Aroma Candle Making: The Business

Aroma Candle making is a relatively new but interesting business because of the growing demand for aromatic candles. It is advisable to engage in this business amid the promising prospects of this industry in the local and export markets.

Candles call to mind the ancient or traditional source of household lighting that, in current times, no longer hold water. Older candles were made of tubes that were filled with oil or animal fat wherein wicks, that were made of cloth, provided the material for lighting candle with fire. Candles were mainstays in altars, during regular church rites and also during fiestas, when masses were held to celebrate the occasion. There was a great demand for candles then, because electricity was ofter scarce.

Another example candle type aside from those made of oil or animal fat were candles derived from beeswax. These were found in bees, located in the four pairs of stomach glands of the honeybee. Beeswax is lemon-colored and smell like honey mixed with a distinctive aroma. It is difficult to manufacture artificial beeswax so it continues to command high price in the market. In fact, just o be able to supply the needs of the churches for these candles, houses of worship accept these as the tithe or donations.

In the course of time, candles become in demand for varied purposes aside from its traditional usage as a source of light. Candles became available in varied shapes and sizes, including the now popular and scintillating aroma candles. Slowly, candle making has become a thriving industry and one can observe the mushrooming of candle shops selling ready-to-make candles, molds, wax, wick, essential oils and other requirements of the enterprise.

At present, there are different types of candles, namely:

  • Decorative
  • Gel candles
  • Spring candles
  • Classical or aroma candles

Industry Situationer

It was in 1997 when the demand for aroma candles in the Philippines increased. Normally, there is a low demand for this product during the months of January and February. It picks up soon during the month of March, when candles exhibits flourish. Export orders begin to increase during the months of April and May. But the peak season falls during the celebration of two Christian events – All Saints Day also known as “Todos Los Santos” and the Christmas season.

Some leading importers of candles from th Philippines are the United States, Europe, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. While our production level of candles equals that of China, we remain the leading supplier of decorative and aroma candles worldwide.

In the local market, decorative candles sell like hot cakes because it is cheap. But in terms of business potentials, aroma candles provide bigger profits. A single candle can rake in as much as a thousand pesos, or even sold at higher prices. Second in profitability is the manufacture and sale of decorative candles while ordinary ones like vigil candles command the lowest prices.

Raw Materials in candle Making

The basic material needed in candle making is the wax. The following are the different types of wax used locally:

  • Plant wax
  • Animal wax
  • Mineral wax

Also included among the basic requirements in the candle making are crystal was, gel wax, paraffin wax, polyethylene, wax dye, candle-wick and essential oils.

In making a candle, one type or combination of natural and synthetic materials can be used. Usually, paraffin wax is used because it is much cheaper than beeswax. In making aroma candle, however, paraffin wax cannot be used alone because its scent will mingle with the scent of the essential oils. Paraffin wax should therefore be mixed with palm wax or beeswax. Proper care should be done in melting the wax mixture for better results.

The Secret is in the Scent

The aroma candle, a candle type that is currently in vogue, is usually 8-12 inches in height. It can serve as a collectors item and is in demand for its therapeutic effects. It is highly saleable not only in this country, but also in the US, Australia and Italy. Aroma candles have a distinctive scent derived from essential oils which can be used not only as a household’s air freshener, but also for therapy with its relaxing effects.

Essential oils are also known as “volatile oils” or “ethereal oils”. These can be derived from flowers, seed, leaves, stem, barks, roots, grasses and trees. These oils are the oldest form of medication and cosmetics. The application of essential oils on the human skin causes an immediate and extraordinary sense of physical well-being.

There are, at present, different kinds of essential oils as there are multiple uses for it.

Types of Essential Oils

  • Lavender – possesses a sweet aroma that serves as an antiseptic; relieves muscle spasms or cramps. It is also used for relaxation and for stress reduction.
  • Orange – oil from orange is also effective against muscle spasms or cramps. It helps against indigestion and reduces high blood pressure.
  • Ilang-ilang – called “fragrance or all fragrances” for its revitalizing function and ability to lessen depression, fear, anger and jealousy.
  • Citronella – a popular mosquito and insect repellant. It is knows for its medicinal value.

The Business of Aroma Candle

In starting a business in aroma candle, one should prepare for capital for the purchase if raw materials and utensils. The required capitalization to be able to start this business is modest enough. In making the four types of candles described in this guide, the raw materials to be used and which needs to be purchased wholesale are the following:

Raw Material Price (Dec. 2003 price)
Paraffin wax
Paraffin wax pellets
Crystal wax
Gel wax
Nylon wick size 12
Wax dye
Plaster of Paris
Essential oils
Modelling clay
P50/15 yards

These raw materials are usually available in market outlets in Divisoria or from candle shops ans suppliers. The equipment needed, on the other hand, are stove, casserole and kettle. The stove can either be powered by gas or electricity.

For home-based business, two personnel can do, for a start. One personnel can be tapped to melt wax, while the other to make the molds. You can begin the business by making a few products until these are accepted by the market. With P5,000 initial capitalization, one can already purchased a set of utensils and equipment, have molds and seed capital. The entrepreneur may begin as a supplier to candle shops until he/she hones the craft, be knows, and later expand his/her clientele.

If you desire to put up your own business in aroma candle making, you can use the following as guide:

Let us suppose that you want to engage in Spring candle making and you aim to produce 60 pieces daily, you will need around P90,000 starting capital for a two-week production. It is also assumed that you will need to rent a business space where the production takes place. The data below shows how the required capitalization was estimated.

Capital for a Small Business (Dec. 2003 price)

Cash requirement for two weeks
– raw materials (106.52/pc x 60 pcs/day x 10 days)
– water and gas (0.46/pc x 60 pcs/day x 10 days)
– transportation (0.27/pc x 60 pcs/day x 10 days)
– salary (2 x P243/day x 10 days)
Leasehold improvement
Rental, other equipment
Total 90,327

The cash requirement is based on the production of 10 days allow for finished goods inventory. Meanwhile, the capital for a 1 week production will be used for the daily production expenditures and other expenses needed in the operation of the business.

Payback Period and Return on Investment

The payback period (PP) refers to the length of time within which the initial investment is recovered while engaging in business. The formula for determining the PP as follows:

PP = Capitalization /(Net profit in 1 year + depreciation)

The net profit per piece of spring candle within a 30% mark-up is:
NP = P151.06 – (116.20 – 0.09)
NP = P34.95/pc

We can estimate that the quantity of production is 10,800 pieces in 1 year based on the following assumptions:

Period Qty of pcs to be soldnn/day x 20 days/month x 3 months Amount
1st quarter
2nd quarter
3rd quarter
4th quarter





Payback Period = P90,327 / (P34.95/pc x 10,800 pcs)
= 90,327/377,460
= 0.24 year or 3 months

Based on the above assumptions, the capitalization can be recovered within a 3 month-period. The Return of Investment (ROI) is the percentage of recovery of your capital using the formula below:

Return of Investment = 1/payback period
= 1 / 0.24
= 417%

From the invested capital, one can derive as much as a 417% ROI as long as there is demand or product orders are continuous.

Selling Aroma Candles

The aroma candle commands a good selling price because it caters to the high-end market. At present, a single aroma candle can be sold for as low as P100 to as high as P3,500 or higher, depending on its size and artistic form, and also on the type of essential oils mixed into the candle wax.

The creativity and artistic flair poured in its making, may boost the candle’s market value. An ordinary aroma candle, for instance, usually sold around P200, can fetch a better price once creative designs like flowers and leaves, attractive to buyers, are integrated in its creation.

The choice of an appropriate location for the sales display booth is an important aspect of marketing. Aside from home-based selling, you can also rent a stall in a department store and mall or join trade exhibits and fairs. The different venues are strategic ways to improving product visibility and also serve as vehicles for introducing the candles to export buyers.

The profit motive is natural, but the good entrepreneur should go beyond it, and seek to discover all avenues that will highlight the intrinsic talent and creativity of the candle-maker – so that competitiveness in the field is enhanced. In whatever business one may choose to invest, a keen interest and dedication are key factors in achieving success.

One may encounter some setbacks, but determination and confidence in one’s capabilities, will surely reap a bountiful harvest after planting and sowing from the seeds of labor, enterprise and capital.



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