Every candle maker knows the joy of discovering new fragrance oils. But what happens when your collection starts to gather a little too much dust? If you’re wondering how to tell if you’re unused or partially used fragrance oils are still good, you’re not alone. Here at Candle Creations we understand and we’re here to shed some light on fragrance oil storage and how to determine their shelf life.

Fragrance Oil Shelf Life and Longevity

Generally speaking, most fragrance oils last about a year. However, the specific components in each formula can oxidize at different rates, making it tough to give a one-size-fits-all answer. We’ve always recommended buying only enough fragrance to use within six months to a year. But we know how tempting it is to try every new scent that catches your eye! Here’s how to ensure your precious oils stay fresh for as long as possible.

Best Practices for Storing Fragrance Oils

First things first—proper storage is key to extending the life of your fragrance oils. Here are our top tips:

Keep Them at Room Temperature

Fragrance oils thrive best between 18°C to 29°C (65°F to 85°F). Avoid refrigeration, as cooler temperatures can cause oils to crystallize. You may have seen this with some vanilla fragrances. If this does happen put the bottle of fragrance oil in warm water and it will liquify again.

Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes

Garages, roof spaces, and sheds might seem like convenient storage spots, but unless they are temperature-controlled, it’s best to avoid them. Extreme fluctuations can shorten the lifespan of your oils. Opt for a stable environment within the ideal temperature range.

Store in a Dark Area

Sunlight can speed up the degradation of certain oil components. To minimise light exposure, store your oils in a windowless closet or room. Opaque storage boxes also provide an extra layer of protection. While many suppliers package oils in amber or opaque bottles, additional steps to keep them in the dark can significantly prolong their usability.

Record the “Opened-On” Date

Once you open a bottle, oxidation begins and continues even without further air exposure. By noting the opening date, you can keep track of how long oxidation has been occurring. This can be as simple as writing the date on the bottle or maintaining a spreadsheet.

Evaluating Your Fragrance Oils

Before you toss that one-year-old bottle, evaluate its condition. Trust your nose and eyes—if the scent has changed dramatically or the oil appears cloudy, it might be time to let it go.

Remember, your craft is as much about creating beautiful candles as it is about maintaining quality materials. So treat your fragrance oils with the care they deserve, and happy candle making!