produce soot when burned.

Soy Wax

Soy wax, extracted from soybean oil, is a popular alternative to paraffin wax. It is natural, biodegradable, and sustainable. Soy candles typically have a longer burn time than paraffin candles, as the wax burns at a slower rate. While soy wax may not have the same scent throw as paraffin, it still allows for excellent fragrance concentration in candles.

Coconut Wax

Coconut wax is a fairly new wax option, made predominantly from hydrogenated coconut oil. It is an eco-friendly and sustainable choice. Coconut wax boasts a creamy appearance, excellent burn quality, and strong scent throw. However, it may be pricier than other waxes due to the manufacturing process.


Beeswax is one of the most natural wax options, as it is a byproduct of honey production. It has a sweet, natural aroma and burns exceptionally clean. While beeswax candles may be more expensive, they are known for their prolonged burn times. The scent throw of beeswax candles tends to be subtle compared to other wax types, making it a great choice for milder, natural-scented candles.

Selecting the Perfect Fragrance

Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils are synthetic compounds engineered to imitate natural scents. They are excellent for creating a strong scent throw in candles. When choosing fragrance oils for your scented candles, consider both the strength and type of scent you desire. Popular scents that can make your candle smell stronger include:

  • Lavender
  • Pine
  • Cinnamon
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon

When selecting a fragrance oil, make sure it is specifically designed for use in candles, as some are not suitable due to flashpoint or potential sensitivities.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural extracts often sourced from plants, providing authentic and unique scents. While they do not produce a scent throw as strong as fragrance oils, choosing the right essential oils can still provide a satisfying, natural aroma for your candles. To create a stronger scent, look for oils with a powerful, long-lasting aroma. Here are a few essential oils known for their strong scents:

Essential Oil Scent Description
Lavender Floral, Clean
Pine Woody, Earthy
Cinnamon Spicy, Warm
Peppermint Fresh, Minty
Lemon Citrus, Bright

Keep in mind that essential oils have different properties, and some oils may not be suitable for use in soy or other types of candles. Be sure to research the compatibility of the essential oil with your chosen candle base before committing to a scent.

Essential oils like Lavender are great for preventing ticks and other pests. It’s worth taking a look at this article in order to keep your surroundings clean and avoid having them in your home.

Determining the Optimal Wick Size

Wick Types

There are several types of wicks available for candles – flat wick, square wick, cored wick, and wood wick. Each type serves different purposes, so it’s essential to choose the one that best suits your requirements:

  • Flat wicks: These are suitable for taper, pillar, and votive candles. They curl and burn evenly, providing a consistent fragrance throw.
  • Square wicks: Made of braided cotton, they generally have a stronger flame and are ideal for larger candles with a high fragrance load.
  • Cored wicks: They contain a cotton or paper core, offering enhanced rigidity. Typically used in container candles, they’re also ideal for scented candles.
  • Wood wicks: These wicks create crackling sounds, offer an excellent scent throw, and work well for large containers.

To ensure a strong-smelling candle, you’ll need to consider the size and type of wick appropriate for your specific candle. Wick size affects the melt pool size, which in turn affects fragrance throw. A well-sized wick creates a melt pool that reaches the candle’s edge in 3-4 hours of burn time.

When selecting a wick size for your candle, consider the following factors:

  1. Diameter of the candle: Bigger diameter candles need thicker wicks.
  2. Type of wax: Different waxes, including paraffin, soy, or beeswax, have distinct burn properties, influencing the wick size.
  3. Amount of fragrance and additives: Heavily scented or colored candles may require a larger wick size.

With these factors in mind, experimentation is recommended to determine the optimal wick size for your candle. If the wick is too small, the fragrance won’t disperse effectively. Conversely, if the wick is too large, the candle can create excess smoke and soot.

By selecting the appropriate wick type and optimizing its size for your specific candle, you’ll be on your way to creating a candle with a stronger and more satisfying scent.

Candle Making Process


The temperature plays a crucial role in the candle-making process. For both store-bought and homemade candles, a consistent temperature is necessary to achieve a strong scent throw. Hot throw is the release of fragrance when the candle is lit, while cold throw is the scent that is detectable when the candle is not burning. To get the right temperature:

  • Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the wax.
  • Follow the recommended temperature range provided by the fragrance and wax manufacturers.

Curing Time

Allowing your candles to cure properly is an essential step in making a candle smell stronger. Cure time refers to the period your candle needs to set after being poured:

  • For most candles, the optimal curing time is 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Some candles, such as soy-based ones, may require up to 4 weeks for the best scent throw.
  • During curing, store candles in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Wax Pool

The wax pool is the melted wax surrounding a candle’s wick. A proper wax pool helps in releasing the fragrance evenly:

  • The ideal wax pool should be 1/4 inch deep.
  • The diameter of the wax pool should be the same as the diameter of the candle.

When to Add Fragrance

Adding fragrance at the right temperature is key to making your candles smell stronger:

Wax Type Temperature to Add Fragrance
Soy Wax 160°F – 180°F
Paraffin Wax 185°F – 200°F
  • To find the correct temperature, check the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Add fragrance oils slowly and stir gently to prevent air bubbles.
  • For best results, use the maximum percentage of fragrance oil recommended by the wax manufacturer.

Enhancing Scent Throw

Candle Toppers

Candle toppers, also known as candle accessories, can help improve scent throw. By using a candle topper with the correct design, you can optimize heat distribution and promote a more even melting process. Some popular types of candle toppers are:

  • Jar lid toppers
  • Metal covers
  • Glass domes

These accessories create a more controlled environment for the candle, allowing the scent to disperse effectively throughout the room.

Scent Diffusion

Scent diffusion plays a crucial role in enhancing a candle’s scent throw. To improve diffusion, you can incorporate different types of wax, oils, and additives. For instance:

  • Soy wax: Known for its clean and eco-friendly properties, soy can significantly improve scent throw.
  • Coconut oil: Adding a small amount of coconut oil to the wax can help the fragrance disperse more effectively.
  • Essential oils: Using high-quality essential oils can make a noticeable difference in the strength and depth of the scent.

Room Size

The size of the room and the space in which the candle is burning can significantly influence the ambiance and scent throw. To optimize scent throw, consider the following tips:

  • Place the candle in a well-ventilated area to ensure that the scent spreads evenly.
  • Use multiple candles for larger spaces or rooms with high ceilings.
  • Experiment with different candle sizes and shapes to find the best match for your space.

Eco-Friendly and Natural Alternatives

Switching to eco-friendly and natural alternatives can be a great way to enhance the aroma of your store-bought candles, all while reducing exposure to toxins and chemicals. Candle lovers who are conscious of the environment might prefer these methods over other ways to make their candles smell stronger.

One option is to add natural essential oils to your candles. This can be done by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil directly to the wax of the candle or by using a diffuser nearby. Essential oils not only help in enhancing the scent but also provide therapeutic benefits.

Here are some popular natural alternatives to consider:

  • Soy wax candles: These are made from soybean oil and contain no chemicals or toxins. They also have a longer burn time, making them a more sustainable choice.
  • Beeswax candles: These candles are made from natural beeswax, which has a subtle honey-like scent. Beeswax candles also have a longer burn time compared to paraffin candles and are free of chemicals.
  • Plant-based wax candles: Candles made from coconut, palm, or rapeseed wax are also eco-friendly options, as they are free of toxins and environmentally friendly.

When shopping for candles, make sure to look for options that use natural fragrances, as synthetic fragrances can contain harmful chemicals. Opting for candles made with organic ingredients and sustainably sourced materials is also beneficial for the environment. By choosing eco-friendly and natural alternatives, candle lovers can enjoy a stronger scent while keeping the planet in mind.

Tips for DIY Candle Makers

When making candles at home, it’s essential to maximize the fragrance throw for an enjoyable aromatherapy experience. Here are some key tips to make your DIY candles smell stronger:

Choosing the Right Wax

The type of wax you select plays a big role in the scent strength of your candle. Some popular options include:

  • Soy wax: Holds scent well and has a great cold throw, meaning it releases its fragrance when not lit
  • Paraffin wax: Offers a more intense hot throw, meaning it releases its fragrance when lit
  • Beeswax: Less effective at holding scent but adds a natural, sweet aroma on its own

Using Quality Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils are vital in determining the impact of a candle’s scent. The higher the quality, the more potent the fragrance. Use a fragrance load of 8-12% for DIY candle making. This translates to 0.8-1.2 ounces of fragrance oil per pound of wax.

Selecting the Right Wick

Finding the ideal wick for your candle ensures it burns evenly and releases scent effectively. Include these factors when choosing a wick:

  • Candle size and shape
  • Container materials
  • Wax and fragrance oil densities

Curing Your Candles

Allowing your candles to cure (sit undisturbed in a cool, dark place) for one to two weeks after pouring can greatly enhance their scent throw. The curing process allows the fragrance oil to bind with the wax.

By focusing on these key components, you can create a stronger-smelling candle and enhance your DIY candle-making abilities.

Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.