Creating Scented Candles with Household Ingredients

Scented candles seem more popular now than ever before, with high-end, luxury versions enticing buyers with their huge colourful jars and an array of interesting aromas. The unfortunate part of many of these ready-made scented candles, despite their appeal, is that they can get very expensive to buy.

A solution that people are increasingly catching onto is that you can make your own at home for a fraction of the price. Not only do you save money doing this, but it's also a lot of fun and the result is candles that are specifically tailored to whatever you like.

Commonly, people use purpose-made candle scenting oils to get the smell they want, but that's not the only option. If you don't have any oils or you prefer to do things yourself, you can turn the following household items into candle-making supplies.

Dried herbs and spices

Put some cooking oil – olive or coconut work well – in a small pan, and infuse it over a low heat with your choice of herbs and spices. Strain it off to leave a scented oil that can be added to melted wax. Many herbs and spices are used in cooking as much for their aromas as for the way they taste, so you can enjoy coming up with endless combinations that smell wonderful.

Citrus peel

Infuse lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit or a combination of whatever you have in warm oil, as with the herbs and spices method above. Citrus is lovely and summery and helps freshen up your home on stuffy days.


Use ordinary teabags and they'll be easy to remove from the hot oil. Infuse them for five minutes, or until you get the strength of aroma you're looking for. The great thing about this method is the possibilities available, especially if you look at herbal teabags. Teas like chai and cinnamon are great for the colder part of the year, while Earl Grey or sweet berry tea is nice on a hot day.


Infusing dried or fresh flower heads using the oil method can extract their unique aromas. This works best with strongly-scented flowers like lavender, jasmine or honeysuckle.

Essential oils

Essential oils are used for massage or in oil burners, but they can also be used in candles. Add them directly to your wax, but be aware that they may smell stronger than candle oils, so you might not need to use as much. Add it slowly and test with your nose as you go.