Soy Candles—Aromatherapy Efficient?
So, you’re thinking about making candles with your essential oils.
It’s a nice project. Whether you are making these candles as gifts or just for yourself, it’s a fun, hands-on, customizable activity. And once the candle is made, there are all sorts of cute ways you can decorate the outside of the jar!
But are essential-oil candles efficient aromatherapy? Or are you throwing away your oils by not using them in a diffuser?
That, of course, depends on the candle recipe you’re talking about.
Doing the Math: Soy Candle Recipes vs. Diffusers
A typical diffuser, equipped with 3 drops of oil, will provide you with aromatherapy for at least 20 minutes (plus whatever time the fragrance still lingers in the air after the diffuser shuts off).
As for candles, it is typical to get 5-7 hours out of every oz of wax (especially with the proper wick size and candle shape).
If we do the math we see that, if you want to get the same amount of aromatherapy time for the same number of drops—you are looking at a maximum of 45-63 drops of oil per oz of candle wax.
Is that enough oil to make your candle adequately fragrant? Depends on whose recipe, and whose nose, you ask.
Soy Candle Recipes
Ultimately, it’s your nose and your budget that matter. And as you start experimenting to find a recipe that works for you remember these tips:
- The highest quality oils will lend the greatest potency to your candles with few drops.
- Wicks and soy wax aren’t usually expensive, and mason jars can be had for cheap at local thrift stores.
- Get the most fragrance out of your candle, make sure to get a “full melt pool” on your first burn. This means letting the wax melt across the full width of the candle.
Why use a candle rather than a diffuser?
Here are some pros:
- Candles are great tools for meditation focus (more on that below).
- Candles require no electricity.
- Candles can make for cute, personalized gifts.
- Candles can add to a room’s ambiance.
And here are some cons:
- Candles are often said not to throw fragrances as well as diffusers do.
- Candles have to be replaced after the wax runs out.
- Candles can be a fire hazard if not properly attended to, especially around children or pets.
How Can Candles Help me Meditate?
Meditation brings all sorts of benefits, but you get the most benefits from finding the meditation style that matches your personality and your needs.
Trataka meditation is a great style for those who, due to stress, restlessness, or even just an active imagination, have a hard time keeping their mind from wandering, especially while their eyes are closed.
In this style of meditation, the candle is placed at a comfortable distance (about 2 feet away is recommended) and is the only source of light in the room. From a comfortable, but not slumping, meditative position, the participant focuses on the candle flame and their own breathing.
The flame provides a steady, yet not wholly inanimate, focal point for the eyes that makes it easier for the participant to enter a meditative state. Participants are encouraged, with time and practice, to develop the ability to keep their gaze steady and unblinking and even to allow their peripheral vision to fade away as their focus increases.
Those who still struggle with focus are encouraged to focus on their steady breaths and imagine that they are inhaling and exhaling the light of the flame.
Certain fragrances, especially if used repeatedly, and even certain candle colors are said to support certain feelings and meditative goals. So making your own aromatherapy/meditation candles is a great idea!
For reference, some of the most popular essential oil fragrances for meditation are Holy Basil, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Myrrh, Chamomile, Cypress, Hinoki, Lavender, Vetiver, Patchouli, and Ylang Ylang.
There's so much to love about DIY essential-oil soy candles.
There's the fragrance, DIY satisfaction, the customization of scents, the opportunity for personalized decoration, and the potential meditative benefits.
Once you get started, you may never buy another candle again in your life! As long as you're "on fire" metaphorically rather than physically, it's wonderful hobby that you can use to enhance your life.