Scented Polymer Clay – Is There a Secret Formula?

Chocolate Polymer Clay Earrings

Getting your polymer clay miniature food (yummm… chocolate)to smell as good as it looks:

Scented polymer clay miniature food charms, beads and jewelry are all the rage now. But figuring out how to scent the polymer clay seems to be a well guarded secret. I have been getting inquiries about this for a while now. Here’s a recent one:

Hello Cindy!  I recently found your site and I love it!  I was wondering though, I have a website where I sell my polymer clay jewelry.  I make a lot of sweets, cakes, cookies, etc.. I’ve seen people who make their cakes and candies scented! I’ve looked all over for scents, or a tutorial on what to use, and how to use it. Can you help me? Thanks! Ryssa, DogEatDog Productions.


I have been testing out a few different ways of adding scent to polymer clay and my results are OK, but still not that great (yet). When I get some better results I will post them here at my blog. But for now…

These are my findings so far:

  • Essential Oils – It scents the raw clay really well but fades quickly after baking. I rubbed some on the baked clay and that seemed to work better but eventually faded as well. 
  • Ground Spices and Herbs – Cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, rosemary and curry mixed into the clay as an inclusion, works well for scenting polymer clay, but also fades unless warmed up or rubbed. This seem to work the best of what I have tried. But in order to be really satisfied, I need to try some other techniques.

Things on my to do list:

  • Candle or Soap Scents – Since candles and soap are also oil based, the scents should be compatible. There are definitely some wonderful candles that seem to hold their scent for a long time, so this seems very promising!
  • Incense – Incense is so strong that if you were to crush some incense cones into your clay they would probably hold their scent.
  • Vanilla Bean – Although expensive, I’ve heard of people mixing in Vanilla Bean Seeds and chopped pods into their clay. It would look pretty too.

Things to avoid:

  • Perfume – Alcohol based perfumes are not only weak, but alcohol doesn’t bond like oil does with the clay. I’ve learned this through the experiments I’ve done using alcohol inks to color polymer clay. You actually have to ‘gas off’ the alcohol from the ink before you can mix the ink with polymer clay. 
  • Food flavoring and Extracts – These are also alcohol based and not worth the expense of experimenting with.

I know I’ll discover something that will work well to scent polymer clay. Our kids have a little plastic bear holding a cookie that smells like chocolate chips. It has kept its scent for many years. And lots of people are selling scented polymer clay charms and things. They’re just not giving up their secrets though. So my search continues…

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor



  1. Cindy Lietz, 12 June, 2008

    If you know ways to scent polymer clay, than post a comment below. Inquiring minds want to know!

    Cindy’s last blog post..How to Make Rose Petal Beads from Polymer Clay

  2. Ryssa, 23 June, 2008

    Cindy! Thank you OH SO MUCH for your advice! I actually found some great oils, I purchased some from a seller on Ebay that i have yet to use, as well as some from a seller on, they’re oil perfume rollers and come in all kinds of scents from apple pie to chocolate chip cookie. I tried it on a few ‘tester’ charms and it works great, the clay holds together well and even after glazing you can still smell the scent. It’s only been a few weeks since I’ve had them and they still smell as strong as the day I made them.

    I really appreciate your post and your email comments!


  3. Cindy Lietz, 23 June, 2008

    That’s Sweet Ryssa looks like you uncovered the secret!!! Tell us who you bought the oil perfume from. (Best to go with what works!!) Also, did you put the oil in the clay, on the clay or both? Plus what finish did you use? I’m sure some finishes would mask the scent! Answer me back and I’ll write a post about you and your discovery!!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..How to Make Polymer Clay Beads and Canes

  4. BunnyKissd, 27 August, 2008

    Definitely let us know the details, Ryssa! Inquiring minds want to know! ^_^

  5. Cindy Lietz, 28 August, 2008

    Hi BunnyKissd! Thanks for your comment! I think Ryssa is away right now but hopefully when she comes back she will give us the answer! You’re right… Inquiring minds do want to know!!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Bead Mosaic Jewelry Brooch Design by Polymer Clay Artist Naama Zamir

  6. Cindy Lietz, 21 September, 2008

    A store on Etsy called TheGardenBath is selling a rolled on perfume oil called Pumpkin Pie. It is in limited quantities so you would have to buy fast.

    Although Ryssa didn’t get back to me on who sold her the roll on perfume, I do believe this could be the company.

    So if you are making Pumpkin Pie Charms for this Thanksgiving or Christmas, this may just be the product to try!!

  7. Bunny Kissd, 21 September, 2008

    Thanks for the update, Cindy!

  8. Cindy Lietz, 22 September, 2008

    You are more than welcome BunnyKissd!

  9. Amanda, 07 January, 2009

    This is a business for a few people and if you just give away how these people make their charms then it will ruin thire business.

    Why would you want to do that?

  10. Chris I, 26 March, 2016

    What? Cindy herself gives away her own secrets every day to us, it doesn’t ruin her business. So why would you think that. If someone doesnt want their stuff shared, bought, borrowed, stolen, copied or sold then best not put it out there for the world to see on the internet……Im not saying it is right, I’m saying then things are no longer private and a secret.

  11. Cindy Lietz, 08 January, 2009

    Amanda I would never, ever want to ruin someone’s business!

    Let me explain why I don’t think this would be the case by sharing the secret to scented polymer clay.

    I have found that when more people know about an idea the better the product sells. I would not want to be the only one in the world working with polymer clay because then no one would know what it was and the harder it would be to sell. It already takes a bit of an explanation.

    The same thing goes for scented clay. By teaching more people about it, there will be more of it in the marketplace and more people will become aware of it.

    When people are aware of something that is cool like that, they want it. Sales will go up rather than down with a little more competition!

  12. Amanda, 21 January, 2009

    WOW! i never thought of it that way before. Thank you!

  13. Cindy Lietz, 22 January, 2009

    You’re welcome Amanda! I always appreciate your comments!

  14. Cevangel, 07 February, 2009

    I want to learn how to scent polymer clay too. This article helped so much!!!

    I use my kitchen oven though. If I add say, the essential oils or rolled on perfume oil, is it safe to bake?

    Btw, how did the incense and candle/soap scents turn out?

  15. Cindy Lietz, 09 February, 2009

    Glad the article was helpful for you, Cevangel.

    I can’t see why it would be a problem to bake the scents. But if you were concerned you could bake your beads inside a covered dish like an old dutch oven for safety.

    I haven’t tried the candle scents myself but I hear they work wonderfully!

    Thanks for your comment!

  16. Rainy, 17 February, 2009

    I too have been wondering how to scent polymer clay. I made a bunch of yummy looking clay cupcake charms. I did some searching around to see what other cupcakes there were out there and noticed a bunch of them were scented. Neato!

    I figured since you can mix oils into the clay to soften it, maybe you could mix fragrance oils in as well. So I have ordered a few different scents from a candle supplies store. They should get here in the mail tommorrow. I will get baking as soon as possible so I can let you guys know how it turns out.

    I can’t wait to smell the buttercream icing and cookie dough!!! MMmmm! had the cheapest shipping costs I could find and they give you a free 1oz sample scent with your order. I was going to go with them but had some trouble getting the payment to go through. I called they’re support number but they hung up on me three times in a row.

    Sooo…I went with instead. Shipping was a little bit more, but they give you a 10% discount when you order five bottles of scent(even if they are the 1oz size). Also, they had the toasted marshmallow scent I’d been looking for. Yays!

    I hope this helps. I’ll be sure to get back with you as soon as I can to let you know how things turned out.

    Happy Claying!

  17. Cindy Lietz, 17 February, 2009

    Thank you Rainy for such a wonderful comment! I am very excited to hear about how your projects turn out, and I’m sure others here will be as well.

  18. Rainy, 20 February, 2009

    I just finished baking a test batch of scented cupcakes last night. I mixed only a little bit of the oil into the clay that was to be the cake part and enough oil into the icing clay to give it a constistency that was a bit firmer than real icing. I had to use toothpicks to manipulate it because it was so messy.

    I was afraid that using that much oil was going to cause the clay to fall apart, but after the baking and cooling process was done everything turned out just as hard as regular clay.

    I did notice that the scent seemed alot fainter after baking. At one point I thought I couldn’t smell anything at all. So I asked my husband take a smell. He said,” What IS that!? I love that smell!” . I was suprised that he could smell it. We came to the conclusion that I had been sitting there working with the oil for so long that I had become desensitized to it. He wants to get me some gloves and a mask for working with the stuff. lol!

    I took a whiff of the cupcakes this afternoon to see how the smell was holding up. I still think they smell weaker than compared to before they were baked, but the scent is still definatley there. It’s just very light. my husband said it would probably be kind of annoying to wear them if the secnt was strong. Not sure if he was just trying to make me feel better or not. heh heh.

    I also did a couple of other experments. I brushed a light coat of oil onto pre baked cupcakes that did not have a clear coat on them. I popped them into the oven for about five mintues so maybe the heat would help the clay absorb the oil. When I took them out they were not oiley at all, and scent was only a tiny bit weaker. I think this method works well…just don’t know how long it will last.

    My next test was kind of a strange idea. I tried mixing about 6 drops of fragrance into half a teaspoon of Delta Ceramcoat satin varnish. I mixed and mixed, but it kept wanting to separate. I went ahead and painted it onto a cupcake. Then I tried mixing the same proportions, but with Krylon triple thick Crystal Clear Glaze. I mixed and it didn’t separate at all. Brushed a thin coat onto the cupcake and waited for it all to dry.

    The scent on both turned out awsome, but the krylon cupcake seemed to hold the scent MUCH better. I am not very fond of this Krylon clear coat, but both me and my husband agree that the shiny one looks better than the satin one…and it smells better too! :)

    So, to rate the differnt methods from weakest to strongest scent…it’ll have to be in this order:

    VERY WEAK: Mixing into raw clay and baking
    WEAK: Brushing onto pre baked clay and heating
    GOOD: Mixing into Delta Ceramcoat and painting on
    STRONG: Mixing into Krylon CrystalClearGlaze/paint on

    I guess any of the methods can work. Just use the one that works best for the type of thing you are making and the strength of scent you wish to achive.

    Oh yeah! I did come across a nice tutorial from MonsterKookies at DeviantArt for those of you wishing to mix oil scent into clay.

    Good Luck to you all!

  19. Cindy Lietz, 21 February, 2009

    Rainy!!! Wow!!! Your comment is incredible! Nothing is more valuable than information found through testing. Thank you so, so much for sharing your findings!!

    On mixing the scent with the different finishes… have you let them sit for awhile to see if they become sticky again? Sometimes finishes react with the clay over time and they could react with oils over time as well.

    I would consider trying this technique with Future Floor Finish, it may work too. Who knows, you would have to test it to see.

    Thanks again for coming back with your results. I’m sure everyone who reads it, will appreciate your input tremendously!

  20. Amanda, 26 February, 2009

    Has anyone tried the soap scent yet?

  21. Cindy Lietz, 28 February, 2009

    I think candle and soap scents are pretty much the same thing Amanda, as long as their oil based and not alcohol based. I would give them a try if you have access to them.

  22. Kimberly, 04 May, 2009

    Candle and Soap Scents work the best – and the type of scents you can get are ENDLESS. That is why you see so many people that have things like Buttercream scent and Angel Food Cake Scent. You can only find scents like that in Candle/Soap scent oils.

  23. Cindy Lietz, 05 May, 2009

    Thanks for the info Kimberly! I know that it is coming from experience! Your scented cupcake charms are crazy cute. Bet they smell great too!

  24. Ken H., 08 June, 2009

    With the upcoming Rose beads, any new information on the scenting clay front?

  25. Cindy Lietz, 10 June, 2009

    Nothing new Ken, but it would be a fantastic idea to find an oil based rose perfume to sent the roses with! Wouldn’t that just take the realism to a whole new level?

  26. Ken H., 11 June, 2009

    That’s what I was thinking. When I read that the next videos were going to be this rose bead technique I remembered this thread about adding scent to the clay.

  27. Silverleaf, 18 June, 2009

    Why not try rose essential oil?

    On a slightly related note, I made chocolate rose brownies the other week using rose water and rose oil, as well as Turkish Delight chocolate. My choir friends LOVED them, they were awesome!

    I also made some inclusion beads with various spices ages ago and they still smell really strong. The curry bracelet definitely smells like curry – I think it’s the garam masala that smells strongest.

  28. Cindy Lietz, 28 June, 2009

    @Ken: Yeah it sure would be the perfect combo! Let me know if you try it!

    @Silverleaf: Rose essential oil would be perfect for this technique! Chocolate rose brownies sound fantastic! I used to make a rose syrup using real rose petals that was lovely on ice cream. So I know the flavor well. Curry does hold its scent well in beads doesn’t it! Mine still have a scent to them and they were made over a year ago.

  29. Radeane, 01 November, 2009

    @Cindy Lietz:

    hey, i’ve been having problems with making frosting for my clay cupcakes. i tried the making a snake and swirling that around the top, however that usually ends up lopsided. i don’t like the flattened looking frosting. how do i make it look like real whipped frosting? i saw one of the posters adds scented oil to hers and applied with a toothpick. if i’m not using scented oil how do i break it down enough to achieve the look?

  30. Cindy Lietz, 01 November, 2009

    Yeah I know what you mean Radeane about getting lopsided icing using the snake method. If you want that whipped icing look you can mix either a little bit of liquid clay or a few drops of baby oil into a tiny amount of clay. Just keep stirring until it looks like whipped cream than spread with a tooth pick or small spatula like you would any other super sticky icing. Have fun!

  31. Radeane, 02 November, 2009

    hey there. thanks! i’m baking cupcake bottoms as i type. was just wondering, can i use liquid sculpey as a clear coat or finish? my polymer clay charms are turning out really cute and i love giving them as gifts. i really like the plain look after they come out of the oven. but was wondering if i could use the ls to keep the pins from slipping out after multiple wearings.

  32. Cindy Lietz, 02 November, 2009

    You’re welcome Radeane! Krazy Glue would work better than liquid sculpey for holding in the pins. Pull the pins out after baking, then glue.

    And I agree that polymer clay charms make great gifts. They work great as backpack charms for kids and also can be used as unique looking zipper pulls.

  33. Leslie, 26 January, 2010

    Take a small paint brush and while the charm is warm (fresh from the oven) brush on your scent.
    When the clay is warm it expands and as it cools it contracts right?
    It’ll soak it up.
    Let it dry and there ya go.
    A little will go a long long long way though, so don’t go crazy! :D A half oz bottle of scented will last forever.

    The scents I always used are oils for soap making. Safe for skin and all that.


  34. Leslie, 26 January, 2010


    *a half oz of scented oil will last forever.

    Also if you have a good nose, you can blend scents to create many others. That’s been the most fun.

  35. Cindy Lietz, 26 January, 2010

    Hi Leslie – Welcome to the blog!
    :-) :-) :-)

    Blending scents… now that sounds like an interesting skill to play with. I bet you have some stories about experiments that did not turn out quite as expected. Care to share any insider tips? Combinations that worked? Or perhaps ones that had you gasping for some fresh air LOL.

    With polymer clay colors, mixes that don’t work are sometimes called muds. Now I’m wondering what you would call an aroma concoction that did go as planned?

  36. Leslie, 26 January, 2010

    Thanks :D
    Well.. I think I always played it safe with the scents, so not too many crazy stories with those. They are fun to play with when you get a little collection going. Hard to resist mixing them and seeing what you can come up with. I rarely used scents straight from the bottle and totally suggest mixing and that way you do have a unique blend.

    Mixing colors can be a pain and I pretty much found a mix that worked for almost everything.

    I’d make a huge batch of “bread dough” color and I’d use that for waffles, pancakes, crepes, donuts, pie crust, bread slices… and then you can mix other colors into that.

    I came to find that it was less about mixing in polymer clay colors and more about using paint and pastels to get different looks, but that is a whole other can or worms. LOL

  37. Nikki, 01 February, 2010


    Interesting information Leslie! Do you have an etsy shop or website? I’m curious to see your creations!! =)

  38. Nikki, 01 February, 2010

    Also, is that the best method you’ve used to scent clay? Any other techniques you can share?

  39. Leslie, 05 February, 2010


    I stopped making my jewelry this year, so I don’t have anything available at my website to see. You could google Pancake Meow to see some things if you wanted. When I first started there wasn’t any scented jewelry out there. I dare say I started the craze, but I did.
    My jewelry got popular really fast and I got a lot of exposure and then others started making it and so on and so on. Here is my blog:

    That is the only way I have ever done the scenting and I’ve done it the same since 2004.

    Ciao for now!

  40. Ryssa C, 21 April, 2010

    Candle making scents and oils work best. Eventually the scents wear off, but that’s fine. You can find scents for these online and at craft stores that sell candle & soap making supplies. People have been making and scenting polymer clay for years. I think it’s funny how Leslie takes credit for starting the thing..

  41. Emily, 07 May, 2010

    Well Leslie has been doing it for six years? Can you prove she didn’t?

  42. Cindy Lietz, 07 May, 2010

    Just wanted to pop in here with a quick note. The last two comments above are starting to sound a bit argumentative. I’m fine with having differences of opinions being expressed here at my blog… just as long as everyone keeps things respectful. In other words, play nice :-)

  43. Emily, 07 May, 2010

    Cindy I’m not being argumentative in the least, it was a genuine question, I’m curious as to how she can prove that Leslie didn’t start the craze.

  44. Cindy Lietz, 07 May, 2010

    Fair enough… just wanted to remind everyone of the ground rules. Welcome to the blog, by the way.

  45. Emily, 07 May, 2010

    Thanks, Cindy! I just discovered it. I love polymer clay but I haven’t made anything in such a long time. I really ought to start again, especially now I know the trick for scenting!

  46. Kimberly Hart, 07 May, 2010

    I remember when I started fiddling with Polymer Clay quite awhile ago. I think I discovered it when I was in highschool – around 2001. But I remember going online and seeing what people would make with it. All you really had to do was google it.

    I know nobody can really say they were the first at anything, because you just never know, but I have to say that Pancake Meow definitely started a bit of a craze with her scented jewellery – I remember finding her SEVERAL years ago, and she was huge! She was also the only person I knew that was doing that at the time. Of course she didn’t say she was the first, but she was definitely part of that craze and whether she started that craze or not can be argued over and over, but regardless, she was definitely part of that initial craze.

    At the time, there were lots of people making mini foods like cupcakes and baked goods, but she really had a niche with the whole scented-baked-goods thing, and I think the success she had for MANY years is definitely because of being original at what she did.

    I can say that she was one of the reasons why I chose to make a polymer clay cupcake as one of my first creations. Needless to say, I wandered away from baked goods and cupcakes… like Pancake Meow, I wanted to find my OWN niche. And I did with other stuff. :) I only wish I could have gotten something from her before she closed down shop! I would have loved to trade her one of my favourite items I’ve made for one of hers, in honour of the fact that she has been an inspiration from the start.


  47. Phaedrakat, 07 May, 2010

    @Kimberly Hart: Yes, you’ve certainly found your niche! Looks like you’re doing rather well, too! I love your creations, very cute, cool, and beautifully done! Congrats~

  48. Emily, 07 May, 2010

    Wow Kimberly, I just took a look at your work – it’s certainly very original and very, very good. I hope maybe one day I can be good at something and start my own little craze, but I doubt that’ll happen. Oh well I can dream!

  49. Phaedrakat, 07 May, 2010

    @Emily: You never know, Emily! And I’m sure you’re already good at something now. Keep playing and creating, because you never know when inspiration will turn into something that everyone wants! And in the meantime, of course, you’ll be enjoying yourself. That’s the main thing. Keep dreaming — sometimes they DO come true!

  50. Tara, 21 June, 2010

    Hi all! I visit this blog post on occasion to see what new ideas everyone has come up with for scenting polymer clay! I just happened to notice Leslie’s post this morning… I actually have two of her PM charms, and I have to say… The scent didn’t last very long at all after I got them. I’m talking under a month and the scent was pretty much completely gone. So I’m not sure if I would really try using that method to scent clay. Now the charms looked WONDERFUL – very realistic! I just wanted to chime in and mention that the scent fades pretty quickly with that method!

  51. Phaedrakat, 22 June, 2010

    @Tara: What post are you talking about? Did Leslie post something on her blog or something like that?

  52. Tara, 22 June, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: It is a post on this blog topic! Leslie said she just brushes the scent on while the charm is warm from the oven. I definitely do not recommend that method!

  53. Phaedrakat, 23 June, 2010

    @Tara: Doh! I’m sorry, I misunderstood your comment. I was looking for something she said today. LOL. I knew it wasn’t here because of the dates, so I thought it must be posted elsewhere. I get it (finally!) You just found the comment today! (I didn’t consider that before because you said you visit regularly looking for scent ideas, and her last post was 4 months ago.) Anyway…*blushing*

    Not so many people posting about new scenting methods lately. Most of the regulars around here make beads, so they aren’t into scenting clay charms that much. A new method might get them into it, though! Do you have any better methods or suggestions? I’d love to know of one that lasts a long time. I could teach my neice, who loves to make charm bracelets. Learning to scent them would truly get her hooked on clay… ;D

  54. Kimberly H, 23 June, 2010

    @ Tara

    Why is this not a good method? Leslie made her scented charms for over 6 years on Pancake Meow – if anyone knows a good method, I think it would be her.

  55. Tara, 23 June, 2010

    @Kimberly: Well, like I mentioned in my first post, I have two of her charms, and the scent did not last very long at all in either one of them – pretty much completely gone in less than a month. I’m guessing people ordered her charms over and over again more for the way they look than how good they smell or how long the scent lasts.

  56. Kimberly H, 23 June, 2010

    The only other scenting method I know of was mixing a small amount into the clay, but if you don’t get the proportions right, it can make the clay gooey. This is the method I’ve used, before… the scent lasted quite awhile! I made a chocolate turtle YEARS ago and the scent last at least 8 months with mine. :)

  57. Kimberly H, 23 June, 2010

    @ Tara – This could definitely be true. Her goodies certainly were not lacking in the “looking awesome” department. Very realistic!

  58. Phaedrakat, 24 June, 2010

    I’m guessing that some scents last a lot longer than others, just like candles, air fresheners, and fragrances. It could be that the ones Tara ordered don’t last as long as others. Or they could have been made a month or so before they were mailed, instead of being “freshly baked”. Hard to say, especially with it happening so long ago. All this talk is really making me want to give “scenting” a try!

  59. Jocelyn, 25 June, 2010

    Kat, I am following you, lol.

    Late last nite, I tried extracts based on your response. Just the regular kitchen types…I had vanilla, lemon, and mint on hand. Too funny.

    Took out the scrap clay, and tipped the bottle over to get a wet spot then spread it around about the size of a quarter and let it dry on a thin 3″ circle of clay. Smelled good. Made round balls about the size of quarters and baked and it still smells good.

  60. Phaedrakat, 26 June, 2010

    @Jocelyn: Interesting! Keep us posted on this thread, as there’s lots of interest in this, expecially with the “faux dessert charm” crowd. They talked about several things in this thread that people tried, but it seemed like the best choice was the soap/candle scent oils. That would be awesome if your extracts really did the trick. (They come in several types, too. Not as versatile as soap scents, but definitely enough for variety!) One of the tests is how long does the scent last after baking…

  61. Phaedrakat, 26 June, 2010

    @Jocelyn: You’re so funny — following me? ;D I took another look at Cindy’s article above, and noticed that she mentioned extracts as “Things to Avoid”. She’s says it because they’re alcohol-based (but you let them dry before mixing, so you did it right, like you’d do with alcohol inks!) The other reason is they’re expensive, which is true, but if you weren’t using the extracts anymore, or only wanted to make a few scented beads, this might be the way to go. Let us know how your “scents” hold up, and how any other experiments go… And have fun, of course! (You really are too funny, digging right in to clay scenting!)

  62. Jocelyn, 26 June, 2010


    I’m the type that gets oddly inspired. It’s a curse or a blessing depending on the results….

  63. Phaedrakat, 26 June, 2010

    @Jocelyn: Hey, ya gotta go with it when ya get it! May your results be “blessed!” :D

  64. Angie, 16 July, 2010

    I use cold porcelain clay with this method, and since there is no baking required with the cold porcelain, it doesnt affect the scent. I have some pieces that are over 2 years old that still have a faint smell, it just depends on the particular fragrance and supplier used. I have been making candles for 10 years and know a thing or two about fragrance oils. If you are purchasing fragrance oils from an individual, such as on etsy or ebay, you are likely not getting top of the line, grade A oils, but oils that have been cut or have “fillers” added to them. Also the shelf life of oils affects the scent, so some of the people selling them on etsy or ebay, are likely selling them to de-stash and those oils have probably been sitting around for awhile, so just be aware of this when purchasing them…I would suggest using fragrances purchased directly from a respectable supplier. Bittercreek and Just Scent are two of my favorite. HTH

  65. Jocelyn, 16 July, 2010

    @Angie: Wonderful tips and points Angie, thanks so much for the share! Will try those sources for the good stuff.

  66. Kimberly Hart, 21 January, 2011


    I definitely agree with your comment on the quality of oils. I have ordered from Just Scent, and they are amazing.

    For those of you looking for fragrance oils, definitely look at keywords like 100% Concentrated, Uncut, Undiluted, Alcohol Free, and Premium Grade or Grade A. Those are the ones you want!

  67. Kelly, 06 September, 2010

    I used to make candles and now make Perfume Oils, Hand Dipped Incense, Soap, etc, so I can comment a little on Fragrance Oils as well (but I have to be careful not to give away any trade secrets!)

    Anyway, there are some sellers on eBay and Etsy who sell quality Fragrance Oils, but I’m sure there are some who “cut” the Fragrance Oils as well, so you really do need to be careful and only buy from those who are experienced.

    What you want to avoid is “Perfume Oils” these are not intended for scenting polymer clay. Perfume Oils are created using Fragrance Oils and usually other oils (such as Jojoba) to create a product that is safe for use on the skin. Fragrance Oils are concentrated, and not suitable for direct skin application, where as Perfume Oils are. SO! If you are looking to scent your polymer clay, be sure you are purchasing “Fragrance Oils” and not “Perfume Oils” as they are not one in the same. :)

    P.S. Yes I sell scented goodies, but Polymer Clay is my hobby! So please don’t think I’m trying to be all promote-y… just wanted to state why I do know a little about this.

  68. Kimberly Tracy, 06 September, 2010

    I know that there is a special liquid flavoring by Stevia sweetener called “chocolate.” You get it at the organic store. It is potent, as you only need a few drops, and I was just getting ready to try it in polymer clay (but have not yet.) I saw your question and I thought that I would try to offer an idea that might help. Let me know if you get good results, but if not, you’ll love it in your coffee. :) Kim

  69. Phaedrakat, 07 September, 2010

    Wow, thanks to both of you for this great info! Kimberly, that sounds (and smells?) like a great idea for scenting Polymer Clay! I’m interested in it food-wise, too. I’ll have to check it out at my local ‘health food store.’

    And Thank YOU, Kelly, for sharing the difference in the oils. It would be a shame to spend a lot of money on the wrong type, and have the scent disappear quickly! I took a look at your site, and saw that you sell the Perfume Oils. Do you not sell the Fragrance Oils? If not, that’s pretty amazing that you would share with us not to purchase your product for clay! That’s so very cool of you! Or maybe I missed something…my laptop’s in the shop, and I’m working from my phone! ~Kat

  70. Kelly, 07 September, 2010

    Nope, you are right Kat, I don’t sell Fragrance Oils and you wouldn’t want to purchase Perfume Oils (which is what I sell) for clay, but they are perfect for applying to humans. Don’t get me wrong though, folks should buy my Perfume Oils for themselves, friends and family, just not for their crafts. :) Sorry couldn’t resist!!

    I mean, technically they would work, but they aren’t ideal… someone mentioned another company above (sorry can’t remember who/which company) but I know they sell Perfume Oils too… and like I said, they’d work, but they just won’t give you the strength you’d need/get from using Fragrance Oils. Perfume Oils are for people, Fragrance Oils are for crafting/bath & body/candles/soap/etc.

    One good way to tell if it’s a Perfume Oil is a company that sells Perfume Oils will likely list their ingredients (not always though). Fragrance Oils do not have to have ingredients listed because the concoctions are a trade secrets. So if you see an ingredients list, it’s likely a Perfume Oil (and one of the ingredients will likely be “Fragrance Oil” or “Fragrance” – unless of course they are using Essential Oils).

    I hope that helps some… it’s nice to be able to give a little back to a site I’ve been visiting for quite sometime now. I’ve been messing around trying to scent my polymer clay creations for awhile now and somehow just recently stumbled upon this thread even though it’s a little old!!

  71. Phaedrakat, 10 September, 2010

    @Kelly: Way to revive an older thread — with some excellent information! This is very helpful, and so cool of you to clarify this. I believe some people have marked this page so they get notified of new comments. Scenting clay is popular, especially with clayers who make charms…thanks! :D

  72. Brittany Patterson, 15 September, 2010

    I tested out one way which kinda works. Add extracts to polymer clay glaze and glaze the items. It holds the scent but im not sure for how long yet

  73. Phaedrakat, 16 September, 2010

    Hi Brittany! Sounds great…let us know how long it lasts for you. What kinds of extracts did you use? Did you see the comments by Kelly above yours, about the fragrance oils? Apparently that’s the strongest type you can get your hands on for really long-lasting scent. Imagine mixing that stuff into your glaze/finish before painting on! Thanks for mentioning this…very helpful! Wish you luck with your experiments! ;D ~Kat

  74. Carrie, 11 October, 2010

    I was thinking about using Yankee Candle candles. They have many oils as well that they use for the air fresheners too. These candles keep their scents for years and years. Maybe incorporating a tiny bit into the clay somehow, either by melting it first or putting a tiny bit within the clay before baking, would do the trick.

  75. Phaedrakat, 17 October, 2010

    @Carrie: Sounds like a promising idea! If you try it, will you let us know your results? Mmmm, those candles do smell delicious…if the clay smelled like that — yummy! :D

  76. Sabrina Finley, 23 May, 2014

    I’m planning on making a tropical scented lily necklace for my sister-in-laws wedding. I was wondering if there were any updates on what people have been doing to scent their clay?
    Thank you for a great site!

  77. Cindy Lietz, 26 May, 2014

    Hi Sabrina… did you read some of the comments above? There is tons of info on what has worked for others there. There should be enough info for you to have success with your scented lily project,. Good luck!

  78. Sabrina Finley, 26 May, 2014

    Hi Cindy,

    Thank you for the quick response!

    I did read all the comments, but they are mostly about 4 years old, so I was really just wanting to know if anything new (updates on the above mentioned methods) had developed in the last few years. The world of clay keeps moving quite fast, and it never hurts to ask if anything fresh has developed!

    I think I’ll try the ‘after bake’ method, since the flashpoint of most scented oil is around 200 degrees, and of course we bake polymer clay at higher temperatures.

    Keep up the good work!

  79. Dawn M, 22 March, 2016

    I am wanting to make some clay diffuser pendants, and some people recommend using terra cotta clay, as it is more absorbent than polymer clay. I have made some with polymer clay but the oils don’t seem to absorb into the clay in the same way, so I was looking for some suggestions.

    So that I can have the best of both worlds, does anyone know if you can blend traditional terra cotta clay and polymer clay ! I was thinking of maybe some swirl pendants mixing both clays together so the oils would absorb the essential oils better, as I would love to teach people to make their own pendants to help them emotionally.

    Dawn :-)

  80. Cindy Lietz, 22 March, 2016

    Hi Dawn, unfortunately mixing the two clays (polymer clay and terracotta clay) will not work for a few reasons… one being that they are two very different clays. Polymer clay is oil based and Terracotta clay is water based. Another is that Polymer clay is a low temperature baked clay and terracotta clay is a high temperature fired clay. so mixing the two will not work. However, you could possibly embed an unglazed but already fired terracotta bead or pot shard into a polymer clay bead and then bake it. You could then add your fragrance to the terracotta piece to let it absorb into. If I were you I would play around with the idea and see what you can come up with. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  81. Jayne Terry, 22 January, 2019

    Hello…I love your website.

    I have a question about adding essential oils scents to polymer clay. Is there a trick to get these scents to last after the clay is baked?

    I know that you can add oil to the clay and the scent will last for 4-6 hours. I see all of these scented food necklaces and I just don’t know how they get the scent to stay.

  82. Cindy Lietz, 22 January, 2019

    I don’t believe they actually can get the scent to stay for very long. My guess is that in addition to adding the scent to the clay, they probably rub some more on the outside just before they pop it into a sealed zippy bag, so that when it is opened, it smells strong. I think the only way to keep it scented would be to keep adding new oil when the scent dissipates. I could be wrong…. but that is my guess.

  83. Jayne Terry, 23 January, 2019

    Thanks for your reply. I truly appreciate your input.

  84. Jason S, 03 September, 2019

    Hii i am from india im looking to how to make ploymer bead i just found one of name aroma fregrance bead they observe esestial oil and
    Use of diffuser how is made is this polymer clay and if is it so how can we get transperent clay or tranperent bead

  85. Cindy Lietz, 03 September, 2019

    Hi Jason, it is difficult to get a truly transparent polymer clay bead because the clay is more frosted translucent than clear. And as far as using the clay as a scent diffuser, I haven’t done that myself yet, so I don’t have any advice I can share with you at this time. Do look around our blog though, we have tons of free posts and videos that will teach you about making polymer clay beads. If you are interested in buying the Beginner Basics Course there is a link at the top of the page where you can learn more. Happy claying!

  86. Lucinda W, 01 December, 2020


    I’m wondering if anyone tried scenting a finish/polishing wax and using that for a longer lasting fragrance?

  87. Cindy Lietz, 08 December, 2020

    Hmm that sounds like an interesting thing to try Lucinda! Often oils and waxes will mix nicely, so it seems like it might work. It might leave the surface oily though. Definitely something to test! Let us know if you try it and how it works out!

  88. Nanu T, 26 February, 2022

    The problem i find with using soap scents is the flashpoint. This is the temp in which the fumes become flammable.

    I make self care products and get a lot of scents from Candlescience. I thought to experiment scenting beads with rose petals. Sculpey bakes at 275oF but the flashpoint of Rose Petal fragrance oil is 214oF. The moment you open the oven, you add oxigen to fumes exposed to a hot element. Not a chance I’d take around kids or even alone, honestly.

    I think scenting them after baking is prob the best bet.

  89. Cindy Lietz, 01 March, 2022

    Thank you Nanu for that interesting information about essential oil flash points. I was not aware of that. I also have never had or heard of any issues with the oils being added to clay and ever catching on fire in the more than 15 years that I have been teaching about polymer clay. It would be something to keep in mind, though, especially if you were using large amounts of oil on clay. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  90. Marle Maria, 19 October, 2022

    very informational blog. Thank you!

  91. Donna S, 03 February, 2024

    I’m a little late to the party… I’m here from February of 2024! ?
    I’ve been playing around with scenting some of my fruit and dessert charms and it’s so much fun!
    So far, I haven’t been able to get the strong scent I’ve been able to achieve in other products, but I’m still working on it.
    I opened a candle factory in 1997 and got my start. We had our retail showroom in the front with a big viewing window so customers could watch our chandlers at work in the workshop. We offered custom-scented candles in 585 fragrances at the time, and also made bath and body products and air fresheners. I miss my shop to this day, but my true calling was nursing and I showed up at the hospital smelling like magnolias and apple cinnamon more times than you can imagine.
    Now that I’ve had to take a medical retirement I’m spending my time resting and dabbling into polymer clay work and candle fragrances.
    Back in the day I had 5 perfumers! Two of my favorites were Intercontinental Fragrances here in Houston. They offered 111 different vanilla scents, if that tells you anything! But you have to buy in bulk. For smaller amounts, I highly recommend Candlechem in the Boston, Mass. area. (Tell Arnie that Donna from the original Makin’ Scents, Inc. in Texas sent you.)
    A small amount goes a long way with their oils, so you can order it in the 1 oz bottles and order lots more choices! If you want apple, you can get Granny Smith, hot apple cider, Macintosh, caramel apple, hot apple pie and probably about a dozen more. They’ve got everything!
    I wish y’all the best and lots of success! Cindy Lietz I’m fan-girling over here! I LOVE your tutorials!

  92. Cindy Lietz, 09 February, 2024

    Hi Donna, so sorry for the slow reply… I made the mistake of reading your comment when I didn’t have time to answer, and then promptly forgot! Thank you for your great comment and the resource for buying good quality scents. That is very helpful!

    As far as having trouble getting a strong scent into your clay… that will probably take some experimenting on your part. There are a few artists that have been able to crack the code, but it seems to be a fiercely guarded secret. Well, I don’t know how fierce it is, but the info doesn’t seem to be out there too much.

    Since you have worked extensively with scented oils, you might be the person to figure it out. I think that some scents may become weakened during the baking process.

    I also believe it could also have a lot to do with the brand of clay you’re working with. Some brands may have ingredients in them that don’t absorb the scents as well as others. There are some brands that seem to get really sticky with water and some that repel it.

    Thinking on the fly here, I wonder if the water absorbing ones contain a powder that will also absorb the scent better? Or perhaps the opposite is true? Fimo and Cernit absorb water and get sticky… Premo, Souffle, Kato, Cosclay repel water.

    I would get a few different brands of clay and start playing with it. Add some scented oils to raw clay… add some to baked clay… try both. See if you can find the secret formula yourself. (I’d love it if you shared what you learned with us too!)

    Have fun and let us know how it goes!

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