Candles,  Tips and tricks

Why doesn’t my homemade candle smell like anything?

Working with flash points so your homemade scented candles smell right 

Making your own candles is such a fun and easy activity! That said, a little bit of knowledge and practice goes a long way to ensuring they turn out beautifully. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert candlemaker, you’ve probably had a candle or two that ended up barely smelling like anything. When that happens, it’s because of flash points of your scents. But what does that actually mean? 

When a liquid is heated, it transforms into vapours. The flash point is the temperature at which these vapours will catch fire. To make sure that your candles don’t just perfume your home but that they perfume it safely, the flash point of the fragrances you use must be greater than 65°C. If the flashpoint is below 65°C, two outcomes are possible. One, your perfume burns and your candle loses its scent. Two, your candle may catch fire when the wick is lit—and that’s dangerous! In our recipes, we always recommend scenting your candles with aromatic essences or candle-safe essential oils (meaning those with a flash point higher than 65°C). And that’s definitely the simplest way to go if you’re just starting out. That said, if you’re already comfortable making candles, there are ways that you can safely work with essential oils that have lower flash points. 

How can you calculate the flash point of a mix of essential oils to make sure your scent blend is safe? 

When you want to scent your candles with essential oils, you must first determine the overall flash point of the mixture you’re using to make sure your DIY candle will be safe. Don’t worry, it’s not hard at all! All you have to do is to calculate the weighted average of the flash points of your essential oils (which means averaging them according to what proportion of the blend they make up). 


Let’s start with an easy example:

  • 50% rosewood essential oil (flash point = 73°C)
  • 50% pink grapefruit essential oil (flash point = 44°C)

To calculate the flash point of this scent blend, you need to calculate the weighted average of the flash points of the two essential oils: (50% x 73°C) + (50% x 44°C) = 58.5°C


In this example, the flash point of the scent blend is less than 65°C. The scent blend is not safe to use in your candle, as there is a risk of your candle catching fire. So, how can you fix that? 


You have two options. You can either play with the proportions of your essential oils to create a blend with a flash point above 65°C, creating your own candle-safe essential oil blend. Or, you can add an aromatic essence of your choosing—even a little goes a long way to increasing the flash point of your scent blend.


In either case, refer to the following general formula to calculate the flash point of your chosen scents:

Flash point scent blend = (% of scent A x flash point of scent A) + (% of scent B x flash point scent B) 

Solution 1: Play with the proportions of your essential oils

You can increase the flash point of your scent blend by altering the proportions of your chosen essential oils. Let’s return to our previous example:


As rosewood essential oil has a higher flash point than pink grapefruit essential oil, you can use more rosewood than grapefruit, rather than equal parts of each, to bring up the mixture’s overall flash point. For example, we could try the following percentages:

  • 80% rosewood essential oil (flash point = 73°C)
  • 20% pink grapefruit essential oil (flash point = 44°C)

Overall flash point: (80% x 73°C) + (20% x 44°C) = 67.2°C > 65°C 

Solution 2: Add an aromatic essence

All our aromatic essences have a flash point of 287°C. By adding any aromatic essence, you can increase the overall flash point of your scent blend



  • 40% rosewood essential oil (flash point = 73°C)
  • 40% pink grapefruit essential oil (flash point = 44 °C)
  • 20% orange blossom aromatic essence (flash point = 287°C)

Overall flash point: (40% x 73°C) + (40% x 44°C) + (20% x 287°C) = 104.2°C > 65°C 


The flash points of our essential oils 

To make it easy for you to create your own candle-safe scent blends, we’ve prepared a table that includes the flash points for all our essential oils. Note that the flash point of one essential oil may differ from one supplier to another. That is, an essential oil that you bought from a different store may not have the same flash point as the one we sell at COCOÉCO.

The flash points of some essential oils in this table are presented with the “greater than” (>) sign. For these essential oils, use the number indicated in your calculations (i.e., for a flash point listed as “>100,” use 100°C in your calculations).

As we mentioned above, all our aromatic essences have a flash point of 287°C, so we have not included them in our table. 


Essential oil Flash point (in °C) 
Amyris 130
Anise 83
Atlas cedar (organic) > 100
Balsam fir (organic) 44
Basil (organic) 82
Bay laurel 48
Benzoin 170
Bergamot 42
Black pepper 54
Black spruce 42
Camphor 64
Carrot seed 56
Catnip 99
Celery seed 41
Chamomile 52
Chamomile 10% 212
Cinnamon bark 93
Cinnamon leaf 87.78
Cistus (organic) 52
Citronella (organic) 81
Clary sage 81
Clove 93.3
Cocoa absolute 100
Coffee 323
Coriander 57
Cypress (organic) 42
Eucalyptus globulus 53
Eucalyptus, lemon-scented 72
Eucalyptus radiata 46
Frankincense (10%)  271
Ginger 65
Grapefruit, pink (organic) 44
Grapefruit, white 45
Helichrysum 53
Ho wood (organic) 65
Lavender, 40/42 63
Lavender, spike 64
Lavender, true (organic) 71
Lemon (organic) 49
Lemongrass (organic) 71
Lime 46
Litsea 66
Myrrh > 100
Myrrh (10%) 217
Oregano 47
Palmarosa 101
Patchouli 102
Peppermint (organic) 65
Petitgrain 75
Ravintsara  50
Red mandarin 48
Rose geranium (organic) 91
Rosemary ct cineole  43
Rosewood > 73
Sage (organic) 55
Scotch pine  42
Siberian fir 43
Spearmint (organic) 68
Sweet orange > 43
Tangerine 49
Tea tree (organic) 57
Thuya (organic)  56
Thyme ct thymol (organic) 62
Vetiver > 100
Virginia cedar 94
White pine (organic) 40
Wintergreen 96
Ylang-ylang 98


A few examples of seasonal scent blends

Here are a few of our recent favourite scent blends, all of which are safe to use in your candles. We love to share! If you’d like to use them in a candle recipe, check out our article on How to make scented candles.

1. Citrus Grove

Overall flash point: 190.8°C (> 65°C)

2. Enchanted Forest

Overall flash point: 165.2°C (> 65°C)

3. Secret Garden

Overall flash point: 206.1°C (> 65°C)

4. Mimosa Smile

Overall flash point: 205.7°C (> 65°C)


We hope this article helps you understand flash points and create beautifully scented candles. It was written by compiling the tips and tricks provided by our in-store team—remember that you can always ask them for advice too!

Keep in mind that anyone can get into DIY: all you need is the right ingredients and the right tools (like this guide!), and you can make your own creations that are safe and that respect the planet.  And of course, when you make your next DIY candles, take pics, tag us on social media and tell us all about the fragrant scent blends you’ve created!

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