Since gel wax is composed of 95% mineral oil and 5% polymer resin, the fragrance oils or scents that you select have to be soluble in this mixture. It is believed in the candle making industry that if you are working with gel wax, the scents you use have to be non-polar. This however, is simply not the case.
It is chemically impossible to make fragrance oils non-polar. This is because the aldehydes, ketones, resins, esters, and essential oils used in the creation of scents are all polar to some degree. Now, perfumists are able to keep the polarity low by using isopar solvents. But, in the end; every scent has some level of polarity to them. Fragrances can NEVER be NON polar, there will always be varying levels of polarity in fragrance.
In order for fragrance oils to work in gel wax, they need to be on the lesser end of being polar. By lowering the polarity, fragrances are more readily able to be mixed with the mineral oil of gel wax. But, before using a fragrance oil that you are not sure is gel safe; there are two steps you can take to find out.
Gel Wax and Scent Flashpoint-
In order for a scent to be gel wax compatible, the flashpoint of the fragrance must be 170 degrees or higher. This degree of flashpoint is important because gel wax burns at a higher temperature. Using a scent with a flashpoint lower than 170 degrees Fahrenheit results in too big of a difference in your melt point and flashpoint; this makes for an unstable and unsafe candle.
You can easily check the flashpoint for every fragrance oil that Natures Garden carries in the Important Fragrance Specifics listed under each scent.
Mineral Oil Miscibility Test-
If you need to test that a fragrance oil is gel wax safe, you can easily do so. This test is called the mineral oil miscibility test. To test for gel wax solubility mix 1 part fragrance to 3 parts mineral oil in a glass container. Then, give the mixture a shake and set it down. After a few minutes, check the mixture to see if it blended.
Next, in a glass container, mix 3 parts fragrance oil to 1 part mineral oil. Give the container a shake and once again allow it to sit. After a few minutes, check to see if the mixture is thoroughly blended.
If you notice the mixture is insoluble or has any cloudiness in the solution, the fragrance is not gel safe. If the mixture is transparent and dissolved, the fragrance oil is gel wax compatible.
If you are interested in making the gel wax wine candles pictured in this blog post, please click here. View this recipe plus many more by looking at the Free Recipes and Classes area of the Natures Garden website.