Using naturally scented substances like fresh or dried herbs, flowers, spices is a great alternative to commercially available fragrance oils.
Using Fresh or Dried Herbs, Flowers, or Spices
You can try using any of the following ingredients: rose petals, lavender flowers, fresh or dried herbs, dried citrus peels, vanilla pods, cinnamon sticks, or cloves. Most of these ingredients can be found in natural food or craft stores. Some people suggest that herbs and spices purchased at natural food stores are of a higher quality, resulting in more fragrance.
How much do you need to add?
The process of adding natural herbs, spices, and flowers to candle wax is slightly different than when using fragrance oils. Well just like when cooking you can use more when the ingredients are fresh then when they are dry as the scent is likely to be more potent. One handful of fresh ingredients or one tablespoon dried per pound of candle wax should be enough. Leave the herbs to simmer in the wax for 30 minutes, kept at a constant temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit - this is where your candy making thermometer and double boiler comes in handy. After simmering, you can then remove the herbs from the wax by straining cheesecloth or you can leave the herbs in the candle wax for decorative purposes. Keep in mind that if you add more whole or powdered herbs than necessary and then do not strain them out, the burning quality of your candle will be affected as will the final color and texture. Finally, the herbs and flowers can be a fire hazard if not distributed properly so for the purposes of this article, we recommend straining them out.
Remember to coordinate candle colors with the scents you intend to add (such light to medium green for mint.) This will enhance the effect you are trying to create.