Enjoy the grounding and uplifting aroma of palo santo with a homemade palo santo candle! This easy candle-making recipe is formulated with soy wax and essential oils and will fill your home with a calming, woodsy scent.
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DIY palo santo candle
Whether you feel a little overwhelmed and anxious or want to bring a little calm to your home, burning a palo santo candle might be just the thing you need.
Palo santo’s woodsy warmth is thought to bring a sense of balance and emotional relief. It’s a wonderful scent that creates a cozy, relaxing atmosphere and transports your mind to a soothing place.
Lighting a Palo Santo candle during your morning routine can help you find balance as you start the day. And in the evening, palo santo is an excellent scent for your daily contemplation and reflection.
If that all sounds good, I’m excited to share my DIY palo santo candle recipe with you! It’s an all-natural soy candle infused with palo santo essential oil and a lovely wood wick.
Hand-poured candles are a favorite at our house! They are free of paraffin wax and artificial fragrances and so much better for you. For more relaxing ideas, try my stress relief candle and eucalyptus candles.
What is palo santo?
Palo Santo means “sacred tree” or “holy wood” and has been used for centuries to banish “mala energía,” negative energy, and for its meditative qualities.
The smoke of the wood has been used since the Incan era for spiritual purification and cleansing purposes, similar to smudging practices with white sage and incense.
Palo santo scent
What does a palo santo candle smell like? Palo santo has a sweet, citrusy wood scent. The complex aroma is balsamic and features notes of licorice, spices, and a touch of mint. The smell is remindful of frankincense but without the smoky nuances.
What is a palo santo candle?
A palo santo candle is a candle infused with palo santo oil. It fills the air with a rich, woodsy scent and allows you to enjoy the benefits associated with burning palo santo.
Palo santo candle benefits
Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits a palo santo candle can provide.
- Mediative effect: Holy wood has a positive, grounding effect, making it great to maintain inner balance. Burning a palo santo candle can quiet mental chatter and alleviate worries. It promotes relaxation and reflection. These qualities make palo santo a wonderful scent for meditation and spiritual upliftment.
- Calming atmosphere: Palo santo is believed to ward off negativity and encourage a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere. It’s a wonderful oil to find calm in times of inner unrest and upset.
- Mosquito repellent: The high limonene content in palo santo can deter mosquitos and other insects. If you are looking for more natural insect repellents, try my DIY citronella candles.
- Air freshener: The intoxicating, woodsy scent of palo santo will refresh the air in your home and will enhance the atmosphere in every room.
- Respiratory health: Palo santo oil may also provide benefits for respiratory health. Inhaling the oil is said to ease allergy symptoms.
- Natural materials: Most store-bought candles contain synthetic fragrances without a trace of any real palo santo. My homemade version is made with soy wax + essential oils and 100% natural.
Materials & supplies
This fragrant palo santo wood wick candle recipe uses just a few simple materials that are all-natural and eco-friendly. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Soy wax is one of the essential materials for candles. I used Golden Brand’s 646 soy wax. This container candle wax holds a lot of fragrance, has an excellent hot and cold scent throw, and cures to a beautiful, creamy finish.
- Wood wick: A wood wick is a fitting choice for this wood-scented candle.
- Wick clip: A metal wick clip holds the wick in place and keeps the flame at a safe height above the container to halt overheating.
- Candle jar: You’ll need a heatproof container that can withstand high temperatures and doesn’t leak. A small glass jar or ceramic pot are good options. I chose a small planter for my palo santo candle.
Palos santo essential oil
Next on our list is the scent giver of this candle, palo santo essential oil. The aromatic extract is derived from the fruit or wood of the palo santo tree (Bursera graveolens), which grows in South America and is native to Peru, Venezuela, and Ecuador.
Although palo santo isn’t listed as a protected species, it’s still forbidden to log live trees. The essential oil is wildcrafted and steam-distilled from dead wood that has died a natural death.
As the fallen wood matures over time, precious oil and resin collect in the heart of the wood. This process takes years, and the concentrated oils are then distilled, creating the unique scent and properties.
The palo santo tree belongs to the same botanical family as myrrh and frankincense and shares similar benefits as its resinous cousins.
What is the best palo santo essential oil?
Palo santo essential oil is quite strong, and little goes a long way. 120 drops / 0.2 oz / 6 g are enough to scent one 7-oz / 200 g soy candle. You could even go as light as 70 drops / 0.12 oz / 3.5 g if you prefer a softer scent.
Other candle-making supplies
- Wax melting pitcher for melting the wax flakes.
- Metal spoon to incorporate the fragrance.
- Glue gun + glue sticks to attach the wood wick.
- Infrared thermometer to take the wax’s temperature.
- Wick trimmer or scissors for trimming the wood wick.
Palos santo candle blends
The palo santo smell is quite strong and might be a bit overpowering. Luckily, palo santo essential oil blends well with other oils. I played around and came up with 7 different fragrance combinations featuring holy wood.
Like other woody oils, palo santo pairs well with sunny citrus aromas, sweet florals, warming spices, and conifer scents. Each blend makes enough to scent one 7-oz / 200 g soy candle.
- Citrus Wood: 75 drops palo santo + 30 drops lemon + 20 drops yuzu (can sub for tangerine) + 15 drops copaiba
- Vanilla Amber: 65 drops palo santo + 40 drops botanical vanilla extract + 22 drops sandalwood + 13 drops benzoin resin (can sub for copaiba)
- Sunset Blooms: 65 drops ylang ylang + 45 drops palo santo + 30 drops geranium
- Misty Forest: 70 drops pine + 50 drops palo santo + 10 drops peppermint + 10 drops lime
- Gold Leaf: 80 drops palo santo + 45 drops blood orange + 20 drops clove bud
- Meditation: 85 drops palo santo + 30 drops amyris + 18 drops cedarwood + 10 dropscardamom
- Sacred Ground: 60 drops buddha wood + 40 drops palo santo + 20 drops frankincense + 15 drops vetiver
With its complex wood scent, palo santo can take on many personalities – from bright and fresh, to sweet and romantic. Let’s take a moment to look into the aromatherapy benefits of each blend.
Meditation, Sacred Ground, and Sunset Blooms play up palo santo’s soothing qualities and great scents to create a relaxed atmosphere. They are great scents for meditation, prayer practice, and light yoga exercises.
Citrus Wood, Misty Forest, and Gold Leaf combine palo santo with uplifting citrus oils. These candle blends have a lively note
Vanilla Amber is a cozy, warm scent that will transform your surroundings into a comforting space. An effective remedy to a busy day!
How to make palo santo candle
Candle making is a rewarding and beautiful craft, and this homemade palo santo candle is no exception! It takes about 10 minutes to prep the container and melt the wax, and then you just have to wait until your soy candle cools and cures.
Step 1: Prep candle container
First, make sure the candle container is dry and clean. To assemble the wick, slice the wood wick into the wick holder. Add a hot glue dot to the wick holder’s bottom and press it into the center of the candle container. Set aside.
Step 2: Melt wax
Fill the wax into a melting pot. Heat on the stove over medium heat until the wax melts and reaches 185°F / 85°C. Then take it off the heat.
Step 3: Add scent
Add the palo santo essential oil or candle blend of choice. Stir 30 to 40 times to the wax and oil.
Step 4: Pour candle
Wait until the wax cools to 135°F to 140°F / 57°C to 60°C. Then pour it into the prepared container, leaving a little space at the top.
Step 6: Let solidify
Center the wick and allow the candle to cool until the soy wax turns opaque. This will take 25 to 40 minutes. Wax shrinks as it cools. If you notice unevenness or a sinkhole around the wick in the center of your candle, melt additional wax and add a thin second pour.
Step 7: Cure
Set the candle aside to cure overnight. If you have the time, let it cure for a couple of days. The wax binds with the essential oils during the curing process and creates a better scent performance.
Step 8: Trim wick
Before lightening the candle for the first time, shorten the wick to 1/4 in / 6 mm.
How do you use palo santo candles?
This DIY palo santo candle promotes a positive, grounding experience. Set up your candle in a comfy place to create a soothing ambiance of woodsy scents and the warm glow of candlelight.
I love lighting my palo santo candle during my morning prayer and to relax at night. The woody richness is so calming and never fails to put me in a good mood.
The comforting scent and soft glow create the perfect setting for journaling your goals and gratitude or reciting affirmations.
You use your homemade palo santo candle like you would burn any other scented candle. Here are some tips to enjoy the candle safely:
- Place your palo santo candle on a flat, heat-resistant surface.
- Clip the wood wick to 1/4 in / 6 mm before use.
- Never leave a lit candle unattended and extinguish the flame if you leave the room.
- Keep small children, pets, and foreign objects away from a lit candle.
- Don’t move a burning candle because the candle container will be hot. Instead, wait until the wax has cooled and hardened.
- Storage: Store your palo santo soy candle in a dark, cool place, avoiding direct sunlight and heat sources. It will keep well at room temperature as long as the container is tightly sealed. Sealing the container preserves the scent and prevents the volatile essential oil from evaporating.
- Shelf life: I recommend you use your relax candle within 1 year. Soy wax and palo santo oil will last at least 2 years, but the candle scent will lessen after a few months.
Do palo santo candles cleanse?
Palo santo has been ritualistically used to cleanse and purify a space of bad energy for hundreds of years. In a spiritual sense, Palo santo candles could also have a cleansing effect.
Can you put palo santo sticks in candles?
No, putting palo santo sticks or wood pieces into candles is hazardous because the wood will catch fire.
Does palo santo help you sleep?
While palo santo isn’t typically associated with promoting sleep, the grounding scent can provide calm and ease feelings of unrest.
Can I make this essential oil candle with a cotton wick?
Yes, of course. Make sure the cotton wick is appropriate for the size of your candle container.
Can I use palo santo candle fragrance oil?
You can use a palo santo fragrance oil for candles. Just note that as a synthetic product, it won’t have the aromatherapeutic benefits of palo santo essential oil.
More DIY soy candle recipes
Here are a few more of my favorite candle recipes for you to try! They are naturally scented with essential oils and, most importantly, easy to make.