Cozy up your home with a homemade winter candle! This DIY winter candle recipe will make any room feel like a snuggly oasis. The easy candle-making tutorial shows how to make an all-natural soy candle and includes the best winter candle scents, ranging from homey to frosty.
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Homemade winter candle
Last week, a lovely reader reached out and asked if we had a candle recipe that smells like the winter candle from Bath and Body Works. I recently shared this B&BW-inspired sweater weather candle and was happy to take the request.
If there’s ever a time for candles, it must be winter! Not that I mind a scented candle any time of year. The freezing temperatures and snowy weather make me wanna hibernate and cozy up my home.
And what could be cozier than a crackling wood wick candle with a soothing winter aroma? The candle is scented with a magical combination of fresh tangerine, woodsy pine, spicy clove bud, and warming copaiba.
While I was trying to replicate the Bath and Body Works fragrance, I came up with a whole bunch of winter candle scents that I’m excited to share with you!
Why you’ll love this natural winter candle
- All-natural: Creating your own air fresheners allows you to choose exactly what goes into them. In this case, only natural materials like soy wax and a wooden wick – none of the synthetic fragrances and paraffin wax you find in conventional candles.
- Aromatherapeutic: My homemade soy candle uses essential oils as a scent giver, which can positively impact your mood and well–being. When inhaled, essential oils can stimulate the brain’s emotional center and have a relaxing or stimulating effect.
- Less than 20 minutes to make: It’s true. Pouring soy candles is easy and quick. Then you just wait for your candle to set and light it up.
Materials & tools
Although a homemade winter-scented candle seems luxurious, the materials are simple! Soy wax, essential oils, a wood wick, and a few basic candle-making supplies are all you need.
- Soy wax flakes: I opted for Golden Brand 646 soy wax. This container wax can hold a high fragrance load with great cold and hot throw, offers an clean, slow burn, and has excellent adhesion.
- Essential oils provide a natural fragrance. For a B&BW winter candle dupe, you’ll need tangerine, Scots pine, clove bud, and copaiba oleoresin. See below for more winter candle fragrance ideas.
- Wood wick: A crackling wood wick is a lovely choice for a winter candle as it resembles logs of wood burning in a fireplace. Of course, feel free to use a cotton wick if preferred.
- 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 container: Ensure your container is a safe option to contain a burning candle. Good choices are glass, stone, or ceramic with a diameter between 2.5 to 3 in / 6 to 8 cm and 3 to 4 in / 8 to 10 cm tall. I used a simple white ceramic vessel.
- Wax melting pitcher or large glass measuring cup 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.
What does winter smell like?
The scents of winter can be categorized into 3 groups:
- Holiday scents: These are your classic holiday scents such as gingerbread, candy cane, or Christmas tree. Fragrances in this group often resemble delicious holiday treats and include essential oils like cinnamon, clove bud, and citrus fruits.
- Cozy scents provide a comforting and relaxing atmosphere. You’ll find woodsy scents such as cedar or pine and warming aromas, for example patchouli and sandalwood, in this category.
- Frosty scents have an outdoorsy feel and smell incredibly refreshing, thanks to oils such as peppermint, spearmint, and balm mint bush. These oils contain menthol, which has a cooling effect.
The best winter candle scents
The winter candle fragrances I’m about to share with you fall either into the cozy or frosty category. The first scent, Winter, is fashioned after Bath and Body Works winter candle. Enjoy!
- Winter (cozy): 115 drops tangerine + 75 drops Scots pine + 35 drops clove bud + 25 drops copaiba oleoresin
- White Hills (frosty): 100 drops cypress + 70 drops black spruce + 65 drops fir needle + 25 drops melissa
- Cozy Cabin (cozy): 110 drops cedarwood + 60 drops siam wood + 45 drops vanilla + 25 drops spearmint + 20 drops black pepper
- Winter Wonderland (frosty): 120 drops spearmint + 80 drops Scots pine + 40 drops cinnamon bark + 15 drops eucalyptus
- Frosty Road (frosty): 100 drops peppermint + 75 drops bergamot + 50 drops balm mint bush + 35 drops ho wood
- Northern Lights (frosty): 85 drops peppermint + 75 drops jasmine absolute + 35 drops lemon + 25 drops sage + 20 drops cypress + 15drops siam wood
- Snowfall (cozy): 120 drops jasmine absolute + 75 drops botanical vanilla extract + 35 drops grapefruit + 30 drops sandalwood
The amounts are enough to scent an 8-oz / 225 g candle with a fragrance load of 6%, giving you a strong hot and cold throw. If you prefer a lighter scent, simply cut these quantities in half.
And you’re by no means limited to candles. These refreshing scents would be great for homemade wax melts or room spray, too.
Tips for blending candle scents
The sense of smell differs between people. What smells like the perfect winter scent to me, may appear different to you. If you’re up for a little experiment, use my scent list as a guide to blending your own custom candle scent. Follow these steps:
- Start with 1 drop of each oil. Take a sniff. Add more oils, one drop at a time, and smell again. Continue to build your blend until you’re satisfied with the scent.
- Take note of how many drops you used of each oil. That gives you a ratio that you can scale up.
- You need approximately 260 drops / 13 g / 0.46 oz to scent an 8-oz / 225 g soy candle.
How to make a winter candle
If you’re looking for a winter-scented candle, you’ve come to the right place because that’s what we’ll be DIYing together.
Your homemade winter candle will turn out best if you pour and cure the candle in a warm room temperature (70°F to 75°F / 21°C to 24°C). I know this is easier said than done during the winter months.
Step 1: Prep work area
- Cover your workspace with an old towel, drop cloth, or piece of carton to catch spills or mishaps.
Step 2: Adhere wood wick
- First, make sure your vessel is clean and dry.
- Then slide the wood wick into the wick clip.
- Heat up the glue gun and apply a drop of hot glue to the bottom of the clip.
- Press the whole assembly firmly into the center bottom of your container. Set aside.
Step 3: Melt wax
- Transfer the wax into a glass measuring cup and melt in the microwave in 1-minute bursts until liquified. Stir the wax in between each burst.
- Alternatively, melt the wax in a pouring pitcher in a water bath.
Step 4: Add fragrance
- Wait until the wax cools to 185°F / 85°C, the mixing temperature. When the wax is at 185°F / 85°C, it’s time to add the scent.
- Make sure to spend a couple of minutes stirring the essential oils into the wax. Stirring is important, so the wax and oils bind together.
Step 5: Pour wax
- Slowly pour the scented wax into your candle container until there’s about 1/4 in / 6 mm of the container showing above the wax.
Step 6: Let cool
- Allow your candle to cool at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
Step 7: Repour (optional)
- Once the wax has fully cooled, you may need to do a re-pour to level out the surface of the candle. Soy wax sometimes creates sinkholes around the wick, especially if the candle cools too rapidly.
- You can also wave a heat gun above the candle to even out the surface for a perfectly smooth finish. Be careful not to burn the wick.
Step 8: Burn
- Before lightening your winter candle for the first time, trim the wick to 0.2 in / 0.5 cm. Use a pair of wick trimmers or sharp scissors to cut the wick down. Shorting the wick is important to get an even flame.
- See more candle safety tips below.
Tips for storing candles
- To maintain your DIY winter candle, store it at room temperature in a dry, dark location protected from direct sunlight and moisture.
- Store candles away from children, and don’t place them in cardboard boxes or anything flammable.
- Your homemade soy candle recipe should keep well for at least 1 year.