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What is Fragrance Load?

What is Fragrance Load?

In candle making, the fragrance load is important. This value will vary to some degree, on the various components of your candle system, which is why it is often given as a range. So, what is the fragrance load? Generally, it is the percentage of fragrance oil recommended for a particular wax.

Why does Fragrance Load Matter?

There are several reasons why fragrance load matters.

  • You want your desired hot throw – Depending on the specifics of your fragrance (and your clientele), you may want to maximize the throw OR you may not want it to be over-powering.
  • You don’t want to waste money – If additional fragrance doesn’t result in a more strongly scented candle, then you’re burning your profits. There is a finite amount of scent that can be released in a given volume of melt pool. (See the FYI at the end of this post for additional insight.)
  • You don’t want a dirty burn – If you’ve overloaded your candle with fragrance, you jeopardize the burn quality.
  • You want to minimize candle syneresis (leaching, seeping, bleeding or sweating) – This is when the fragrance appears to sweat out of the wax and settles on the top. Having a higher-than-ideal percentage of fragrance will make this more likely. This can also happen if candles are exposed to wide ranges of temperatures – especially with the natural waxes, so it’s especially important to monitor this as you pour and store your candles. There is a finite amount of fragrance that can be “held” properly by a given volume of wax.

Important Considerations during Testing:

As you determine the percentage of fragrance you will use in your candle system, there are several important things to consider. Most of these will require testing so that you can compare the hot throw performance of your different percentages. (If you haven’t already grabbed our testing template, you should!)

Not all waxes are created equal: Be sure to look at the fragrance load or suggested range of fragrance load for the specific type and brand of wax you plan to use. See the different characteristics of the waxes we carry.

Are you using any additives? Additives have the potential to impact fragrance load determination in a number of ways. If you’re using something that adds volume to your system/formula, you’ll want to account for that in your calculations. If your additive has an impact on rate of formation of melt pool, it may prompt you to adjust your percentage in response. Additives may impact the rate at which your candle could get sooty. Be sure to research compatibility & interactions with all components of your candle system well prior to testing so that you don’t waste time.

Wick choices: Different wicks have different burning characteristics and will have an impact on the rate at which your melt pool is created…and how much fragrance you will want. See the different characteristics of the wicks we carry.

Fragrance Characteristics & Desired Throw: Some fragrances naturally exhibit stronger hot throws than others. You will need to determine what strength of throw you want for each fragrance. You may also find that the throw will vary depending on the diameter of your vessel/melt pool as the larger it gets, the more surface area available. The fragrance is released from the surface of your melt pool, so there is a limit to what can physically be released. There is a balance here that can really only be determined by testing. Learn more about the TruScent Fragrance Oils.

FYI – When we test fragrances in-house during as part of our process to determine which ones we want to carry, we use C-3 wax and a 6% fragrance load. During the evaluation, we consider the hot throw along with other less quantitative observations. Since this is our benchmark, we’d suggest this as a good place to begin your testing process. Since some fragrances are simply much stronger than others, if you know that you want a stronger throw, you may want to test at 6% and at a slightly higher % so that you can see if the increased fragrance actually makes a noticeable enough difference. We test using a wicked candle system and sometimes additionally use an electric melter so that we can be sure that what we’re smelling isn’t being impacted by the wick or the presence of fire.

Shop all of the TruScent Fragrance Oils for Candles here.

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