What Kind of Wax Holds the Most Fragrance?


When deciding on candle making supplies it’s natural to experiment with different types of waxes, wicks, and fragrances. Every maker wants to find that unique combination of ingredients that makes their creations stand out from the rest. When it comes to making scented candles, there are advantages to each type of candle wax on the market.

Understanding Scent Throw

If you’re new to candle making you may still be wondering how to master the art of scent throw. Scent throw refers to the amount of fragrance a candle emits. The fragrance is what lures most customers to choose one candle over another. It can be appreciated both when the candle is lit and when it is unlit.

The cold scent throw is the term that describes the aroma of an unlit candle. Hold a finished candle at about arm’s length to properly measure cold scent throw. If you can detect a slight fragrance from that distance, the candle has a proper fragrance-to-wax ratio.

Hot scent throw describes what you experience from a lit candle. A high-quality candle will typically fill an entire room with fragrance after burning for about 60 minutes.

Some types of wax help improve scent throw, but wax isn’t the only thing that affects fragrance. The quality of your fragrance oil and the point at which you add it to the wax also make a difference. It can take many tries to perfect a new scent combination. Using the right type of wax may help improve your results.

The Best Options for Candle Wax

There are three main types of wax that can be used safely for candle-making: paraffin, soy, and beeswax. All three produce excellent candles. Many makers opt to combine these three waxes to develop their own special formula. It is recommended to work with each wax separately first so you can get to know the product’s properties.

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax provides a great scent throw compared to other waxes. Yet some makers prefer not to use paraffin because it is a petroleum-based product. Other pros qualities of paraffin wax include:

  • Has a short cure period (ready to burn in as few as five days)
  • Is budget-friendly
  • Is short-burning (candles will burn down quicker than those made from other waxes)
  • Provides excellent stability for pillars, votives, and molded candles
  • Holds color well

Although some might claim that paraffin wax emits unhealthy fumes, a study published by Science Direct tested several types of candles, including paraffin. It concluded that each type of wax behaved similarly when it comes to emissions. Differences in emissions were more apparent in scented versus unscented candles regardless of the wax base. In all tests, the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were well within safe limits.

Soy Wax

Soy wax is made from soybeans. It is a popular choice for vegans and those who wish to make candles from sustainable ingredients. It is also a great wax option for scent throw. Other attributes of soy wax include:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Sustainable
  • Long burning
  • Sensitive to the surrounding temperature, candles may shrink and lose volume in temperatures under 60 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Long cure time, up to 14 days

Soy wax is an excellent choice overall for making scented candles. It is a soft wax that works best in container candles.


Beeswax is a natural product that is harvested from beehives. It has a naturally sweet scent that can complement some fragrances, but it may limit your fragrance options. Beeswax does not rate highly for a cold scent throw, but it does produce a good hot scent throw. Other qualities of beeswax include:

  • The cost may be higher than other waxes
  • Long cure time, up to 10 days
  • A good option for people who do not want synthetic scents
  • It is more sustainable

One way to improve the scent throw of beeswax is to add a small amount of coconut oil to the melted wax. Beeswax is an excellent choice for molded or upright candles.

Choosing Candle Making Supplies

In addition to the type of wax, the quality of your candle fragrance also affects scent throw. Selecting fragrances and other candle making supplies that have been tested specifically for candles, and following all recommendations for use may help ensure every candle you make looks and smells beautiful.