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What Are Essential Oils, and Do They Work in Candle Making & Cosmetic?

Essential oils are nothing but a concentrated extract of a plant’s parts. Essential oils are the core essence of plants. These are concentrated, volatile, and highly potent natural chemical compounds. Paracelsus and other alchemists introduced the term ‘essential oil’ to describe the quintessence which means the overall odour and flavour of a particular plant species.

Historical evidence shows that ancient civilizations around the world have been using essential oils in various applications like Traditional healing therapies, Aromatherapy, Personal Care, Beauty Treatments, Food Preparations, and Religious Ceremonies.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oil is a highly concentrated, aromatic liquid derived from various parts of plants, such as leaves, flowers, stems, and roots. Essential oils are obtained through various extraction methods, such as steam distillation, mechanical extraction, solvent extraction, and many others.

Essential oils are named after their source, which is the plant from which they are extracted. These oils’ characteristic fragrance and potential therapeutic properties make them highly prized.

Let us learn more about essential oils, their historical significance, methods of extraction, their various uses, and much more. In reality, they are not “oily”. They are called “oils” because they contain characteristic chemical compounds of the plant that are oil-soluble.

In this section, we’ll explore the fundamental characteristics and purposes of essential oils.

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History and Origins of Essential Oils

For thousands of years, man has been using essential oils, or fragrance oils, as they were once called. Historical research has revealed that fragrances were widely used in religious ceremonies in ancient civilizations. People would use fragrances as gifts for gods because they believed it would make their bodies more divine, transforming their bodies into heavenly states.

Yagnas, or fire sacrifices, played a major role in the Vedic era. The fire god, Agni, was offered various aromatic and medicinal herbs to please him. It was believed that gods would shower prosperity and evade misfortunes.

Perfumery is believed to have been invented by the ancient Egyptians, refined by the Romans, and introduced to the West by the Persians. These exclusive essential or aromatic oils were used for special ceremonies. They used to crush selected flowers and other aromatic compounds and blend them with oils to make these perfumes. They also used aromatic herbs and spices to enhance the aromas.

Over the period, people of different cultures, like the Romans and people from far-east countries, discovered their favourite scents.

A perfumery also existed in the Indus civilization between 3300 BC and 1300 BC. One of Ittar’s earliest distillations is described in ancient texts like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita.

What is Pure Essential Oil?

  • Pure essential oils are extracted from various parts of plants, like leaves, stems, roots, flowers, etc., through distillation or cold pressing.
  • These oils are highly concentrated and contain volatile aromatic compounds from the plants from which they are extracted.
  • Pure essential oils contain only the natural and pure essence and characteristic properties of the plant parts.
  • These oils are not contaminated with other additives like carrier oils, synthetic fragrances, or diluting agents.

Since pure essential oils are highly concentrated and potent, it is important to take precautions while using them.

  • It is necessary to take a small patch test on the skin before using it for the first time.
  • Use it in a very small amount, as it is highly potent.
  • Dilute it with carrier oils as required.

What are Essential oils used for?

Essential oils are used in various industries, including personal and home care, and have wide applications. Following are some of the common applications of essential oils.

  • Candles and wax melts: Essential oils play a key role in the art of creating luxury candles and wax melts. Essential oils not only provide nature’s most pleasant essence but also therapeutic benefits that enhance the overall sensory experience. Candles and wax melts infused with these oils captivate the senses, promote relaxation, and create a soothing atmosphere.
  • Aromatherapy: Essential oils are widely and popularly used in aromatherapy. They are used to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and achieve overall well-being.
  • Skincare: The characteristic properties of the essential oils promote health. They reduce inflammation, soothe irritation, and thus support a healthy-looking complexion.
  • Hair care: A number of essential oils are used effectively to stimulate hair growth and improve the overall condition of hair. They offer a natural and pleasant aroma to the hair.
  • Household cleaning: Some of the essential oils have natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. They act as strong cleaning agents and, hence, are incorporated into natural cleaning products. Known for their pleasant aroma, they are used for deodorising surfaces such as kitchens, sinks, bathrooms, and carpets.
  • Natural remedies: Many common ailments, such as headaches, nausea, muscle aches, and respiratory problems, can be treated naturally with essential oils. However, it is necessary to consult a healthcare professional when needed.
  • Insect repellent: Aromatic essential oils such as citronella, lemongrass, and lavender not only possess a pleasant aroma but also possess insect-repelling effects. They are the key elements in natural insect repellents.
  • Flavouring: A number of food-grade essential oils are used as flavouring agents in cooking and baking, bringing a variety of exotic flavours to dishes and beverages.

What is the Best Essential oil for Candles?

Using essential oils to make candles is a wonderful way to design natural and unique candles with a preferred aroma. When a candle burns, its essential oil releases its aroma into the atmosphere.

Candles can be made with a variety of essential oils. Every essential oil has its own unique aroma and therapeutic properties, which contribute to the exclusivity of the final product. Peppermint oil can relieve headaches, while citrus oil releases freshness into the environment. Vanilla oil is more comforting, while lavender oil is calming.

By using different essential oils, you can create candles that bring both a light and pleasant aroma and also provide a personal touch to any space.

It is important to study the unique features of essential oils while integrating them into candle making in order to obtain the desired performance. The following are a few important factors that should be considered.

  • Fragrance and potency of the essential oil
  • Chemical composition of essential oil
  • Compatibility of the essential oil with the wax type
  • Preferred therapeutic properties
  • Preferred Aroma Profile

Two or more essential oils can be blended to create a more complex fragrance and get a specific therapeutic benefit. This blended oil is more effective than a single oil and can be used in aromatherapy candles.

Following are a few of the most popularly used essential oils for candles.

The Flash point in Essential Oil?

All aromatic compounds, essential oils, and fragrance oils evaporate when exposed to air. Some of the essential oils evaporate faster than others, and it depends on their respective flash points.

The temperature at which the vapours coming from the essential oil ignite as soon as they get in contact with an open flame or spark is called the flash point of that essential oil. Flashpoint is one of the significant aspects of essential oils that is critical to consider during manufacturing, storage, and transportation processes.

Each essential oil has a specific composition and purity, and the method of extraction and processing may vary for each oil. Hence, the flash point of each essential oil can vary greatly. Most flash points of essential oils range between 30°C and 100°C, and even higher in some cases.

Flash points for some of the common essential oils are given below:

S.N. Essential Oil Flash Point
1 Patchouli 100°C
2 Peppermint 69°C
3 Rosemary 44°C
4 Citrus 46°C
5 Ylang Ylang 90°C
6 Tea Tree 60°C
7 Lavender 70°C

These values are only for reference purposes. While handling essential oils, the user should refer to the specific data sheet for that essential oil.

Essential oils are used for wide applications in various industries, like candle making, aromatherapy, cosmetics, and many others. Essential oils are highly volatile and can ignite when exposed to an open flame or spark at or above their specific flash points; hence, it is important to know and note the flash point to ensure safety standards and prevent potential hazards.

Wax melts are small wax cubes made in various shapes and sizes. Wax melts are very popular as they are flameless and easy to use. Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds extracted from plant parts, whereas wax melts can be made from various natural waxes.

The addition of essential oils, with their characteristic aroma and therapeutic properties, enhances the benefits of natural wax melts. These wax melts when heated release pleasant aromas with the therapeutic benefits of the essential oil in the atmosphere. They can be used for aromatherapy and personal care.

A number of essential oils are used in wax melts. The selection is based on the required therapeutic use, ambiance, and aroma. Following are a few of popular essential oils used in wax melts:

  • Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • Lemongrass Essential Oil
  • Tea tree Essential Oil

Best Essential Oil for Diffusers?

When a diffuser is diffused with essential oil, it disperses tiny oil particles into the atmosphere. Thus, creating a pleasant ambiance rich in the aroma and therapeutic benefits of an essential oil. The diffuser acts as an easy and inexpensive device for aromatherapy.

A number of essential oils can be used in diffusers depending on the individual choices, preferred therapeutic benefits, mood, and ambiance. Following are a few of the essential oils commonly used in diffusers.

  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Tea tree Essential Oil
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
  • Lemongrass Essential Oil
  • Peppermint Essential Oil

Can I use Essential Oil as perfume?

Essential oils can be used as perfumes as they release a very pure, natural, and pleasant aroma into the environment. They could be a great choice over synthetic perfumes, as they have many therapeutic benefits. Consider the following points when using essential oils as perfumes:

  • While using essential oils as perfume, make sure to use pure and high-quality essential oils from a reputed source.
  • It is advised to take a small patch test on the skin before using essential oils directly on the skin.
  • Essential oils are highly concentrated; hence, a very small amount is used for application. They can also be diluted with carrier oil to be used as perfume.
  • Do not apply essential oils all over the body, but use them lightly on pulse points like the wrists, behind the ears, or on the neck.

Is Essential Oil and Attar the same?

Attar and essential oils are both derived from natural sources and are highly concentrated, aromatic, and volatile compounds. They are similar in a few aspects, but they are not exactly the same. Attars are derived from traditional methods of fragrance extraction and are historically significant in particular regions. Essential oils, on the other hand, are primarily used in industries that have broader applications than those pertaining to attars.


  • Attar or Itra, is an Arabic word for perfume or essence.
  • Attar has been used traditionally in Middle Eastern countries, India, and Pakistan.
  • It has been used during religious rituals and special occasions and has cultural significance in these regions.
  • The attar is made by collecting the aroma of flowers, herbs, or spices by hydro-distillation on a base material like sandalwood oil.
  • Attars are often kept for ageing for several years before they are ready to use.
  • Attar is used exclusively as a perfume.

Essential oils:

  • Essential oils are used globally for various applications.
  • It is extracted from various parts of the plant by processes like steam distillation or cold pressing.
  • Essential oils do not require an ageing process like Attar’s.
  • These oils are widely used for healing purposes, aromatherapy, personal care products, candle making, and many other applications.

Do Essential oils behave differently with different waxes?

Yes, each essential oil behaves differently with different types of wax. This is because each essential oil has its own chemical composition, characteristic aroma, and therapeutic properties. While every wax is derived from a different source that could be natural or synthetic, waxes have various chemical compositions and varying melting points.

A number of factors affect how essential oils interact with wax, as follows:

  • Retention of Aroma: Different waxes have varying degrees of capacity to retain the aroma of essential Certain waxes have a greater capacity to absorb and retain aroma, thus giving a long-lasting effect.
  • Temperature: Essential oils with lower flash points are sensitive to heat. Certain waxes generate higher temperatures while burning, which might impair the essential oil’s overall performance and aroma.
  • Source of Essential Oil: Each essential oil is derived from different plants and various plant parts. Each oil has a different chemical composition and properties. Thus, various essential oils behave differently with the same wax types as well as with various wax types.
  • Adhesion: The ability of essential oils to adhere to the wax is crucial to maintaining a strong fragrance throughout the candle’s lifetime. Each essential oil has a varying degree of adherence to different wax types.

Experimenting with various waxes and essential oils enables candle manufacturers to reach desired results in terms of scent throw, longevity, and overall performance, thus allowing them to craft exclusive candles with preferred therapeutic properties.

V Candle Supplies is a one-stop shop for all your candle supplies. We are a trusted supplier and wholesaler of a wide range of 100% pure and natural essential oils. We are committed to providing quality products to our customers. Our range of captivating aromas can be customised according to your requirements.