Adding Essential Oils to Lamp Oil

by Robbie Nevens

As experts in lights and lamps at LampTwist, we have had this question quite a few times now. Scented oils can give your home a wonderful aroma and add a nice, relaxing touch to your décor, but can you add essential oils to lamp oil and make it work?

Yes, store-bought oil lamps can be great, and we have a few amazing oil lamps to note:

So, when you find yourself in need of a fresh scent for your abode, and you still want to take up a DIY project and create your own instead of settling for something you just picked up at your local department store, we have a thing or two to share.

Can One Add Essential Oils to Lamp Oil?

Both yes and no.

Making your own scented oil can be easier than you think, and it gives room for creativity, but things could go wrong. In this guide, we go over the tools you need and outline how to make your own essential oil embedded lamp oil from scratch. 

Let’s get started!

What You Need To Know About Lamp Oil

You might think it’s not that important to understand the mechanics behind an oil lamp, but unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Because people no longer use these lamps as a primary source of light, the basic know-how of using and maintaining one is no longer mandatory knowledge to pass down. 


For example, an inadequately cared for oil lamp can build up a gas pocket and explode. So, what relevance does this have with essential oils? Well, some oils, like orange, for instance, are quite incendiary, therefore adding them to your lamp oil is a recipe for disaster. Also, mixing essential oils with rubbing alcohol or gasoline and adding them to your lamp oil is a huge no-no! 

Read on and learn more about fuel sources and how to mix them with essential oils.

Eminent Fuel Sources To Rely On

The earliest oil lamps used fuel sources like whale oil, camphine, and fat to stay alight. However, the smell of burning animal products can get rancid quickly. In the past, people used to distil camphine with lime. 

So, scenting lamp oil is an ancient, but brilliant idea.

Nowadays, there are various alternatives for your oil lamp. Which one you choose is mostly up to your ‌preference. 

An important fact to remember is that fuels have varying flashpoints. This means they burn at different temperatures and have a different rate of consumption. So, it is not a good (potentially bad, bad, bad) idea to mix them together.

Fuel Options & Oil Lamps

There is plenty of fuel to use for your oil lamp. Each one has its advantages, and most do well with essential oil additives. 

  • Palm Kernel Oil. This odourless and non-toxic oil is safe to use around the house, especially if you have pets and children. Sadly, it’s also one of the harder oils to find and it is a tad more expensive. 
  • Olive Oil or Lampanate. Much less refined than the olive oil you see in grocery stores, Lampanate is virgin olive oil that is not purified enough for human consumption. Renewable, smoke-free, and odourless, olive oil is easy to find and safe to use for your oil lamp. Although you may need to retrofit a lamp with a thick wick to use olive because of its low burning point, Lampanate is a smart and eco-friendly choice. 
  • Lamp Oil. If you use lamp oil, then you’ll want a cap for your oil lamp when it’s not in use to prevent evaporation. This purified hydrocarbon oil comes in various colours and scents with the sole purpose of being used for oil lamps.
  • Kerosene. This oil produces a bright flame that you can easily read to. Moreover, kerosene is cost-effective and does extremely well with essential oil additives. However, never add over one teaspoon of essential oil per 8 oz of kerosene.
  • Castor Oil. Castor bean oil is a popular plant-based oil that will work beautifully in any oil lamp. Additionally, it’s renewable and easy to blend with essential oils.

Note: Please check the manual or consult a professional before you pour “whatever” into an oil lamp!

Popular Essential Oils

There is an ample amount of essential fragrances on the market, note essential oil manufacturers Galen-N. The first thing you need to do is to ensure they come from herbs and do not have synthetic compounds. 


Among the most common essential oils are:

  • Chamomile. This herb is popular for reducing anxiety and stress levels. Because of its natural soothing effect, it improves sleep and overall well-being. 
  • Lavender. This widespread scent is calming and reduces anxiety. Ideal to relax an overwhelmed mind and body. 
  • Lemon. This uplifting citrus aroma has antiviral properties, and it's perfect for cleansing your surroundings.
  • Patchouli. This essential oil is famous for its soothing effect on the nervous system.
  • Sandalwood. This essential oil, often used in alternativemedicine,e provides an Oriental fragrance and has relaxation and anti-inflammatory properties. 

How To Add Essential Oil To Lamp Oil

When you add essential oils to your lamp oil, always start it easy. Since oils differ, 


  • Use the small batch mixing method. 
  • Take only as much oil as your lamp requires 
  • Blend it with up to five drops of your essential oil of choice. 
  • Stir the oil until it’s homogenous and then pour it into the lamp. 
  • Once your oil lamp is lit, wait for around twenty minutes to assess the scent. 
  • If you feel it can be stronger, double the number of drops once the lamp has cooled down

Keep in mind that the fuel in the wick will be from the previous batch. Hence, it could take an hour or two before your nose smells the new mixture. 

  • Mark the oil containers with the name of your scent, so you’ll know which is which. 
  • Look for stickers to label your jars online or in office and craft supply shops. 
  • Make sure you write down the number of drops you put in for future reference. 
  • Keep a notebook on hand solely for this purpose. 
  • Store your notes along with your lamp and oils for future use.

Remember Lamp Wick

The wick - such a small part of your oil lamp, yet so important. Make sure you install clean wicks regularly, or at least trim them properly.


The rule of thumb is that a lamp wick should be around a third of a centimetre or an eighth of an inch, and requires trimming every three to four hours.

It is crucial to keep your wick in proper condition, as this not only avoids the build-up of impurities, but also limits fuel waste.

Periodically Care For Your Oil Lamp

Like any other thing, proper maintenance is key. A build-up of condensation and grime can become dangerous. After each use, let your lamp cool down before removing the hood. Wipe it with a soft cloth or use a mild dish detergent to remove greasy areas. 

Before lighting a lamp, make sure there is no spilled fuel left behind or near its designated spot. Though most lamp fuels won’t ignite instantly without a wick, it’s still necessary to take precautions. 

Storing Oil Lamps & Lamp Oil

It is quite easy to store your lamps and lamp oil. Simply keep both out of direct sunlight and store them in dry, room temperature, or slightly cooler conditions.

Never freeze lamp oil!

Essential Oils & Lamp Oil, Wrap-Up

Adding essential oils to lamp oil is not something new, but it is an excellent way to cosy up your home. The option to customise your place through aroma is one of the most delightful personal touches. As you may or may not know, human memory is deeply connected to scent. Just as lamplight can build up your mood, taking it a step further with a fragrant upgrade is a brilliant way to add that little something extra to your home. 

Choose essential oils that suit your goals, decor, the season, and your mood for the best results. After a busy day at work, a long bath, your favourite scented lamp oil, and finally kicking back on the couch is a great way to slow down your senses and prepare yourself for a good night of sleep.