There’s nothing more fulfilling than finally lighting that beautiful candle you crafted yourself. But in today’s market, making your own candle can be a pricey, and rather daunting, venture. You want to make sure you’ve got all the ingredients for successful candle on the first try.
We’ve complied a comprehensive list of the best essential oils to use in candle making and our recommended brands for each. If you want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck when making your own candle, keep reading! We’ll be detailing the benefits as well as the pros and cons of each essential oil and its brand recommendation.
Make sure to read to the end of this article to see which essential oil is our favorite, as well as other tips and tricks you should know when making your own scented candle at home.
Best Essential Oils for Candle Making
While you can use just about any pure essential oil for making scented candles, there are a few types of essential oils that tend to be the most successful. The best kinds of essential oils you can choose from are:
- Lavender essential oil
- Lemon essential oil
- Orange essential oil
- Tea Tree essential oil
- Rosemary essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Frankincense essential oil
- Cinnamon essential oil
- Sandalwood essential oil
1. Artizen’s Lavender Essential Oil
For a floral, fresh-smelling candle, lavender essential oil is an easy winner. Lavender and lavender oil has been used by humans for centuries for its great scent profile and amazing benefits.
Lavender is most well known for its soothing, anxiety-reducing properties. The scent of lavender has been shown to decrease heart rate and soothe the central nervous system, making you feel more relaxed and stress-free. As a matter of fact, lavender aromatherapy has also been used to help fight insomnia!
Lavender essential oil is one of our favorites due to its amazing scent throw in a candle and the incredibly pleasing aroma it produces.
For our favorite lavender essential oil for candle making, we recommend Artizen’s Lavender Essential Oil.
This bottle of pure essential oil is therapeutic grade and fantastic for usage in homemade candles. It has a powerful lavender scent and is great for use outside of candle making as well.
- 100% therapeutic grade essential oil
- Variety of sizes and prices
- Great lavender scent
- Some complaints of smell dissipating after a short period
2. Cliganic Organic Lemon Essential Oil
For a bright, citrusy candle, we highly recommend lemon essential oil. Often used for its energizing and depression-reducing effects, lemon essential oil is perfect for bringing that sense of the summer sun into your candle.
We especially love lemon essential oil for the fresh, clean aroma it brings into a space, giving you the feeling of being a freshly cleaned kitchen.
As for our favorite lemon essential oil, we recommend Cliganic Organic Lemon Essential Oil. This non-GMO, Climate Pledge friendly, organic essential not only comes at a great price point, but is full of 100% lemon-essential-oil-goodness.
If you’re looking for citrus amazingness, look no further!
- Organic, non-GMO
- Climate Pledge Friendly
- 100% lemon essential oil
- Evaporates quickly from bottle
3. Lagunamoon’s Tea Tree Essential Oil
For a candle you can light when you’re feeling under the weather, tea tree essential oil is the oil for you. Tea tree is commonly used to boost immunity, relieve congestion, fight infections, and help insomnia.
Smelling like a mix between fresh cut wood, chopped herbs, and a hint of the medicinal, even just the smell of tea tree oil will make you feel like you’re living your healthiest life.
Our favorite tea tree essential oil has to be Lagunamoon’s Tea Tree Essential Oil. This essential oil brand packages their oils in a special protective bottle that keeps your tea tree smelling nice and strong for over 2 years–much longer than most essential oils keep.
If you’re looking for an oil that will last you a long time after your candle has been completed, this essential oil will do just that.
- Climate pledge friendly
- Steam distilled
- Comes in a protective bottle
- 100% organic
- Oil is diluted slightly
4. SVA Organics’ Rosemary Essential Oil
The scent of rosemary essential oil is great for anyone suffering with brain fog and fatigue, or anyone who just likes the flowery, pine-y scent of this soothing herb.
Rosemary is great for reducing fatigue, improving mental clarity, boosting focus, and relieving tension. If you’re having a tough time focusing on a task at hand, a rosemary candle can help.
Rosemary’s aroma is wonderfully bright without being too pungent, making it a great choice for candle making. You’ll get a great scent pay off when you use rosemary essential oil in your candle without having to worry about it being too overpowering.
Our recommendation for rosemary essential oil is SVA Organics’ Rosemary Essential Oil. This potent rosemary essential oil comes at a great price point and is in an amber bottle, protecting the oil from UV rays, which decay the potency of essential oils.
This rosemary essential oil is the perfect fit for anyone looking to improve their focus while also feeling like they’re bundled up in a cozy kitchen!
- Climate Pledge friendly
- 100% essential oil
- Not tested on animals
- Complaints of leaky bottle
5. Florona Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is a great option if you’re looking for a candle that relieves cold symptoms and promotes brain function.
Peppermint is often used in aromatherapy to relieve congestion/coughs, reducing pain, improving brain function, and helping to ease stress. In fact, the menthol naturally present in peppermint essential oil actually shrinks the mucus membranes in your sinuses and lungs when you have a cold, helping you breathe so much easier.
It also has the wonderfully vibrant aroma common at Christmas time, bringing the jolly scent of a candy cane into your candle.
For our favorite peppermint essential oil, we pick Florona Peppermint Essential Oil. This therapeutic grade oil is even directly advertised by Florona as great for soap and candle making. It’s 100% natural and free of any chemical additives and fillers, meaning you can rest easy knowing that it only has the purest peppermint essential oil possible.
If you’re feeling Christmas-y, or even if you just want to have a candle to help you kick that pesky cold, this peppermint essential oil is your best bet.
- 100% natural and chemical-free
- Pure peppermint essential oil
- Crafted with candle making in mind
- Somewhat subtle peppermint fragrance
6. MAYJAM’s Frankincense Essential Oil
Another great essential oil to use in your candle making to promote healthy living and better breathing is frankincense essential oil.
While many other cold-relieving essential oils relieve congestion and breathing issues by shrinking the mucus membranes, frankincense essential oil goes one step further. This oil acts as an expectorant, helping you get rid of the mucus that’s clogging up your nose and lungs.
Frankincense essential oil is also amazing for improving memory, enhancing mood, and promoting easier sleep.
Our favorite essential oil on the market right now is MAYJAM’s Frankincense Essential Oil. This 100% frankincense essential oil is encouraged to be used in soap making and candle making alongside its other uses. It is completely undiluted and doesn’t have any chemical additives or fillers.
If you’re looking for a potent, masculine resinous oil to use in your candle, this frankincense essential oil is perfect for you.
- No chemical additives or fillers
- 100% frankincense essential oil
- Comes in aesthetically pleasing packaging
- Goes bad quicker than other oils
7. Etheral Nature’s 100% Pure Cinnamon Oil
For a classic, friendly, and warm scent, cinnamon essential oil is the way to go when making your own candle.
Cinnamon essential oils promotes positive feelings and can help you relax. This spicy oil is reminiscent of fall and the early days of winter when you’re cozied up at home with a relaxing tea or cinnamon baked good.
Our favorite cinnamon essential oil is Etheral Nature’s 100% Pure Cinnamon Oil. This pure essential oil comes at a fantastic price point and is perfect for bringing that cozy November vibe into your candle.
If you want a candle that makes you think of cinnamon buns and autumn potpourri, this cinnamon essential oil is a great option for you.
- Strong fragrance
- 100% pure cinnamon essential oil
- Very spicy fragrance
8. HIQILI’s Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood is a wonderfully woody, masculine scent that is great if you want to feel like you’re hanging out in a cozy cabin in the woods.
Sandalwood is great for grounding, promoting a sense of peace, improving mental clarity, and heightening the senses.
In terms of our favorite sandalwood essential oil, we recommend HIQILI’s Sandalwood Essential Oil. This company works directly with farmers to ensure the highest quality product that is cruelty-free and great for fragrancing your home
Whether you’re in the mood to meditate, study, or pretend you’re in the woods, try sandalwood essential oil in your homemade candle!
- Steam distilled
- 100% natural ingredients
- Not tested on animals
- Made from sustainably harvested sandalwood
- Not 100% sandalwood essential oil
Fragrance Oils vs. Essential Oils in Candle Making
When researching ingredients to make candles, you may see the terms “fragrance oils” come up alongside “essential oils”. So, what’s the difference?
Essential oils are 100% naturally derived from the concentrates of different plants. Fragrance oils are mainly man-made fragrances that may or may not contain a small percentage of essential oil as well.
Essential oils are often multi-purpose and can be used outside of candle making. Essential oils are often infused into skincare, diluted into baths, misted into the air via diffusers, etc. They also are regularly used for their medicinal properties, like easing aches and pains or for encouraging hair growth.
While some fragrance oils can be used in diffusers and lotions as well, they are exclusively for scenting things, such as soaps, candles, or wax melts.
Fragrance oils often smell fantastic, but if you’re looking for a more health-conscious approach to crafting your home fragrance items, essential oils are the way to go. Not only do they offer amazing benefits alongside their amazing fragrances, but they are both a healthier choice, and a more environmentally sustainable one.
Be mindful when using either oil option in your home. Many fragrance oils release toxins into the air that contributes to indoor air pollution, and can irritate those with sensitive respiratory systems.
Most essential oils are safe for human inhalation, but if you have pets, infants, or individuals with respiratory allergies/issues in the home, some essential oils can prove to be toxic. If you do have one or more of these individuals/animals in your home, be sure to research the essential oil of choice before using.
Understanding Scent Profiles of Different Essential Oils
To better decide which essential oil to use in your candle, understanding the scent profiles of different essential oils is key.
Scent profiles of natural scents, such as those of essential oils can be broken down into the following fragrance families:
- Woody; the smell of freshly cut wood (sandalwood, patchouli, palo santo)
- Camphorous; the sharp, powerful smell of fresh tree bark (tea tree, pine, eucalyptus)
- Resinous; the earthy, warm, animal-like scent (frankincense, myrrh, elemi)
- Spicy; the sharp and warm scent of freshly cracked spices (cinnamon, black pepper, cloves)
- Minty; the fresh and cool smell reminiscent of iciness (peppermint, spearmint)
- Herbal; the bright smell of culinary herbs and green plants (rosemary, sage, oregano)
- Floral; the fragrant smell of flowers (lavender, rose, jasmine)
- Citrusy; the fresh and crisp smell of summery citrus fruits (lemon, orange, grapefruit)
If you’re looking to pair scents or are looking for a fragrance to compliment the scents you already have in your home, this fragrance family breakdown is your best friend. While any of the essential oils listed would do great in a candle, we bolded the ones that we feel are the best options from each family.
Best Types of Wax to Use When Making Candles
Deciding the fragrance/essential oil you want to use in your candle is one thing, but deciding which wax to use is a totally different beast. Luckily for you, we’ve broken down different waxes and what the best ones are for candle making for you.
There are tons of different candle making waxes on the market, but our top two have to be beeswax and soy wax, with paraffin wax being an honorable mention.
Beeswax is an all-natural wax that is secreted from wax-producing glands in honeybees. It is a hearty wax with a long burn time. It hardens stiffer than most other waxes, making it an ideal candidate for any tapered candle crafting or sculptural candle pieces. Beeswax has a particular scent to it as well, making its scent throw weaker than some other wax options.
Soy wax is a softer wax that is more ideal for container candles. Soy wax has the second longest burn time of any candle wax, and an incredible scent throw. It is completely natural and sustainable, being derived entirely from the oil in soybeans.
Paraffin wax is not our favorite wax, but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly wax to try your hand at candle making with, this one is a great choice. Paraffin is a petroleum-based wax that is known for being easy to use at a low price point. It has a very short burn time and a less-than-ideal scent throw, but is perfect for any wary beginners.
How Much Essential Oil Should You Put in a Candle
Unsure how much essential oil you should be putting in your candle? A great rule of thumb is that you should use 30 to 40 drops of essential oil per 8oz of candle wax. Whether you lean closer to 30 or 40 is totally up to how strong you prefer your candles smelling.
While we love all the essential oils on this list, our favorite is definitely lavender essential oil, particularly Artizen’s Lavender Essential Oil. The scent throw of this oil when in a candle and the therapeutic properties are far too good to pass up, and we recommend it to all.
Our runner up for favorite essential oil has to be lemon essential oil, particularly the Cliganic Organic Lemon Essential Oil. This particular lemon essential oil has a bright, lovely scent that is true to lemon and really brightens up the energy in any home.
We absolutely love all the oils on this list though, so no worries if lavender or lemon aren’t the scents for you. Each one of these oils will help you make a fantastic homemade candle that will surely be an amazing addition to your home fragrance collection.
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If you’d like to read more on creating your own candle at home, check out our buying guide on the best wicks to use for candle crafting, or our article on how to make different colored candle flames.