Fragrance & Essential Oils Trouble Shooting

FAQ: Why doesn’t my candle smell strong?

The scent of your candle is what is going to sell it first and foremost! Do not be fooled into thinking however, that the ‘smellier’ your candle, the better it is. Not everyone likes a ‘stinky’ cloying smell.
When choosing fragrances, especially if you intend on selling your candles, make sure you offer a wide range of choices to your customers including some more subtle pleasant scents as well as the strong throwing more overpowering ones.

The ‘throw’ or ‘smelliness’ of your candle depends on many factors – the type of wax you are using, the actual strength of the fragrance, the size of the jar and the size of the room and how long you have been burning it for.

1. The type of wax – some types of wax eg soy and paraffin throw differently when compared to each other as does each brand of waxes.

2. Strength of the fragrance – some fragrances are designed to be ‘stinky’ and will fill the room with fragrance almost instantly. Some on the other hand are more subtle and you may only get a hint of the smell (depending on the size of the room) If putting a candle in the toilet you want to be able to stand the smell for the time you are in there and as it is a small enclosed space a very smelly candle may not be the right choice.

3. The size of the room – do not expect a small candle to fill an open plan lounge room. Again the specific fragrance will play a role here as you can put a subtle fragrance in a very large candle and still only get a smallish scent throw.

4. Length of time of burning – after around 10 minutes or so we experience what we call ‘sensory overload’ or ‘olfactory fatigue’. This means our brains have had enough of that one particular smell and switch the brain off so we no longer smell it. It is a protection mechanism and one that most of us are glad of (our work place is particularly ‘stinky’ with a rainbow of scents permeating the air daily. None of us can smell it, but customers that come in always comment on how ‘nice’ it smells.) If you can no longer smell the candle it does not mean the scent has disappeared, more than likely your brain has had enough. Leave the room for 10 minutes, clear your nostrils and go back in and you will notice the smell immediately.

For more interesting reading on scent perception and how to educate your customers click here to read our article about fragrance perception.

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  • Reply
    Nadine White
    October 7, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Quite true – the scent becomes undetectable after a while. I either swap to another fragrance after an hour or so or blow out the candle to rest my sense of scent for a while.

  • Reply
    jo Donaldson
    November 27, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Hi, I have noticed on American sites they say the additive VYBAR helps with scent throw…Do you stock this product??

    • Reply
      January 31, 2018 at 11:19 am

      We used to but no longer. It is traditionally used in paraffin candles and is hard to work with in soy candles. It caused way too many problems for any small potential benefits we were getting so it was deleted.

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