How Do You Burn Fragrance Oils At Home?

Fragrance oils are synthetic scent oils used to provide fragrance. They are artificially created aromas made from a combination of natural and synthetic compounds. Unlike essential oils which come directly from plants, fragrance oils are human-made and designed to smell like various scents found in nature.

People use fragrance oils at home for several reasons. The oils allow them to enjoy pleasant scents throughout their living space. The fragrances can enhance relaxation, elevate moods, mask unpleasant odors, and create a desired ambiance. Fragrance oils are an affordable way to make a home smell fresh and inviting. They come in a wide variety of scents from floral to food to seasonal. Using fragrance oils provides a simple method to keep homes smelling clean, welcoming, and personalized to one’s preferences.

Choosing Fragrance Oils

a diffuser dispersing a pleasant scent from fragrance oil

When choosing fragrance oils for home use, it’s important to select high quality, pure oils from reputable brands. According to Cierra Candles, some of the most popular and top-selling fragrance oil scents include A Thousand Wishes, Almond, and Amber Romance. Nature’s Garden Candles also highlights their best selling fragrance oils for candles and other uses.

Consider the size of the room you want to scent when selecting a fragrance oil. Stronger scents like cinnamon and pine work better in larger spaces, while lighter floral and fruit scents are ideal for smaller rooms. It’s also important to choose scents you enjoy and that fit your personal preferences.

Fragrance Oil Burners

There are several devices that can be used to burn fragrance oils in the home. Three popular methods include candles, reed diffusers, and electric warmers.

Candles allow fragrance oils to be released into the air as the candle burns. The oil is mixed with wax to create scented candles. Pros of candles are that they provide a flame and scent. Cons are that they can be a fire hazard if left unattended and the scent is not adjustable.[1]

Reed diffusers use natural reeds placed in fragrance oil to disperse scent. The reeds absorb the oil and allow the fragrance to gradually release into the air. Pros of reed diffusers are they provide continuous fragrance without a flame. Cons are the scent is not adjustable and reeds need to be replaced.[2]

Electric warmers use heat to warm up a fragrance oil, helping to diffuse the scent. The oil is placed in a compartment that heats up when plugged in. Pros of electric warmers are adjustable heat settings and auto shut-off safety features. Cons are they require electricity and frequent refilling of oils.[3]

Using Candles

Candles are one of the most popular ways to enjoy fragrance oils at home. However, not all candles are created equal when it comes to effectively dispersing fragrance. Be sure to choose candles made from soy, coconut, or apricot wax, as these wax types readily absorb oil fragrance ( Avoid paraffin candles, as they don’t absorb fragrance as well.

Before lighting any candle, trim the wick to 1⁄4 inch to prevent smoking and promote steady, even burning. This helps the fragrance throw effectively. Make sure the candle is on a stable, heat-safe surface away from drafts to get the most scent diffusion. Avoid moving a burning candle as this can disturb the melt pool.

Light candles carefully with long matches or a utility lighter. Keep your hair and face away from the flame when lighting. Never leave burning candles unattended – blow them out if you leave the room. Allow the wax pool to form completely across the top of the candle before extinguishing the flame. This allows for full fragrance diffusion.

Reed Diffusers

Reed diffusers are a simple and decorative way to scent your home with fragrance oils. To use a reed diffuser properly:

Maintaining the oil level, trimming the reeds, and periodically cleaning the diffuser jar will allow for optimal fragrance dispersal over time.

Electric Warmers

Electric warmers are a popular way to fragrance a room at home with essential oils or fragrance oils. There are a few types of electric warmers you can use:

  • Plug-in warmers: These simply plug into any wall outlet and gently heat the oil to release fragrance. Brands like Air Wick and Glade make plug-in warmers. Be sure to use the proper wattage bulb recommended by the manufacturer (typically 15W or 25W).
  • Ceramic warmers: These feature a ceramic plate or dish that warms up to heat the oil. Popular versions are tealight warmers or wax warmer melts.
  • Fan diffusers: These use a fan to blow fragrance from the heated oil into the room. They help circulate the fragrance.

When using any electric warmer, be sure to use the correct wattage bulb. Using too high of a wattage can burn the oil rather than gently warming it. Refer to your device’s instructions. It’s also important to regularly clean your warmer to prevent oil build-up. Unplug the unit and wipe it down with a dry cloth. Wash your hands after handling oils and warmers.

To keep your electric warmer working efficiently, follow any maintenance tips from the manufacturer. For example, Air Wick suggests: “Fragrance oils may collect on warmer over time. To clean, remove from electrical outlet and wipe with dry cloth. Wash hands after handling.” (Source)

Safety Tips

When burning fragrance oils at home, there are some safety precautions you should take.

Make sure to ventilate the room when burning oils by opening a window or turning on a fan. Fragrance oils can cause headaches or other issues if the fumes build up in an enclosed space. See this source for more tips on ventilation.

Keep fragrance oils out of reach of children and pets. Ingesting oils can be dangerous. Store oils securely and supervise usage. See this source for guidance on safe handling.

Take care to avoid burns or fire hazards when burning oils. Don’t leave burning diffusers or warmers unattended. Make sure candle wicks are trimmed to 1⁄4 inch to avoid high flames. Allow melted wax to fully harden before relighting a candle. Place burning candles on a sturdy, heat-resistant surface away from flammable materials.

Storing Oils

Proper storage is crucial for preserving fragrance oils and extending their shelf life. Fragrance oils should be kept in tightly sealed containers away from heat, light and oxygen to prevent evaporation and oxidation. Amber glass bottles are ideal as they block sunlight which can degrade the oils. According to, amber glass provides the best protection for prolonged storage.

Refrigeration between 40-60°F is recommended, as lower temperatures can cause the oils to solidify. While refrigeration is not required, it will extend the shelf life significantly. Unopened fragrance oils can last 1-2 years when properly stored, while opened bottles will last around 6 months. Heat, light exposure and oxygen will shorten shelf life so minimize those factors when possible.

Disposing of Oils

It’s important to properly dispose of used fragrance oils to avoid contamination or environmental harm. Here are some recommendations:

For used oils, allow them to fully evaporate in an open container before discarding. Once evaporated, seal the container and place in your regular household trash (source). You can also mix used oils with an absorbent material like sand or cat litter to help them solidify before trashing.

When recycling fragrance oil containers, remove any remaining oil first and allow to fully evaporate. Plastic containers can then go in your recycling bin. For glass bottles, remove any labels and wash thoroughly before recycling (source).

Check with your local waste management rules as well. Some communities have hazardous waste disposal days where you can properly dispose of oils and containers.


Using fragrance oils at home can provide a number of benefits. Studies have shown that fragrance oils can help reduce stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation (Source: The pleasant scents of fragrance oils can also boost mood and confidence. Fragrance oils are also versatile – they can be used in a variety of ways with candles, reed diffusers, and electric warmers to scent your home.

When using fragrance oils at home, be sure to follow key safety tips. Always supervise burning oils, ventilate your home when diffusing, use proper candle containers, and store oils safely. By following guidelines on usage and storage, fragrance oils can be enjoyed safely and effectively in your home.

With the wide range of fragrance options available, you can find uplifting, relaxing, or invigorating scents to enhance your home’s ambiance. Experiment with different fragrance notes to see which scents have the best effect for your mood and needs. Use the tips in this guide to fully experience the benefits of fragrance oils in your home.

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