Candles & Wax Melts | Crafts | Gifts

The Best Fragrance Oils for Candles (That Actually Smell Good!)

A curated list of the best fragrance oils for candles to make your home smell amazing!

Ever since I began making candles, I’ve been on a mission to find fragrance oils that actually smell good and have a good scent throw.

I do have a sensitive nose, but I was surprised at how many of the fragrance oils I tried had stinky chemical odors and didn’t resemble the natural ingredients they were supposed to at all.

After trying many, many different brands and scents, I finally have a list of winners. And I’ll continue to add to this list as I test more fragrances.

Fragrance Oils vs. Essential Oils in Candles

When I first began making candles, I was excited to make all-natural candles with essential oils.

But after wasting A LOT of expensive essential oils, here’s the conclusion I came to: You can pour as many essential oils as you want into your candle wax, but you’ll just be wasting your expensive oils.

The heat from the candle flame breaks down the essential oils (and so does the candle-making process). Bottom line: It’s just not a good use of essential oils, and it’s not an effective way to scent your home either.

Natural Fragrance Oils for Candles

BUT. And this is a big but. You can get all-natural candle fragrance oils that are made entirely from plants. My favorite brand of natural fragrance oils is The Wooden Wick Co., and I’ll list a lot of my favorite scents from them below.

2 fragrance discovery kits with 10 bottles each of candle fragrance oils from The Wooden Wick Company

When I was first starting my candle making journey, I just assumed that fragrance oils from companies with names like “Plant Guru,” or “Essentials” would have all natural ingredients.

Not so, and it can be difficult to find lists of ingredients. But you should assume that any fragrance oils that don’t specifically claim to be naturally derived are chemical-based, even if they have natural-sounding names.

How to Make Candles

Making scented candles is fun and easy. This quick-start tutorial will tell you everything you need to know, and the basic recipe will work with any of the fragrance oils in this post. I’ll also include links to individual recipes and projects as we go.

How to Make Soy Candles: A Beginner’s Guide

overhead view of glowing soy candles on a white background

If you want to take a deeper dive into the best candle waxes, wick types, containers, and wax dyes, this post will answer all your questions:

How to Make Candles: A Beginner’s Guide

hot candle wax being poured into candle tins with wicks and wick holders in place

How to Make Wax Melts

I also love to make scented wax melts! These make perfect gifts and I like to pair them with an inexpensive wax warmer.

That’s what everyone is getting for Christmas this year. Shhhhh!

Check out the simple tutorial below for DIY wax melts. You can use this recipe with any of the fragrance oils listed below.

How to Make Soy Wax Melts

multi-colored DIY wax melts lined up on a table

Candle Fragrance Oils

Now, on to the best candle fragrance oils I’ve found for each season and occasion…

Fall Fragrances

Pumpkin & Persimmon, from The Wooden Wick Co.

orange gummy bear shaped wax melts with a bottle of Pumpkin & Persimmon candle fragrance oil from The Wooden Wick Co., pumpkins, and cinnamon sticks

Pumpkin Harvest, from Nature’s Oil

hand holding a small bottle of Pumpkin Harvest fragrance oil for candles from Nature's Oil

Here’s the tutorial for the Fall scented candle below using Pumpkin Harvest.

large orange 3 wick candle made with Pumpkin Harvest fragrance oil burning with pumpkins and cinnamon sticks

Candied Citrus Peel, from The Wooden Wick Co.

overhead view of white soy candles scented with with Candied Citrus Peel fragrance Oil and bits of orange peel, dried orange slices, and cinnamon sticks

Christmas & Holiday Fragrance Oils

This is where it all began- me trying to find a convincing Christmas tree scent to make scented candles. I was trying to make up for the fact that I finally got a fake tree last year. I’ve tested at least 9 different fir and tree scents trying to find the perfect fresh cut tree scent.

And then as I was testing more oils this year, a giant fir tree came crashing through my roof during a wind storm! It turns out THAT is the way to get your house to smell like a Christmas tree. But I digress.

I’ve come to the conclusion that you really can’t beat the real thing. But these two candle fragrance oils are the closest I’ve found.

Juniper Spruce & Balsam Fir, from The Wooden Wick Co.

Juniper Spruce & Balsam Fir scented candle burning with fir boughs in the background

Tree Sap & Fig, from The Wooden Wick Co.

Peppermint Swirl, from Nature’s Oil

This nice strong peppermint scent is perfect for Christmas time!

large soy candle in a jar with wood wicks and candycane pieces embedded in it, scented with Peppermint fragrance oil for candles

Orange Cinnamon & Clove

Floral Scents

I honestly didn’t think I liked very many floral scents until I got the Wooden Wick Company’s Floral Fragrance Discovery Kit. There are a lot of lovely subtle scents in there that don’t remind me of stinky potpourri! Here are a few of my favorites thus far:

silicone wax melt mold with 6 different varieties of floral scented wax melts and dried flower petals

Lavender Leaf & Balsam (The Wooden Wick Co.)

wax melts with dried lavender flowers embedded in them scented with Lavender Leaf & Balsam fragrance oil for candles, from The Wooden Wick Co.

Star Jasmine & Santal, from The Wooden Wick Co.

natural soy wax melts with dried jasmine flowers scented with Star Jasmine & Santal Fragrance oil for candles

Orchid & Black Amber, from The Wooden Wick Co.

purple flower-shaped wax melts made with Orchid & Black Amber fragrance oil from The Wooden Wick Co.

Fruity & Tropical Fragrances

Pink Sands, from Candle Lynn on Etsy

This is probably my all-time favorite candle scent! It transports me to a spa at a Caribbean beachside resort, and it’s a very convincing copycat for Yankee Candle’s Pink Sands.

wood cutting board covered in bright pink flamingo-shaped wax melts made with Pink Sands fragrance oil

Tangerine & Peach Tea, from The Wooden Wick Co.

This one is nice and fruity but authentic and sophisticated.

light orange gummy bear shaped wax melts with a bottle of Tangering & Peach Tea fragrance oil

Citrus & Herbal Scents

Lemon Verbena & Thyme, from The Wooden Wick Co.

I really love this fresh clean scent in the kitchen! Or actually anywhere.

natural soy wax melts made with Lemon Verbena & Thyme candle fragrance oil from The Wooden Wick Co. and a lemon

Sweet Citrus & Tonka Bean, from The Wooden Wick Co.

Citronella Fragrance Oil

Over the summer I was determined to make effective mosquito-repelling citronella candles for my outdoor living spaces. These oils are the winners from my experiments:

Bug Off, from Nature’s Oil


Citron & Camphor, from The Wooden Wick Co.

DIY citronella candles burning on a patio table

Luxury Fragrance Oils For Candles

Vanilla & Cashmere, from The Wooden Wick Co.

bottle of Cashmere & Vanilla candle fragrance oil with heart-shaped soy wax melts & a heart silicone wax mold

I know I’ll have many more great scents to add to this list now that I’ve discovered a few great fragrance oil companies. I hope this helps you find fragrances you love for your DIY candles and wax melts too!

More DIY Candles & Wax Melts…

The Best Wax Melt Molds For Every Occasion

collage of silicone wax melt molds in different shapes and sizes

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