Old candle jars and tins generate a lot waste when not recycled. Good news is you can experiment with crafting your own environmentally sustainable and essential-oil diffused candle. If you already have a favorite scent or brand, research the ingredients and try to mimic the recipe as closely as possible. Click here for more information on crafting scents, some of the info is repeated on this page.
There are multiple variations of ingredients to be used. For the wax, either beeswax or soy wax are acceptable options. Beeswax burns slowly and releases a natural honey scent, while soy wax burns quicker but is usually cheaper. So, you’re going to need the following:
- Beeswax/ Soy Wax
- Candle wicks (taller than your container)
- A wick centering tool (optional but very helpful)
- (Used) candle jar, mason jar, or any glass container
- 100-200 drops preferred essential oils or terpene blends/isolates
- Glass measuring cup
First, center your wick in the container or jar you are using for the candle. It may be helpful to use glue to keep it attached and centered in the jar. Next, melt the wax in a microwave and add the preferred oil(s). Ideally, you’d like to add the oils when the wax is precisely 185 degrees Fahrenheit (85 degrees Celsius) for the oils to disperse evenly throughout the candle. So, if you have a thermometer, put it to use. It may be easier to do smaller batches in intervals. Add roughly 200 drops, or two teaspoons, of oil per every 4 ounces of wax. This figure is variable according to your preferences. Carefully pour the hot mixture into the candle jar and leave for 24 hours to cool and harden. The hardening process goes quicker if you leave it in the refrigerator. Finally, trim the wick to 1/4 inch above the top of the candle, and enjoy.
Adding terpene isolates allows you to not only determine the scent of the candle but the physiological effects those who inhale it will experience. Add drops of beta-caryophyllene isolate to the candle for an anti-anxiety effect, or alpha-pinene isolate to boost concentration while working or studying.
Some excellent essential oil-based candle scents include:
- Lavender – Anti-inflammatory and relaxing
- Lemon – Stimulating and uplifting
- Sweet Orange – Refreshing
- Eucalyptus – Improves respiratory conditions
- Thyme – Relieves stress and anxiety
- Peppermint – Stimulating and uplifting
Combinations of oils can also be used to create a pleasing fragrance with added benefit. As attaining all of the oils in the following formulas would be challenging and expensive, bolded oils serve as integral oils in each respective recipe:
Essential oil nootropic - Bergamot, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamon, Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage, Coffee, Frankincense, Ginger, Lemon Eucalyptus, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Spearmint, Sandalwood, Vetiver
A nootropic is a cognitive function enhancer, particularly with memory and creativity, so use this combination when writing, studying, or doing any sort of creative venture. Sandalwood promotes mental clarity memory, and overall cognitive function. Studies have evaluated the effect of sandalwood oil on attention, memory, and arousal levels. Those who received the sandalwood oil, when compared to control subjects, felt more mentally aware and demonstrated behaviors linked to increased attention and cognitive brain clarity. Vetiver is often used in trauma helping with self-awareness, calmness, stabilization and brain focus. This is oil is great for boosting energy levels during exhaustion and has been proven to lower anxiety level in rats.1
Sleepy - Bergamot, Chamomile, Lemongrass, Lavender, Marjoram, Neroli, Sandalwood.
Psychologists at Wesleyan University in Connecticut had 31 men and women sniff lavender essential oil one night – and then distilled water the following night. Researchers monitored their sleep cycles with brain scans and found that lavender increased slow-wave sleep, instrumental for slowing heartbeat and relaxing muscles.2
Ocean - Eucalyptus, Lime, Tangerine, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cypress Leaf, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Litsea, Neroli, Peppermint, Scotch Pine, Ylang-ylang.
Terpenes like geraniol, alpha-pinene, limonene, para-cymene, and 1,8-cineole can be found circulating through ocean currents and inhaled by beach-goers. But not all of us live near an ocean where we can experience the relaxing crashing of waves and the soothing smell of salt water. Lighting a candle loaded with terpenes found in ocean or air is a great way to bring the ocean to your home when you can’t make it to the shore.
Forest - Black Spruce, Douglas fir, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cedarwood, Lemon Balm, Lime, Peppermint, Rosemary, Scotch Pine, Spearmint Turmeric, Wild Orange
Sexy - Allspice, Cinnamon Leaf, Lavender, Lemon, Manuka, Sweet Orange, Vanilla, Ylang-ylang
Sensual and exotic ylang-ylang oil is an active ingredient in many perfumes and colognes as it has a pleasing floral scent and is believed to attract potential partners. The oil is renowned for its aphrodisiac qualities and is often gifted to newlyweds because of this stimulating characteristic. Ylang-ylang oil is a perfect candle to use when getting intimate as the gentle, flickering flame on the wick illuminates the room comfortably around you while it exudes an invigorating scent.
I urge you to experiment with oils and terpene isolates to create your own signature candle with the desired scent and effects.