Welcome autumn with a fragrant DIY sweater weather candle. The homemade fall candle is made with soy wax and a crisp essential oil blend that resembles the beloved sweater weather scent. This beginner-friendly candle making tutorial includes step-by-step instructions and tips for supplies and storage.
DIY sweater weather candle
My DIY pumpkin spice candle has become one of our most loved candle making tutorials. This year, I decided to create another autumn classic: sweater weather candles. I’ve been wanting to share a homemade sweater weather candle for eons, and with fall just around the corner, the timing seems perfect.
This homemade soy candle is loaded up with an invigorating fall essential oil blend that evokes sunny autumn days spent outdoors in your favorite sweater. A crackling wood wick casts a beautiful glow and will make your home feel warm and cozy. You’re going to love this easy essential oil candle recipe!
And if you’re looking for more ways to make your house smell like autumn, try these fall scented wax melts, fall diffuser blends, fall room spray, my pumpkin spice wax air freshener, and this apple stovetop potpourri.
What is a sweater weather candle?
Sweater weather describes a popular fall candle that echos the smell of crisp autumn air, walks in the woods, falling leaves, and wearing a cozy knit. Being a seasonal product, the candle is only available during fall and winter.
Sweater weather season (aka sweather) is rooted in Celtic tradition. It describes a period from autumn through winter into spring where donning sweaters is enough to keep warm, and jackets aren’t yet needed.
I believe Bath and Body Works were the first to create the eponymous candle. They even added SW-themed soap and skin care products in recent years. But these days, you’ll find many companies offering sweater weather scented candles.
Most commercially produced candles are made of paraffin wax and contain synthetic ingredients such as artificial fragrance oils, emulsifying agents, and stabilizers.
Rather than fabricating an exact Bath & Body Works sweater weather candle dupe, I wanted to create an all-natural sweater weather soy candle with essential oils.
What does sweater weather candle smell like?
Sweater weather is a clean fragrance blend with cool, crisp top notes and warm, woodsy undertones. The scent is supposed to resemble the fresh fall air and mossy woodland.
You won’t find your typical fall aromas in this candle blend as it doesn’t contain any spices like cinnamon, clove, pumpkin spice, or chai spice.
The smell isn’t sweet or floral but offers a clean, refreshing perfume with a masculine edge that I find quite uplifting and relaxing. Even my husband, who usually loathes scented candles, enjoys the sweater weather scent.
Candle making supplies
This fun DIY soy candle calls for all your standard candle making supplies plus essential oils. I’ve listed the exact measurements in the DIY box at the end.
- Soy wax: I use Golden Brand 464 soy wax in all my homemade candle recipes. This natural, clean-burning soy wax distributes fragrance well.
- Essential oils provide a natural scent. I’ll show you my sweater weather essential oil recipe below.
- Wood wick: Keeping with the cozy fall theme, I chose a wood wick for this DIY soy candle. Of course, feel free to use a cotton wick if preferred.
- Wick holder to secure the wood wick in place.
- Heatproof candle container: I splurged on a beautiful ceramic cup from Kinto. I know. It’s ridiculous to spend so much on a candle container, but just look at the cute knit design! Anyway, you can use an 8-oz glass mason jar or a ceramic container, too.
- Melting pot to melt the soy wax.
- Hot glue gun + glue sticks to glue the wick holder to the bottom of the candle container. Alternatively, use a wick sticker.
- Infrared thermometer (optional): A temp gun is helpful to take the melting and pouring temperatures.
What essential oils are in sweater weather?
Bath and Body Works states that their SW candle features the scents of fresh sage, juniper berry, aromatic eucalyptus, and fresh cedar woods. Looking up the ingredients, I also noticed limonene, so I guess their candle includes a citrus oil, too.
I’ve tested many different essential oil combos and came up with a blend that smelled like the authentic sweater weather fragrance. Here are the essential oils you’ll need:
- Clary sage has a warm, earthy, and slightly nutty smell that is very calming. Dalmatian sage is even better but less common.
- Juniper berry has a green scent with a hint of pepper that purifies the air and can help to soothe nervousness.
- Eucalyptus has a crisp aroma with woodsy undertones that opens the airways. If you like a strong scent, use eucalyptus globulus. For a light citrusy scent, opt for lemon eucalyptus.
- Cedarwood offers a balsamic, slightly smokey conifer scent that reflects the woodland and being outdoors.
- Bergamot introduces a complex citrus note with warm spice accents that is said to have mood-boosting qualities.
- Oakmoss absolute (optional) has an earthy scent reminiscent of damp earth, moss, and tree bark. It’s my favorite ingredient to create an aromatic fall forest scent. The absolute acts as a fixative and helps the other scents to last longer.
- Benzoin resin oil (optional) smells sweet and vanilla-like. We only need a few drops to round out the other aromas. The resin is a fixative as well.
You’re probably familiar with all EOs safe oakmoss absolute and benzoin resin. Both are optional ingredients. You can prepare the SW blend without them. I just found that they finesse the fragrance and create woodsy undertones that nothing else can’t achieve.
What is oakmoss absolute?
Oakmoss absolute is a plant extract made from Everina prunastri, a lichen that grows on oak trees. The absolute has a greenish-brown color and is thicker than other essential oils. I removed the dropper cap to get it out of the bottle more easily.
Because of its thick texture, oakmoss absolute takes a while to dissolve in melted wax. Simply stir until you no longer see any droplets of oil in the wax.
Oakmoss is skin sensitizing. Wash the oil off with soap and warm water if you get any on your skin.
Oakwood absolute has a smokey wood scent and is a lovely alternative for oakmoss absolute. It’s more than double the price of oakmoss. Hence I prefer oakmoss, but you have that option.
What is benzoin resin?
Benzoin resin is made from the gum of Styrax tonkinensis, a tree native to Southeast Asia. Like oakmoss absolute, benzoin resin has a sticky and thick consistency and takes a while to dissolve.
I used benzoin resin from Mountain Rose Herbs, which contains organic ethanol to improve pourability. The ethanol will evaporate in the warm wax.
Vanilla oleoresin or vanilla absolute are good stand-ins for benzoin resin oil.
Sweater weather essential oil blend
Okay, now that we know what’s in the blend, let me show you my formula:
- Top notes: 35 drops eucalyptus essential oil + 25 drops bergamot essential oil
- Middle notes: 25 drops clary sage essential oil + 20 drops juniper berry essential oil
- Base notes: 15 drops cedarwood essential oil + 10 drops oakmoss absolute + 5 drops benzoin resin oil
The amounts are enough to scent one 8-oz candle. Increase the quantities if making a larger candle.
How to make sweater weather candle
This homemade sweater weather candle has an elaborate menagerie of scents that embody the aromas of autumn. Follow these simple steps to make your own DIY soy candle with essential oils:
Step 1: Secure wick
- First, make sure the candle container is dry and clean.
- To assemble the wick, slice the wood wick into the wick holder. Make sure the wick is centered in the clip.
- Add a dot of hot glue to the bottom of the wick holder and press it into the center of the candle container. Set aside.
Step 2: Melt wax
- Transfer the soy wax into a melting pot or small saucepan. Heat over low flame until the wax has completely melted and reaches 185°F / 85°C, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Add essential oils
- Once the wax has reached 185°F / 85°C, add the essential oils. Stir the melted wax 30 to 40 times to ensure the wax and essential oil bind together.
Step 4: Pour candle
- Let the wax cool to 140°F / 60°C. Then pour into the container going up to 1/4 in / 5 mm below the container’s rim.
Step 5: Cool and cure candle
- Allow the candle to cool undisturbed at room temperature until the wax has hardened through and looks white.
- Let the candle cure for 12 to 24 hours. The essential oils settle throughout the soy wax during the curing process, which creates a better scent throw and more even burn.
Sweater weather candle FAQ
Can I use another type of wax?
Yes, rapeseed wax and coconut wax are good alternatives for soy wax. The melting temperatures of these plant waxes vary slightly from soy wax, but the candle making process is the same.
How do I make my sweater weather candle smell stronger?
I think the smell of the sweater weather fragrance blend is quite strong. So, I only used a 3% fragrance load. However, you can double the essential oil amounts if you find the scent too weak, creating a 6% scent load.
Can I customize the SW blend?
Of course! Think of my sweater weather recipe as a blueprint to create your own unique blend. Vetiver, ho wood, sandalwood, patchouli, lemon, sweet orange, and vanilla are good additions to my essential oil recipe.
Can I color the soy wax with dyes?
Absolutely! Candle dye chips for soy wax are your best option. These color ships come in a rainbow of shades and are a great option to customize your soy candle recipe.
Storage and shelf life
When not in use, store your DIY soy candle in a dark, cool place. Room temperature is fine. I like to keep my candle tightly wrapped in plastic wrap/cling film to preserve the scent.
Avoid exposure to direct sunlight or heat sources. Heat and sunlight will melt the candle, making the scent fade.
The homemade candle will last for 1 year.
- 8.5 oz / 240 g soy wax flakes (I used Golden Brand 464 soy wax, see note below*)
- wood wick
- wood wick holder
- 8-oz heat resistant glass jar or ceramic container (I used a ceramic knit cup from Kinto)
Sweater Weather Scent Blend
- Secure wick. First, make sure the candle container is dry and clean. To assemble the wick, slice the wood wick into the wick holder. Make sure the wick is centered in the clip. Add a dot of hot glue to the bottom of the wick holder and press it into the center of the candle container. Set aside.
- Melt wax. Transfer the soy wax into a melting pot or small saucepan. Heat over low flame until the wax has completely melted and reaches 185°F / 85°C, stirring occasionally.
- Add essential oils. Once the wax has reached 185°F / 85°C, add the essential oils. Stir the melted wax 30 to 40 times to ensure the wax and essential oil bind together.
- Pour candle. Let the wax cool to 140°F / 60°C. Then pour into the container going up to 1/4 in / 5 mm below the container's rim.
- Cool and cure candle. Allow the candle to cool undisturbed at room temperature until the wax has hardened through and looks white. Let the candle cure for 12 to 24 hours. The essential oils settle throughout the soy wax during the curing process, which creates a better scent throw and more even burn.
*The ingredients list says to use 8.5 oz wax, although we're making an 8-oz candle. Why is that? Well, when you melt and pour soy candles, a little wax will always remain on the sides of the pot, and the 0.5 oz extra wax accounts for that. Fill any leftovers in a silicone mold to make wax melts.
Please follow these safety tips when burning your DIY soy candle to prevent fire and accidents:
- Trim the wood wick to 1/8 in – 3/16 in / 3 mm – 5 mm before use.
- Light the candles only on heat-resistant, straight surfaces (stone, metal).
- Never leave a burning candle unattended, and don't light it near flammable objects.
- Always allow the wax to harden before re-igniting, moving, or touching the candle.
- Take extra precautions when children or pets are present.
- Don't extinguish the candle with water.
Tips for burning wood wick candles
Wood wick candles are beautiful but tend to be a bit more temperamental than cotton wick candles. Follow these tips when lightning and burning your DIY wood wick candle:
- Wood wicks can take multiple attempts to light, especially in a high humidity environment.
- Hold the lighter to wick for 20 to 30 seconds to kick off the flame.
- Light the wick at an angle and melt a little wax around the wick, so it has melted wax to feed on.