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  • Writer's pictureMegan Smith

Test & Launch - A Behind the Scenes Peek

Tester Candles

I don't share behind-the-scenes glimpses on social media very often because I like taking beautifully styled images, but over the years I've been asked a lot of questions about how candles are made and why I select certain scents. I've decided to give my blog readers an insiders look at the not so glamourous side of candle making!

Fragrance Selection

I'll kick off the journey with fragrance selection and how I go about trying out new scents to add to the line-up. I tend to work with a seasonal approach in mind. I keep a running list of scents that I have done and which ones were most popular - sales-wise. Since I'm going into my third year of making candles, there are a few trusted scents that I make sure to have on hand all year long and ones that sell well during their respective seasons. Farm Sweet Farm is my signature scent that is available all year long and something I always have made up. In the cooler months, I have Cinnamon Buns on stand-by too!

Fragrance Samples - sometimes I get carried away

Since spring is around the corner and I'll use a mid-March target date to launch my Spring collection. I use several fragrance suppliers so I'm able to try and find the best and most unique scents to offer. I make sure all my suppliers are highly reputable within the candle making community and order 1oz fragrance samples to make a few candles to test. When browsing the suppliers' websites I look at what is most popular, what gets the best ratings, and also making sure the fragrances are phthalate-free. I have at least 100+ mini 1oz bottles of fragrance that I have ordered over the past few years. Whenever a place an order for supplies I usually add a few fragrance samples to try. I've had a few winners and some smell downright disgusting. If I like it, I put it in a pile to test - if it smells gross, I toss it! Once I have 4-5 scents I'd like to test, I will make a batch of candles 1-3 and let them sit at least a week, preferably 2 weeks, but sometimes I get anxious and can't wait to try them out! When I burn them or give them to a family member or friend, I ask them to report back on the following qualities.

  1. How It Burns: I want to make sure that it's burning evenly and has a decent flame for at least 2-4 hour increments.

  2. How It Smells: This is the most important and the most difficult to perfect. I want to make sure you can smell the candle in the room you are in and when entering a room, while it's burning. Fragrances vary by strength and because I use 100% soy wax, the fragrances tend to be a little lighter, so this is very important. When the candle is solid and not burning and you smell it - that is called "cold throw." When you're burning the candle and trying to gauge the strength of the smell - that is called "hot throw."

  3. Smell Preference: This is completely subjective and that's ok. I want to get the thoughts and opinions of different people. My go-to testers are my parents, brother & sister-in-law, and my best friends! It's so interesting to hear the varying opinions on scents. Some people like bakery scents (Cinnamon Buns and the like), while others gravitate towards fruity scents (apple, pear & orange) and then florals and earthy are the other big buckets. I like to have a mix of all categories, this way everyone has options.

Candles for Days - Stockpile before a Holiday Pop-up

What's in the Works Now?

If you've read this far, I'll give you some insight into what scents I have planned for this spring! I'm excited to offer a scent called Cotton Candy Skies (at least that's the way the poll is looking right now) - I've been burning it when I work, and let me tell you - it's AMAZING! The name was suggested by one of my Instagram followers and let me tell you, I just love it! We have some beautiful evening skies & sunsets in Salem County, so it's a fitting name. Glass Greenhouse is out now and that once smells like you stepped into a greenhouse. Sidenote: I am obsessed with flowers and plants, so I know this smell pretty well and it's a definite favorite! I'll be bringing back Juicy Pear and Gardenia for sure. Hydrangea Bouquet is something I tested last year that I wasn't able to release and is on the docket as well. I have a few more in the works, but I need to do some serious testing the next month to narrow down the field.

bunny in front of candles
Mocha guarding the candle stock

Final Thoughts

Making candles brings such joy to my life and I absolutely love how creative I can get with my scents, branding, and styling for photos and social. I'm always open to hearing ideas on what scents my customers would like me to make and really providing them with the best candle experience possible! I hope this post gives a little insight into my exciting world of candlemaking!

Love Always,


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Megan Smith
Megan Smith
Feb 07, 2021

It’s a sweet citrus smell!! ☺️


Feb 07, 2021

What does Farm Sweet Farm smell like?

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