Happy December! Nothing like the scent of gingerbread to get you in the holiday mood! A good scented candle can certainly do the job. Unfortunately, artificial scents are not very desirable for your health or the environment.
Most of the chemicals in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum. The chemicals range from causing allergic reactions to being hormone disruptors to potential carcinogens. Did you ever get a headache from an artificial fragrance? I know I have.
Luckily, you can still get yummy scents without the negative effects! Enter, essential oils!
Essential oils are extracted from plants. They are essentially concentrated aroma compounds, so they have a strong scent. Essential oils are also used for other purposes, as some are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti fungal, etc. This gingerbread candle is scented entirely with essential oils, and it smells just like the real thing.
If you do decide to buy a scented candle from the store that claims to be natural, look out for it saying it is 100% scented with essential oils. Any other claims can still contain artificial fragrances.
So let’s get to the candle making!
What you’ll need:
- Candle wax (I use soy)
- Cinnamon (optional)
- Ginger root essential oil
- Vanilla absolute oil
- Cinnamon essential oil
- Nutmeg or Clove essential oil
- A double boiler or makeshift double boiler
- Glass jars
Trust me, it’s easy!
Step One. Prepare Wicks
Tape your wicks to the bottom of the glass jars. I use masking tape but other types of tape should work fine.
Optional Pre-Step Two. Heat jars
Heat your jars in the oven on the lowest setting. This helps make sure the wax hardens evenly because the jars will be closer to the temperature of the wax. You can skip this if you are lazy, like I was when I made these.
Step Two. Melt Wax
In your double boiler, or a pot placed over a boiling pot of water, melt your wax. 1 cup of wax should make about one 4 ounce candle (like the 4 ounce jelly jars I love to use)
Step Three. Add Scents
When the wax is completely melted, turn the heat off but leave the pot on the double boiler. Now is time to add your essential oils. I added about 20 drops of ginger oil, 15 vanilla, 10 cinnamon, and 5 nutmeg into 2 cups of wax. I also added some sprinkles of cinnamon. It gave the candles a speckled look, which I like.
Step Four. Pour into jars
Pour the wax into the jars and let them cool! If your wicks won’t stay in the middle, just use a toothpick to keep them in place.
And don’t forget Step 5…
Burn your candles and enjoy the smell! I love the scent of these.
You can play around with the ratios of oils until you get a scent that smells right to you. I was happy with this combination, but I could have even gone with more for a stronger candle. Either way, they’re great.
Let me know how making homemade all natural gingerbread candles goes for you!