This question is a valid one and can help you make money as a candle maker:
How do you know that you’re getting the high quality fragrances needed to be make your candle making endeavor as successful as possible?
A Grade Fragrance vs B Grade Fragrance Controversy has been alive since we first introduced the option to customers in smaller quantities in 1998. People have scoffed at the notion and we do not take offense. It simply is a misunderstood concept by people who do not understand how candle fragrances are made.
We believe that no reliable supplier intentionally “cuts” their fragrances. However…. the fact that most do not want you to know is that fragrances are sold at different “Price Points”. Some suppliers are selling fragrances that are “Uncut” from the manufacturer that only cost them $4.00 per pound, others sell a $6.00 price point, others still, sell a $8.00 and up price point. In reality, each fragrance will vary. This is how suppliers can sell a similar smelling “Uncut and Pure” fragrance ( very cheap in some cases, expensive in others) that will sometimes “Throw” great from one place, and not ‘Throw” at all from another. Both will be honestly stating that their fragrances are “Pure and Uncut”. Neither practice is dishonest or shady, but it varies wildly from one supplier to another. It is not always true that an expensive fragrance will throw better than a cheaper one. In some cases, a cheaper fragrance from a better supplier will throw better than an expensive one from a supplier who overcharges! It depends solely on the supplier.
You need the proper product to fit your application. For example, if you wanted to make butter, you would want to buy whole milk. You would have to work a lot harder and use a lot more milk to make butter from 2% milk. For your candles, in many cases you have been trying to make butter with 2% milk. Sadly, there’s no easy test for the common user to determine fragrance concentration except to test output in the final application.
Candle and Cosmetic Fragrances are similar. Fragrance can be purchased at $40.00 per pound, or $3.00 per pound, depending on the concentration. Neither are considered “cut.” They are formulated with more or less of the expensive active ingredients. The higher the concentration of the most expensive ingredients included in a formula, the better the fragrance will throw in the candle. Although it is a simple concept, it is actually a very complicated procedure and series of calculations to modify a fragrance. Fragrances can have 50 or more components that have to be adjusted to properly make a lower price point in a fragrance. There’s no other magic, its as simple as that. A higher concentration is always going to smell stronger in your application. Try not to be lured in by gimmick names or marketing schemes like “Booster,” “Super Thrower Series,” etc.
There is a happy balance though! During our extensive testing, we have found that above a certain threshold of concentration, the “Throw” is not much, if any, better and it’s simply a waste of money to use a higher concentration. Each Fragrance is unique and we test and evaluate each candle fragrance. When we have reached the “Highest Concentration” point of the individual fragrance, we sell that as the A grade, Triple Strength concentration. We do not go by a Fragrance price point at all in this evaluation. Some fragrances will make the A Grade standard at $14.00 per pound, others will take $27.00 and up. Wherever that threshold is, that’s where we sell it. You will notice this reflected in our A Grade pricing. This is why our pricing will vary so much from one fragrance to another. You can trust that A Grade fragrances will be excellent at the stated price point. We test them here first so you can feel confident that the candles you make at home will be of the highest quality.
A Grade Fragrances are in most cases much more concentrated than anything people are used to using. It is not necessary to use 1.5 oz. of fragrance in a candle. Many of our customers use 1 oz. in 5 lbs. but your formulas will vary. In most cases, with the A Grade Strength, you need only use 3/4 to 1 oz per pound, for an extremely strong candle with a fragrance that fills your whole home.
B Grade We also sell an excellent concentration we call our “Manufacturers Grade” or B Grade. Compared to our extremely high A Grade concentrate, it is still an excellent product. It is consistently priced at $12.00 per pound, or $11 for 2+ lbs of the same fragrance. This is designed for, and makes pricing calculations for your product line easy and consistent. In most cases, the B Grade Fragrance is still a higher concentration than most are used to purchasing. We recommend 1 oz per pound of the B Grade for an excellent throw.
We have found that people who are used to using 1.5 oz to even 2 oz of fragrance can use 3/4 to 1 oz of our A Grade to achieve the same Throw. Using this scenario, it is much cheaper to buy a higher concentration and use less of it.
We have noticed one common misuse. We are not being critical because it is a common tendency among us all. It is so tempting to use “just a little more” Fragrance…..thinking…… “it makes it better” and the A Grade is often overused. It is hard to make yourself use less, but to use too much, especially with the A Grade, is often a waste of money.
Try 1/2-3/4 oz per pound of most any of the A Grade Fragrances. You will be shocked at how strong they really are at that level. It is not necessary to overuse the A Grades; they truly are more concentrated and they will save you money if you can discipline yourself and use appropriate amounts.
Since there are several other factors to a strong fragrance throw in a candle, please read the instructions in the “Frequently asked questions” category about “How to make a candle throw.” It should be helpful if you are interested in making candles that fill your whole home with the fragrance of your candle.
If you have any other questions concerning this topic or can think of other items of you think would benefit others, please e-mail me at [email protected] and I will include it in the questions and answers section of our site.