There are several very important factors to consider when choosing your fragrance oils for use in gel candles. First, the fragrance should be of a non-polar character in order to be soluble with the gel. (Refer to the instructions for polarity testing below.) The other factor to consider is the flashpoint of the fragrance oil. Only oils with flashpoints of 170 degrees or greater should be used in making gel candles. Fragrance should be added to the gel at 200 - 220 degrees and stirred well (for at least 2 minutes) to ensure proper and safe dispersement of the fragrance oil in the gel. Air that is introduced into the gel during the process of mixing the fragrance oil can be diminished by allowing the gel to sit at around 200 degrees for a few minutes after stirring.
Use a clear glass with no markings or flaws. Make sure that your container is clean and dry. A juice glass or a small votive glass works well. Test tubes are good for testing, but are not readily available. We test our fragrances using test tubes which can be capped and shaken to thoroughly mix the oils.
Use a food grade mineral oil. Do not use baby oil for testing.
First perform the test using mineral oil and
fragrance oil in the following ratios:
75% fragrance oil (example 3 tsp. fragrance oil)
25% mineral oil (example 1 tsp. mineral oil)
Mix WELL by stirring for several minutes, or shaking.
After complete mixing of the oils, the mixture should be clear without clouding, hazing, or separation.
You may notice some clouding during the mixing process,
but once the oils are mixed together well, there
should not be any clouding.
Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes, then recheck the
appearance. If there is no clouding, hazing,or separation,
perform the second portion of the polarity test.
For the second portion of the polarity test, repeat
the above steps using mineral and fragrance oil
in the following ratios:
75% mineral oil (example 3 tsp. mineral oil
25% fragrance oil (example 1 tsp. fragrance oil)
If there is no clouding, hazing, or separation during both portions of the polarity test, the fragrance oil is considered to be non-polar and safe for use in making gel candles.
The recommended amounts of fragrance per pound of gel as set forth in the guidelines recommended by Penreco are as follows:
VersagelTM LMP (low density)
0 - 3% or 1/2 oz. of fragrance oil
VersagelTM CMP (medium density)
VersagelTM CHP (high density)
0 - 5% or 3/4 oz. of fragrance oil