We started working on our own label candles and reed diffusers in the late Winter of 2017. I had always wanted to create a range of home fragrances that would be ecologically friendly and reflective of our surroundings in The Highlands of Scotland. I grew up and was educated in The Highlands and I have very strong childhood memories of forest and mountain walks and the scents and smells of those experiences. I knew that the scents had to be utterly divine but that, on a serious note, the packaging and making process had to be mindful of our environment.That meant analysing every single aspect of the process from the hand pouring to the recyled glass and the recycled card and labelling.
My husband and I finally launched our own label candles and reed diffusers in April 2018, selling from our shop, The Old School Beauly, and we more or less sold out right away. Before we knew it we had waiting lists made up of names from our lovely customers and the race was on to replenish our stocks. In 2018 we sold out another three times and that continues to be a recurring theme! On the other hand we love when a new batch arrives and we call those on the waiting list and they race in quickly for their chosen scent.
So, we thought we would take some time to analyse why our candles and reed diffusers are so popular and why it is that our customers keep on coming back for more.
1. Each Candle tells a story of The Highlands Through the Scent.
Each candle has a unique scent which is closely connected with the land that it represents. Our scents are named after places that mean a lot to us. For example our Black Isle candles are named after the stunning Black Isle which is in fact a peninsula, situated just north of Inverness in The Highlands. Some believe it is called The Black Isle because of the rich and fertile farming soil and the lush dark forestry. If you go back further into the history of the Black Isle you can unearth stories of witchcraft and sculduggery and perhaps this is the reason for the name. The Black Isle scent is deep and rich, a luscious rich Black Pomegranate, a perfect match for the beautiful peninsula itself. You can find out more about The Black Isle here.
Another key scent in our range is that of black oud and precious woods. Our Black Oud is derived from the oil which is emitted from resin saturated agar wood. This is often referred to as "Liquid Gold" and something we thought very fitting for the name of "Glen Affric." After all, Glen Affric is famed for being a particularly beautiful glen and, most importantly, it is home to the ancient Caledonian pinewoods.
These are the very same pinewoods that covered much of Scotland in the distant past. The scent in our Glen Affric Candles is unctuously deep and divine, truly fitting for such a splendid part of Scotland. We love Glen Affric which is located just south-west of our wee shop in the village of Beauly.
2. Our Candles Care for The Environment
It was absolutely crucial for us that, in making our candles and reed diffusers, we pay absolute attention to how that impacts upon our environment. We are constantly assessing our shop, looking for ways to reduce our ecological footprint and our candles had to fall into line with that deeply held belief. So we took great care to ensure that we use only ethically sourced natural plant wax with fine fragrance and essential oils. No nasty surprises at all! Our candles are hand poured into recycled glass votives which we urge our customers to simply wash and re-use when the time comes.
Our packaging is recycled cardboard and we use cotton wicks only. Our reed diffusers are also natural, vegetable based and they are alcohol free. They are also free from any Volatile Organic Compounds (so called VOC) and the reeds are made from a natural rattan. We find that our customers care just as much as we do about the environment and this particular ethical element has really chimed with them.
3. The packaging is simply beautiful!
So, once we had ensured that our packaging was ecologically friendly and that the contents were truly divine, we had to ensure that the end product simply looked wonderful. We took a great deal of care over the design and settled for a simple but elegant white box with gold finish lettering and a hand tied black ribbon. We have had a lot of feedback from our customers saying that they relish the moment when they unwrap one of our candles (and a few who have said they don't want to unwrap it for fear of spoiling it!) We have shipped the candles worldwide now and nine times out of ten the feedback includes a special mention about the pleasing way the candles and reed diffusers are presented.
4. Our Candles make Perfect Gifts.
Another common response from customers is that, once they have burned the candles, they have then gone on to gift them to friends and family. We have often had a major run when it is the end of the school term with candles being given as Thank you gifts for Teachers. Recently we were commissioned to prepare 100 candles for a wedding as favours and we have also been commissioned to provide Reed Diffusers for Guest Houses in our area. An increasingly common trend is to give an hostess gift - something different from the usual chocolates or wine and quite often pertinent to the hostess depending on the scent chosen.
5. The Burn Time is Phenomenal!
Last but not least, we are proud of the superb burn time on our candles. Our sweet little Travel Candles are £7.99 and burn for a whopping 30 hours. Our delightful Home Candles are £16.99 and burn for an incredible 45 hours. Customers love the value for money and often comment on the clean burn as well which is testament to the quality of the wicks.
Given all of what we have learned we have, of course, now placed our range on our website for sale and we are always pleased to take calls at our shop if you have any questions about any of the scents. Our number is 01467 783 273 and our shop is open seven days a week.