Why Fragrance Oils are a Better Choice for Your Candles

You probably already know that fragrance oils and essential oils are both commonly used in candle making.  It’s the key ingredient to give the candle the amazing scent that it is known and loved for. However, there are some key differences between these two types of oils that can affect their performance and suitability for use in candles.

With so much emphasis placed today on natural, non-toxic ingredients, it makes sense to look deeper into what you’re actually burning in a candle.  And, If you’re looking for scented candles that are safe for you and your family to enjoy, you may be surprised to learn that fragrance oils will win ‘hands down’!

I’d like to take a minute and explore the benefits of fragrance oils in candles, as well as the limitations of essential oils. By better understanding the differences between these two types of oils, you can have a more in-depth appreciation about synthetic fragrance oils.

Benefits of Fragrance Oils

There are several benefits to using fragrance oils in candles instead of essential oils. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Sustainability:  Fragrance oils are a more sustainable choice for candles, as they do not rely on the extraction of natural resources. This means that they do not contribute to the depletion of natural resources and do not have a negative impact on the environment. In contrast, the production of essential oils requires huge volumes of plant matter in order to obtain even small amounts of oil.  
    • For instance: 250 pounds of lavender to make just 1 pound of lavender oil. Whoa!

  • Stronger scent: One of the main benefits of fragrance oils is their strong scent throw. Fragrance oils are specifically formulated to provide a long-lasting and strong scent, making them an excellent choice for those who want a strong scent in their candles. And let's face it, in most cases - loving candles is all about the scent.  It fills a room, uplifts the spirit and is why most of us purchase candles in the first place.  In contrast, essential oils have a weaker scent throw and utilize much larger amounts in the candle making process in order to have a decent scent throw at all.

  • Safety:  Fragrance oils are specifically formulated for use in candles and bath and body products.  As such, they have been vigorously tested for performance, stability, and safety.  Guidelines are available for each fragrance with acceptable usage rates for their different applications.

  • Cost: Fragrance oils are easily more affordable than essential oils, making them a more cost-effective choice for scenting candles. Because such large amounts of essential oil is necessary in candle making to get any kind of decent scent throw, it would price the candle out of reach.

  •  Variety: Fragrance oils come in a wide range of scents, often infused with natural oils.  Limited only by the imagination there’s not a scent out there that can’t be produced (by those that know how). This allows you to have a great selection and creates unique and interesting candles to consider. In contrast, essential oils are limited in the range of scents that are available, as they can only be extracted from certain plants.

Limitations of Essential Oils

While essential oils have some benefits, such as natural and therapeutic properties, they also have some limitations that make them less suitable for use in candles. Yes they are natural, they are extracted from plants - but they are still made up of chemical compounds. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Safety in candles: Some essential oils may not be suitable for use in candles as their burning could result in the release of toxic fumes. This is especially true for essential oils that have a high phenol or aldehyde content. Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are created specifically to be safe for use in candles and do not release hazardous chemicals when burned.  Did you know…that not all essential oils react well to heat?  Some are highly combustible and others just fizzle up by the flame so you don’t even smell it at all.

  • Sustainability: Essential oils require the extraction of plants, lots and lots of plants.  This is not a sustainable or eco-friendly choice.  Fragrance oils infused with smaller amounts of essential oils is a much more sustainable option.

  • Application: Essential oils have been used for centuries for their therapeutic and healing properties, and they have their place.  Used in diffusers, salves and by other natural slow release methods.  These are great ways to appreciate the original intent of essential oils.  However, they just don’t perform well in candles without increasing the safety risk.
  • Scent Limitations: Essential oils are limited in the range of scents that are available, as they can only be extracted from certain plants. 


Fragrance oils offer a number of benefits for those who love candles, including a strong and long-lasting scent and a better selection to choose from. In contrast, essential oils have some limitations, such as a weaker scent throw, a higher cost, and a limited range of scents.

Natural and sustainable do not always go hand in hand.  While every effort is made to make environmentally conscious decisions - not every obvious answer is the right one.

Now, coconut wax vs other waxes - is a whole other story.  Be sure to check out our blog post here to find out why coconut wax is the best!!

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