Why Can’t I Smell My Scented Candles


Candles are scented to have sometimes, fruity smell (of tropical fruits, orange, lemon, citrus fruits, mandarin, etc.), and other times plant smell (of pine, California fig, sea grass, ivy greens, jasmine, white tea, cardamom, patchouli, vanilla, hibiscus etc.), musky smell (of musk, sheer musk, bergamot, etc.), flowery smell (of sunflower, rose, crimson, passionflower,  etc.), woody scent (of cedar wood, drift wood, sandal wood, etc.), spicy smell (of black pepper, saffron, thyme, basil, etc.), and other kinds of smell. These smells from scented candles fill up a room with their aroma and make the atmosphere warm, cozy and tranquil. They also create a romantic ambience and used also for cleaning and freshening up surrounding air. These smells may be aromatherapeutic especially when they are natural, so burning a scented candle may be a source of aromatherapy.

Scented candles are made from wicks, waxes and most importantly, a source of aroma, which may be from natural sources (essential oils) or from synthetic materials (synthetic aroma chemicals). They are made in containers, glasses and sometimes pots. Authentic scented candles that would smell well are made from selected ingredients, for instance not all kinds of waxes can be used to produce scented candles. Paraffin wax although not always used for making scented candles gives the best scent throw.

Why You Can’t Smell Your Scented Candles

It is important to note that, not all scented candles are expected to give out strong smell, some give out strong lasting fragrance while others give out lasting mild scents. The kinds of scent they emit depend on what they are made from and how they are made. Sometimes you may not perceive these mild or strong fragrances from your scented candles due to the following reasons: 

  1. You may have olfactory fatigue

When you get so used to the smell of a scented candle, at some point you may not notice the smell anymore. This is most likely not resulting from the candle losing its scent but from your brain having ‘enough’ of the scent; this is a condition known as nose blindness or rather olfactory fatigue. To handle this, after lighting your scented candles for a few hours, step out of the room periodically (stay out for about 15 minutes) to clear your head off the smell of the candle, then step right back in and enjoy the aroma of your scented candle.

  1. Your room size may be too large.

You may not get the best from the scent of your candle if the room you lit it is too large, the scent may take forever to travel. So, if you want to get the best scent from burning your candle, move the candle to a smaller room.

  1. You may have made it lose its smell

Some scented candle containers come with lids; these lids are not always for aesthetic reasons or just for preserving the candles from dust and other particles, the lids are also used to preserve the aroma of the candle. This is because some of those scented candles give off smell even when they are not lit. Always cover your scented candle that comes with a lid.

  1. If it is homemade, you most likely didn’t get it right.

Scented candles can be made at home, but to get the best from them you need to get it right.

How do I get it right candle

How do I get it right?

  • By getting the best ingredients for the candles: some waxes do not have good scent throws and should not be used for making scented candles. Also, cotton wicks are the best for making scented candles
  • By using the recommended proportion of fragrance oil to wax: be sure to use the recommended proportion of fragrance to wax. Generally, 6:100 is the recommended ratio, but some waxes that have poorer scent throw may require a higher ratio of fragrance oil to wax, sometimes even up 10:100, like in soy wax.
  • By using the right measuring scale to measure your ingredients: the ingredients especially, the fragrance oil should be measured with a scale, as it is expected to give very accurate results. Using cups and spoons to measure is not a good idea- you may not get the right results.
  • By adding the fragrance oil to the wax at the right time and right way: the stronger the candle’s wax and the fragrance oil binds, the stronger the scent it would produce. For the wax and the fragrance oil to bind well, the fragrance oil has to be added to the melted wax at 85Oc and stirred thoroughly.
  • By using the right size of materials: the wick size should be considered when making your scented candles; the candle must not be over wicked or under wicked- the wick size would generally affect the smell of the candle. Also, the container size for your scented candle too should be considered, if your candle is to be used for a big room, then a wider container would be better, this is because, the wider the diameter of the container in which the candle is put, the stronger the smell.
  • By storing them the right way: homemade scented candles and purchased scented candles alike should be stored away from too much heat and light. Also, scented candles should be made in containers with lids so that they do not lose their smell. 
  • By curing them: Scented candles produce stronger scents when cured. Curing is a process used in binding the fragrance oil and the wax together. Curing may take as long as two weeks, although it can be done in three days. The longer the candle’s wax and the fragrance material binds, the stronger the scent it would produce.

In summary, you can’t smell your scented candles because:

  • You may be temporarily nose blind
  • Your candle is not burnt in the right room size
  • The candle may have lost its smell, or
  • The candle wasn’t produced right.

In any of these cases, you can help the situation by taking the steps outlined in this article. Loving scented candles? Find out whether you should use different scented candles in different areas of your home.

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