TATINE | NORWEGIAN WOOD

 
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It may be Spring, but it’s still pretty chilly in San Francisco! Lately, we’ve been burning Tatine’s Norwegian Wood, a candle that’s meant to have a warm, hearty scent. It’s from their Garden + Forest Infusions line, which comes in a very cool wood grain embossed box. The Norwegian Wood scent is no longer available online, but they have a scent called Woodsmoke, which has the same woody notes.

Founded in 2001, self-taught candle maker Margo Breznik first started experimenting with candle making in her apartment in Chicago. After years of honing her craft, she took a leap of faith, quit her day job, and opened a brick-and-mortar store to showcase her candles. She eventually transitioned into wholesale, landing a large account with Anthropologie (where she created approximately 50,000 candles by herself!), and has continued to build products and collaborations with other brands.

The Norwegian Wood candle wax has a very natural, earthy scent. With hints of moss and twigs, it reminds us of a long hike in the woods after a heavy rain. It’s poured in a heavyweight, green glass vessel, made of 40% recycled materials. Upon lighting the candle, we found it to have very little stickiness, and the scent did not carry very well. After burning for nearly 4 hours, the scent was still so light, we could barely tell that it was burning in our office. We think this candle would be better suited in a smaller, more confined space (like a powder room), as it’s no match for our large, open office!

Although this candle may not have the strongest fragrance, it has a very clean burn. Only a small amount of residue was left behind on the vessel, and the wax dried very evenly, with no bubbles or divots. The vessel itself is very aesthetically pleasing, and would make for a great decorative candle in a smaller room, office, or bathroom.

You can purchase your own Woodsmoke candle here. Dimensions: 2-½” Dia. x 3-¾”H, 8 oz.

GRANHAND | MARINE ORCHID

 
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With the Winter Olympics still fresh in our minds, we decided to review this candle next:

While exploring Seoul, South Korea, our junior designer and her husband found themselves wandering through Bukchon Village, a Hanok village located just outside the gates of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Lining its steep, meandering streets is a mixture of private residences, coffee shops, museums, and a store by the name of Granhand, which features hand-poured candles, essential oils, diffusers, and perfumes. Lucky for us, they brought back a candle for the studio!

Granhand opened in 2014, and is co-owned by Jung Nana (her brother is the other owner), a perfumer who earned her degree at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery. Together, they made it their mission to create an artisanal fragrance store, which focuses on human warmth and a departure from machine automation. Thus, their flagship store is located in a hanok house, where they have utilized traditional, handmade approaches to creating their scents. In 2016, they opened the Granhand Lab (located behind their flagship store), which offers scent-making classes, consulting, collaborations, and a professional perfume academy. Fun fact: less than a year after launching their brand, Chanel chose to gift Granhand products to its VIP guests at its Cruise Collection show in Seoul!

The candle we’ve been burning is called Marine Orchid, one of Granhand’s top selling scents. It’s a very light, floral scent, perfect for the transition from winter to spring. Meant to evoke memories of swimming in the ocean, it reminds us of a salty sea breeze on a warm spring afternoon. With top notes of mandarin, pear, and lemon, middle notes of rose, lily of the valley, and orchid, and base notes of musk, toffee, and patchouli, it has a very well-balanced profile, and doesn’t skew too feminine or masculine. Made of soy wax, the candle burned down fairly cleanly, only leaving small amounts of residue on the vessel. At our mid-burn point, the only imperfections in the wax seemed to be very small bubbles that dried in the wax’s top layer.

The vessel is a glass mason jar with a screw-on metal cap (making it easy to carry on a plane!), and the brand label contains a piece of open-weave burlap, with a tightly woven burlap glued on top. The tight-weave burlap is printed with the candle’s scent, the store’s address/telephone number/website, and a special section for personalization, where the associates will hand-stamp your name.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to purchase this candle unless you find yourself in Bukchon Village. They do ship internationally via direct message on Instagram, though we haven’t tried it. If you’re planning a trip to Seoul, we recommend taking a stroll through Bukchon Village and making a stop at Granhand. You won’t regret it!

Dimensions: 3-5/8”H x 2-5/8” Dia., 6.8 oz.

WARY MEYERS | HIPPIE HOLLOW

 
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Punxsatawney Phil has declared 6 more weeks of winter, but at our studio, we’re ready to usher in the spring! This week, we’re burning a lovely springtime scent called “Hippie Hollow” by Wary Meyers.

Wary Meyers was created by husband-and-wife team, Linda & John Meyers, who got their start by designing interiors for friends in Brooklyn. They eventually relocated to Maine, where they continued to design interiors, but also felt the need to make a tangible product. Thus began the Wary Meyers line of soaps, candles, and prints. All of their soaps and candles are hand-poured in their home - more specifically, in an attached former beauty salon built by the previous homeowner!

The 100% recycled paper box is fairly unassuming, featuring the (groovy, 1970’s-esque) Wary Meyers logo and a gold foil sunset. The clear recycled glass vessel, which is also adorned with the same gold foil sunset, is fairly thick and heavy. The candle itself has a light, refreshing, and earthy scent. With hints of grasses, lemon, and herbs, it reminds us of a sunny spring afternoon at Golden Gate Park. One of its highlighted ingredients is vetiver, an essential oil that is known to calm the mind and ground the spirit. So, light up this candle in stressful times at work, and you should be feeling more balanced in no time!

As the candle burned down, it left very little residue on the sides of the vessel. Similar to the Ylang Ylang candle, some soot accumulated on the inside rim, but because the vessel is made of glass, it can be easily wiped clean. Something to note, however, is that there are several bubbles between the wax and the inside of the glass, which we’ve read can happen when hot wax is poured into a cool glass vessel. Overall, we like this candle a lot - it’s great for everyday use!

You can purchase your own 6.7 oz. candle for $28.50 here. Dimensions: 2-7/8”W x 4”H.

H O U S E BY BILLY DEL PUERTO | GREENHOUSE

 
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This week, we are reviewing Greenhouse, which is hand poured by a candle company called H O U S E by Billy Del Puerto. We chanced upon Billy and his collection of several candle lines at West Coast Craft in San Francisco. When we met him, his passion for creating unique scents was apparent - he likes to experiment with different scent combinations, changes up the packaging, and even makes a unique line of candles with a gold flake detail.

Billy started his company after attending FIDM in Downtown Los Angeles, where he studied Visual Communications. He believes that “scent is an invisible layer of design”, and we couldn’t agree with him more! Each scent is meant to transport its user to a different place, or stir up an old memory - a walk through the stacks of an old library or an evening spent sipping whisky with friends.

Greenhouse is a candle that captures the essence of gardening on a crisp summer day (if we were to ever garden). The aptly named Tomato Leaf & Jalapeño has a clean, earthy aroma. The scent profile has a wonderful balance of sweet & fresh on the top, with a hint of savory and tangy at its base. In a written interview with Billy, he explains where the inspiration for this candle came from - the smell of fresh earth from his grandparents’ backyard, where they grew a lemon tree, fig tree, persimmon tree, and numerous vegetables.

Of all his candle lines and various packaging, we were drawn to this candle. It comes in a clean, white box that opens and closes via an origami-esque folding top. Inside is a frosted glass vessel featuring a modern label. After burning a quarter of the way down, we noticed that soot was gathering on the top of the wax, and the wax was bubbling as it melted. However, after another couple of burns, the wax looked cleaner and had fewer bubbles. Now that we are nearly at the bottom of the candle, we’ve noticed there is some separation of color between white and the ivory components of the wax.  For the most part, the candle left very little residue on the sides of the vessel.

Click here to purchase your own Greenhouse candle. Dimensions: 3-⅛” W x 3-⅛”H.