Why Does My Scented Candle Not Smell? (Explained for Beginners)

Candles are highly sought after home decor items. They look nice in their decorative jars, provide pretty lighting, and moreover, they smell great!

In fact, almost all candles are chosen for their scents over any other feature. Smells are one of the most calming sensory features we possess and certain smells can be pleasing. We seek out special edition and seasonal candles as well as scents we are familiar with. But what happens if a candle doesn’t smell or has a very little scent?

When asking ourselves, “why does my scented candle not smell?”, the answer might be due to the candle not being burned for long periods of time. However, one of the main causes of a candle not producing smell or enough smell is usually due to the fragrance not being added to the wax at the proper time. If there is not enough fragrance added to the wax, it can also result in candles not smelling too great. Another reason to consider is that the fragrance itself is simply poor quality.

All of those reasons can be behind why a scented candle doesn’t smell. Sure, we sniff them at the store before buying them, however, the scent can be processed where it only lays on that top layer of wax. If there is not enough fragrance mixed into the wax as a whole, the candle suffers for losing its scent early on.

Moreover, scents from a quality candle will be noticeable within a half-hour of lighting the wick. These candles have a great scent throw to them, meaning the scents in the wax are able to be picked up easily by the wick. This shows that enough fragrance was used.

Why Does My Scented Candle Not Smell

Another reason behind candles not having any smell can be within its cost as well. It is no secret that candles can run upwards of $40 to $60. Those costs are not generated purely for profit. They are generated based on the type of wax, the overall scents, the packaging, etc.

This is a classic case of getting what you pay for. If you spend a bit more on a candle you want, the results will be a better smelling candle. However, subpar candles from dollar stores or bargain outlets are going to be lacking in the scent department. Invest in something that smells good!

Is There a Way to Improve the Scent of a Candle?

So, you’ve ended up with a dud of a candle. While that is a big bummer, there might be some hope to squeeze some scent out of them! We obviously don’t want to waste any amount of money we may have used on a candle.

Therefore, knowing some helpful hints to get more out of the candle’s scent is very helpful! Below are the top tips on the road of great smelling candles!

Tips for Improving the Scent of a Candle:

Use It in a Smaller Room

Poor quality candles are generally lacking strong enough fragrance. The scents simply are too subtle to really notice. To remedy this issue and still keep the candle we’ve purchased, try using the candle in a smaller room.

Always remember to practice safety by keeping the candle clear of fabrics, curtains, and other flammable items as well as placing on a flat, sturdy surface. Smaller rooms mean less air space that needs to be filled with scent. This is one of the simplest solutions to getting more scent out of a dud candl

Add Essential Oils to the Wax Pool

Essential oils are so trendy right now! They are practically used for everything, and honestly, using them for candles is one of the best benefits. They considered to use and are easy to apply as well. When a candle is burning, there is a small wax pool of melted wax that forms at the base of the wick.

This pool is where the magic can happen! Adding a few drops to this pooled area is a great way to infuse some really interesting scents to a candle.

In fact, it may create a whole new scent altogether. It is important to note that the safest way to administer the drops are into the pooled area right after extinguishing the flame. The wax pool is still warm enough to accept the oils and the flame poses no risk at all.

Check this out: Can You Add Essential Oils To Burning Candles.

Be Sure To Burn the Candle Properly

Even poorly fragranced candles should be burned properly. If the burning technique is not quite right, any fragrance that might be in there won’t be expelled properly. The proper way to burn a candle is to start off on the right foot. The very first burn is critical to how the rest of the candle will pan out.

It is recommended that candle burns for at least 4 hours to help pool enough candle wax along with the top layer. While most scents of a quality candle will be noticed up to a half-hour from lighting the candle, poor quality candles may need a little extra time to develop.

Store at the Right Temperature

Believe it or not, incorrect temperatures can affect the scent of a candle. It is recommended that candles stay in rooms that are dry and somewhere between 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit at most. This not only can improve the scent of the candle but help maintain it as well. Candle care is super important for expensive or inexpensive candles. It ensures that we get the very best from our candles!

Use It Regularly

Candles that sit around without being used will not hold their scent forever. This is definitely true of expensive candles but more true for inexpensive candles. Good, quality candles are said to hold scents for up to 2 years at the very most. Now cut that time down drastically for their lesser counterparts.

Using the candle regularly, with proper care like wick trimming, will make the most out of any candle. It will keep the scent flowing no matter what! Letting it age without much use is hardly even worth buying it in the first place.

Don’t Throw Away the Lid!

Mostly every candle will come with a lid. They might be glass or metal lids that fit just around the rims of the candle jar. The purpose of the lids is primarily to help put wicks out for those who do not have access to a candle snuffer. However, perhaps a more important role for the lid lies within it being a scent keeper!

Candles that are kept with their lids on while not use will keep scents concerted within the top layer and wick of the candle. So don’t throw out the lid, use it to keep any candle smelling as best as possible!

These tips are a great way to make the most out of a poor quality candle, however, they can and should be implanted for higher quality candles as well!

Do Candles Lose Their Scent?

Scented candles are a great addition to any room in your home, and if you’re wondering if scented candles eventually lose their scent, the answer is yes, they do. In fact, all scented candles eventually lose their scent, but most will last several months or even several years before that happens.

Why Do Candles Lose Their Scent?

When trying to determine how long a scented candle lasts, it depends on several factors. For example, keep in mind that the cheap candles are often sprayed with a scent or dipped in a scent, which means the scent won’t last that long.

Most good candles, however, are made with the scent inside of them, and that means it will last much longer.

Candles usually get their scent from wax, scented oils, and other chemical or organic materials. Over time, the organic materials deteriorate and the oils evaporate, causing the scent to leave the candle slowly.

If you want to keep the scent longer, make sure the candle is in an airtight container and is covered as much as possible. If your candle comes with a lid, make sure you use it every time the candle cools down.

Most candles, like perfumes, will have top, middle, and base notes, and each of these scents can dissipate at many different times.

What Exactly is “Scent Throw” and Why is it Important?

Even candles have their own secrete language! “Scent throw” is a common phrase in the candle community and it holds some important information. To loosely define what scent throw actually means, it can be defined as the strength behind the fragrance of the candle.

Better quality candles will obviously possess a more definitive scent throw than those dollar store candles. However, the details behind scent throw go a bit deeper than this basic definition.

A candle’s scent throw is specifically determined in two ways: a cold throw and a hot throw. Cold throw is known as how the candle smells while it is not in use. Hot throw refers to how the candle smells once it has been set aflame.

Knowing this really showcases how a poor quality candle can be deceiving by having a great cold throw scent but a less than par hot throw scent. A good candle would have both of these qualities of decent cold and hot throw scents!

Another factor to consider in the hot and cold throw aspects of a candle is the wax that it is made from. Wax is not just “wax”.

In fact, developments in candles have grown the wax base to extend from paraffin wax to beeswax to even plant-based wax. Specifically speaking, soy wax is another popular choice on the market. However, it is has been discovered that soy wax candles really lack in their hot throw abilities.

They come off promising with a great cold throw scent and tend to disappoint in their hot throws. But what about other waxes? Below are the other wax or candle material types and their scores on the hot and cold throw scale!

Hot and Cold Throw Comparison to Wax or Material of a Candle

  • Paraffin wax – This is the most common wax used in candles. It ranks high and even on the hot and cold throw scale.
  • Beeswax – This is usually a pretty subtle smell with hints of honey and other scents. It is considered low to medium and even on the hot and cold scale.
  • Plant-based wax – This is related to soy candles and can include coconut wax as well. It ranks high on the cold throw and low on the hot throw scale.
  • Gel-based wax – Gel wax is fairly new on the scene for candles. While it considered slower burning, its scent throw seems only to be strong on the cold throw scale.

These are the most common wax bases found in candles today. Knowing their scent throws can help someone decide what candle material might be best for their needs!

While the scent of a candle does have a variety of factors to it, the bottom is to spend the extra few dollars to get the better candle! If your budget can allow this, always go for the better candle. However, if it simply isn’t feasible for you, then consider all these helpful tips for making the very most out of any candle!

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Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

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