How to Make Candles Smell Stronger? (2022 Guide)

This is a guide covering how to make candles smell stronger.

You have been tempted to buy yet another scented candle at your favorite candle store.

Once you had gone home, you have opened it and noticed that the candle smell is not that strong.

You have spent those few extra dollars to enjoy the fragrance. Worried, you have tried lighting up the candle and waiting to see if the candle smell gets stronger.

We all have gone through similar situations. It is annoying and frustrating when the candles don’t smell as stronger as we expected them to be.

Why does it happen? Is there any solution to salvage this situation?

Why Would Candles Not Smell Strong?

There are various reasons why your candles may not be smelling as strong as you expected them to be.

We have put together a list of reasons.

1. The Candle Is Too Small for the Room

Candles spread their fragrance by a process called diffusion. Diffusion and distance are directly related.

The extent to which the diffusion occurs depends upon the distance to the receptor.
Confused? In simple layman terms, if the room is smaller, the diffusion is easier.

The fragrance oil molecules travel faster to smaller distances. If the room is larger, the fragrance oil molecules can not travel as effectively.

So, if you are lighting up a candle that’s too small for a larger room, the candle smell wouldn’t be strong enough.

2. Not Enough Fragrance Oil

Candles get their fragrance due to the presence of the added fragrance oils.

If the candle maker has added too little fragrance oil, the candle wouldn’t smell strong.

3. The Temperature at Which You Add the Fragrance Oil

If you add the fragrance oil at higher temperatures, the heat is going to vaporize the fragrance oils.

This is going to result in decreased candle smell.

4. The Type of Wax

Some waxes hold more fragrance than others.

For example, natural waxes such as soy wax or coconut wax hold more fragrance than paraffin wax.

How Can I Make My Candles Smell Stronger?

Before we get into the ways how you can make candles smell stronger, you must know a few terms about the candle smell.

The term ‘scent throw’ describes how strong the scent of a candle is. The scent throw of each candle depends on several factors, as mentioned in the previous section.


The term ‘hot throw’ describes the strength of the scent of a candle when it’s lit. ‘Cold throw’ describes the strength of the scent of a candle when it’s unlit.

The hot throw of the candle is greater than the cold throw.

1. Light the Candle

Goes without saying, to make the candles smell stronger, light the candle up.

This increases the temperature enough for the fragrance oil molecules to diffuse.

As the temperature increases, the diffusion also increases.

So, the candle smell spreads faster.

2. Heat the Candle for Long Enough Time

After lighting the candle, you should wait long enough for the wax to get melted and form a pool on top of the candle.

When the wax is hot enough, the diffusion of the fragrance oil molecules gets easier.

The general rule of thumb is to wait until the top layer of the wax gets melted until the edge of the candle.

3. Add the Fragrance Oils at the Right Temperature

Are you a DIY candlemaker or have you already bought a candle at the store?

In any case, you can still add fragrance oils to the candles.

Add the fragrance oils when the candle reaches a temperature of almost 170-180 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Choose the Right Candle

It’s very important to pick the right candle.

If the room in which you choose to burn the candle is too big, light multiple candles to spread the candle smell.

You can also burn larger candles with multiple wicks.

5. Use a Candle Topper

Candle toppers fulfill the purpose of retaining the heat to the candle diameter and melting the wax pool faster.

This helps in faster diffusion.

6. Allow Proper Curing Time

If you are a candlemaker, ensure that you allow enough time for the candle to be cured, before adding fragrance oils.

The rule is to allow at least 24-48 hours for paraffin wax candles and 1-2 weeks for the soy wax candles.

Does the Type of Wax Affect How Strong the Smell Is?

Yes, it does. No matter how good of a quality the fragrance oils are, they must blend well with the type of wax used in the candle.

Some waxes have more blending capabilities than others. Natural waxes such as coconut wax and soy wax absorb the fragrance oils faster than others.

The density of the wax also influences the scent throw. Soy wax is denser than paraffin wax.

So, it takes more heat and more time to heat the soy wax when compared to paraffin.

This affects how fast the fragrance oils diffuse. Paraffin wax has a stronger scent throw when compared to soy wax.

Paraffin Has Strong Smell But Has Toxins

As mentioned in the previous section, paraffin wax produces a stronger candle smell than soy wax. But is it worth it? (Check out our guide on paraffin wax vs soy wax)

Paraffin wax is a petroleum product.

Petroleum is a hydrocarbon that emits harmful chemicals when it’s burned. When you burn paraffin wax, it emits chemicals such as benzene and toluene.

According to the CDC website, long-term exposure to benzene results in the decreased production of red blood cells and a decrease in immunity.

Toluene affects the functioning of the central nervous system and may cause permanent damage.

Besides, manufacturers add a substance called acrolyn to paraffin wax to make it solid. Acrolyn is a known carcinogen.

All these carcinogens and toxic chemicals affect the health of human beings as well as pets.

They also cause indoor pollution, leading to asthma and allergies.

Considering all these health risks, isn’t it a wiser choice to choose a cleaner burning candle with a good scent?

Soy Wax Candles Smell Good And Have No Toxins

Soy wax is a product of the hydrogenation of soybean oil. As long as the candle is 100 percent soy wax product, the candle will produce a cleaner flame.

Unlike paraffin wax, soy wax candles do not release harmful toxins harmful to health.

Although soy wax candles don’t produce a stronger scent throw than paraffin wax, they are more health-friendly and environmental-friendly.

They burn cleaner, for a 50% longer duration and produce a decently strong candle smell.

It’s high time that we make the right choices to protect ourselves and the environment from toxic chemicals.

Final Remarks

Now that you know how to make candles smell stronger, go ahead and enjoy the warm ambiance and fragrance of your scented candles without any interruptions.

If you are buying scented candles, do not forget to buy a candle of the right size.

Ask the right questions. Questions to keep in mind: What kind of wax did they use? Is the wax 100% natural?

What kind of fragrance oils did they use in the candle-making process?

Ensure that the candle is of high-quality wax and fragrance oils.

Make the right choice, right purchase and enjoy the scent of your candles.