What Is Candle Scent Throw & Why Is It So Important?

    Cavill & Wicks Luxury Sanctuary Candle with Wooden Wick

What is Scent Throw? 

Scent throw in its simplest form is how well the scent/fragrance travels through the air to fill a room or space. In a more technical perspective, the candle's scent is made up of fragrance molecules that evaporate and find their way to your noise by filling the surrounding air. 

Obviously, most of the time you want your chosen scent to fill the room that it's in so that you can enjoy it. However, there are two types of scent throw that are worth understanding.

Cold vs Hot Scent Throw

The cold scent throw is how well a candle smells while it is cold & before it’s lit. 99% of the time when you purchase a candle in the store, you are smelling its “cold scent throw”. This can be deceiving as many candles smell very good when you are very close to them.. You assume that when it is lit, that smell will be enhanced and “thrown” around the room you put it in but unfortunately that is not always the case.

As you can guess, hot scent throw is how well the candle scent fills a room when it’s lit. However, not all candles are made equal. While a lot of candles smell fantastic in the store, they completely fail to throw their scent and fill a room when they are lit. 

If you are reading this then you are most likely interested in high quality luxury candles like ours at Cavill & Wicks and therefore care far more about hot scent throw than cold scent throw. There are a few main reasons why a candle has a high quality, luxurious scent throw; the quality of the fragrance or essential oils, the type of wax used, the wick used and how it is prepared.

How do i know if the scent throw is going to be good without lighting it?

Does your candle have a lid?

The reason lids are used is because the fragrance molecules are always evaporating. To stop those fragrance molecules from escaping the candle when it’s not lit, we use a lid to encase the scent until you are ready to release it. Likewise, once you are finished with your candle you place the lid back on the candle to make sure those molecules do not continue to escape. 

High Quality ingredients & Scent Notes
Scent is broken into 3 sections - Top Notes, Middle Notes, Base Notes.

These notes are the layers that when combined make up the final scent intended for the candles overall smell. These notes are released at different stages of the evaporation process. 

Top notes are the first scent notes we can smell as they evaporate at a lower temperature and thus can be smelled through the cold scent throw when the candle is unlit. This is what you smell in the store. They are usually sharp, light or fresh citrusy scents such as Grapefruit, lemon, light florals and eucalyptus.

Middle Notes are the scents that come alive once the top notes evaporate. As they have a moderate evaporation point, they come through next. They create the full body of the scent when mixed with the final base notes. The middle notes tend to be well rounded such as rose and lavender. They are the “heart” of the candle.

Base notes are the final stage that come through at a higher temperature when the candle is burning and the notes all combine together. They are deep rich scents and this is where the high quality candles stand out as all three notes combine. The base notes are typically heavier scents such as Sandalwood, amber, musk and patchouli.

As you can see, a lot of decisions go into a candle’s fragrance to make sure that all the notes compliment each other and can dance to the same tune to maximise the final scent. However, a fragrance made with a low quality wax means that it can evaporate too quickly, too slowly or not at a high enough concentration.

Why is the Wax so important?

Paraffin Wax
Paraffin is a relatively inexpensive wax and is used across a lot of candle manufacturers because it can contain a higher fragrance load, which means it can hold more oil within the wax. More oil usually means more scent released. Paraffin wax is very flammable which is great because it means it doesn't have to be re-lit often but it also means that it burns hotter and faster, which at first creates a strong hot scent throw because that higher temperature is engaging all the scent notes. However, this high heat means that the candle burns a lot faster which means it will not last as long. This benefits candle makers because not only is the wax less expensive for them but  it means you have to purchase the candle more often. If you have an expensive candle then this can be frustrating as it often means you prefer to burn it less often in order to make it last. Paraffin wax can also create a “dirty burn” which means it is sooty and releases fumes that can irritate children, pets and those with allergies and asthma. With paraffin candles you can often feel them in the back of your throat when you are near it as you breathe it in.

Soy Wax
Another very popular wax used for candle making because of its great qualities. It is an all natural product that is eco friendly and creates a clean burn. Soy burns slower than paraffin which allows your candle to last a bit longer and releases its scent more slowly and evenly. However, soy wax has a lower fragrance load to Paraffin which means it cannot hold as much scent and will not smell as strongly. Soy is also victim to constant expanding and contracting which can lead to scent loss after the candle has been cured as the notes continue to evaporate when unlit. This means when you get the final product home, a portion of the scent has already been lost.

Coconut Wax
Now it starts to get interesting as we have given you both sides of the spectrum with Paraffin and Soy but now enters the mighty Coconut wax. This wax shares the ability to hold a high fragrance load like paraffin can, allowing for more scent in the candle while also having a slow and clean burn like soy wax. This all natural, eco-friendly wax is soft and burns at a lower temperature and thus can throw its scent further and longer allowing it to last for a very long time.  Coconut wax has been tested to have a 60% higher burn time than paraffin wax and thus means more value for your money when purchasing a candle. However, only the best candle makers will incorporate this wax into their candles because it is extremely expensive and can be tricky to ship due to its low melting point.

Wax Blends
Now this is where the magic happens. A true connoisseur of candle making will create their own perfect blend of wax to create a candle that can hold a higher load of fragrance, is clean burning and long lasting all while being sustainable and eco friendly. We at Cavill & Wicks pride ourselves in having created a custom blend of wax that is truly the best of all worlds in order to bring the highest quality candle into your homes. These candles are hand made in small batches to allow for the highest and most even scent to wax ratio. No detail is spared.

The Wick
Having the best quality fragrances and the perfect wax blends won't be very useful without choosing the perfect wick. The wick delivers fuel to the flame and keeps it burning. The wrong wick can cause the candle to burn too quickly, to release scent too fast or to need to be relit often. This of course happens from time to time with all wicks - but at Cavill & Wicks we hand pick each wick and match it to each candle we make based on size, fragrance load and scent giving your candle the perfect match.

Cotton Wicks - They facilitate a smoke free, stable flame that can evenly and slowly melt the wax to provide the best scent throw.

Wooden Wicks - Woody scents are complemented by these wicks and can help create a  woody aesthetic that burns slowly and provides the crackle of a wood burning fire. They do sometimes need to be re-lit simply because they are wood and rely more on the oxygen around them to burn but the benefits outweigh the cons as they bring a comforting nature to the candle. If your wooden wick starts to go out on it’s own, simply trim away the burnt wood & clear a little space around it in the wax to allow the oxygen to reach it effectively. This will solve your problem. 

At Cavill & Wicks we have worked extremely hard to create the perfect candle that gives you beautiful esthetic, outstanding hot and cold scent throw, decadent and unique scents and an eco-friendly, long lasting burn that will compliment any space.


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