As a teacher in Thailand, I learned many useful things as I had to know how to do them myself if I was going to teach my students. One of the things I learned was how to scent wax. In Thailand, candles are used everywhere so practically every Thai adult has, at one time or another, made handmade candles. Many of the scents used in wax in the West also come from Thailand – scents like lemongrass, mangosteen, kaffir lime leaves, and jasmine are all traditional Thai scents. So a lot of Thais are experts when it comes to how to scent wax.

When Thais makes candles or other wax items, scents are often added as aromatherapy and its benefits are well-known in Thailand. It’s actually pretty easy to add scent to wax. You can add one fragrance or you can mix different scents together to create new fragrances, which is fun and can be addictive.

Materials needed:

A saucepan and a metal bowl, or a double boiler

Wax – either a 1 pound block or 1 pound of flakes

Stearic acid


Several oil-based fragrances or block fragrance

Here’s how to scent wax – it’s not difficult really.

1. Melt the candle wax. Put the candle wax (block or flakes) into a metal basin that is perched over a saucepan full of hot water, or in a double boiler, and melt the wax over a medium heat. If you’re using candle wax, you will also need to add about 4 tablespoons of stearic acid per pound of candle wax. The stearic acid will make the wax a little harder so it’s easier to manipulate. If you’re using soy wax, there’s no need to add stearic acid. Just melt it over a medium heat until it’s completely melted.

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2. Add the fragrance. You can either use a fragrance that comes in a block or one that is oil based. If you use a fragrance from a block, you will have to scent your wax candles by shaving some of the fragrance off the block. This can be somewhat trial and error, as you don’t want to add too much. So only shave a little bit at first, stir it into the melted wax until it melts too, and then test the smell. If the fragrance is still too weak, you can add more. Just make sure your wax is still melted thoroughly when you do so.

For an oil based fragrance, add approximately 1oz of fragrance for every pound of wax. You can also mix fragrances here. So, for instance, if you decide you want mangosteen and jasmine, then use a mix of both fragrances but the same 1oz total fragrance oil. Don’t forget, you can also experiment in how to scent wax using more unusual fragrance combinations. You never know, you might invent a new fragrance.

3. Make sure the fragrance is completely stirred into the wax. Make sure you stir the fragrance into the melted wax completely. This will ensure that, whatever you make with the wax, will have a consistent fragrance from beginning to end.

4. Put the wax in a mould before it starts to harden. Once you have added the correct amount of fragrance to your wax, pour your wax into a mould before it begins to harden. If you’re making candles, it will take a few hours to harden to a consistency that you can burn them but, once it does, you will notice how lovely it smells.

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It’s really not difficult to learn how to scent wax. The two main things to remember are to make sure you don’t overheat your wax as it will set on fire if it gets too hot, and to stir your fragrance into your melted wax completely. Now that you know how to scent wax, you will have hours of fun making beautiful candles with gorgeous fragrances.