Demystifying the flash point of essential oils in a candle

We are often asked about the danger of scenting candles with essential oils. This is not the first time. Let’s try to clarify that!

You can safely put essential oils in your candles. We put the question to Robert Tisserand, renowned aromatherapist: No danger. 

A candle will not catch fire because of an essential oil. Believe me, if this was the case we would know, videos of candles burning would be legion online. This is not the case, because the candles do not catch on fire from the essential oils. Essential oils are found in small quantities in the candle (around 5%) and are dispersed in the wax (soy, sunflower, etc.).

The only reason to worry about flash points (which differ a lot from company to company for the same essential oil) is for the smell (and to avoid waste). If you add an essential oil to a melted wax that is hotter than its flash point, you burn it and you don’t retain the smell. Sometimes the new makers of natural candles are disappointed, they find that it doesn’t smell strong enough. This can be explained by flash points and temperatures.

Note that there are few essential oils with a flash point of less than 40°C and that soy wax for example begins to melt around 50°C (no need to take it to a temperature of 80°C). Do your little research for flash points.

Beyond the temperatures, let’s remember that it is natural, that there are no harmful synthetic products nor fixatives in essential oils. If you want it to smell stronger, use a diffuser or nebulizer.

So go ahead and make your candles with your essential oils without fear.

Have fun!

Source – Translated by Google from:


What is the Flash point?

The flash point is the minimum temperature at which evaporation is sufficient for the air around a volatile fuel to be flammable or explosive in the presence of an ignition source. In simpler terms, if you are above the flash point and approach a match, then the vapors ignite.

Since each essential oil has a different flash point, some can ignite or become denatured (altered by heat and lose their properties).  However, don’t worry when burning your candle!

Prefer a vegetable wax (soy, sunflower…) to make your candles, melt it at 50°C (no need to heat more) and avoid paraffin oil (petroleum by-products) and beeswax (to protect our small friends from intensive exploitation!).

Finally, remember that the essential oil is so diluted in the wax that there is no risk that it could ignite or explode.

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