New scent: Rose & Juniper

I’ve been wanting to include a floral into the 100% essential oil line for some time now. Rose had to be it. The challenge came in trying to pair & enhance its sweet, subtle, complex notes. Should I complement it with another flower like ylang ylang or geranium? How would it work with something spicy like cardamom? In the end, I decided to give it a nice woody, musky base.

Welcome, Rose & Juniper. The base is juniper berry, which isn’t at all a berry but more of a conifer like the cypress tree. Its aroma is slightly sweet like balsamic with an overall clean, woody fragrance. The middle notes come from an addition of petitgrain. I’ll save you the googles by describing petitgrain as coming from the leaves & twigs of the bitter orange tree. As a side note, the intoxicating neroli is produced from the orange blossoms of the same tree. Finally, the finish is the lingering classic, true rose.

This candle wants to be lit next to a soaking bathtub or on a nightstand in a bedroom. It’s light & perfectly lovely. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Let’s go 2018

Rosemary Eucalyptus Natural Candle

Wow, it’s January!

2017 was a lot. Beautiful, gross, breathtaking, embarrassing, surprising, productive, disappointing, encouraging, magical. Not sure if you can relate. Mostly the good things, but some of that other stuff too.

While I’m not particularly into making resolutions based on the calendar, I am totally into the idea of a fresh start & deep breaths…

Cheers to you, friend. May your 2018 be filled with all good things.

2017 in words

That’s pretty much it for this year! I could probably sum up 2017 with that one emoji that has a stupid happy grin and a drop of sweat on the forehead, but nah.

Let’s recap. While there were some low points this year, they were overshadowed by all of the surprises that turned out to be awesome. I learned tons. About myself – what I’m good at (meeting people though I’m a total introvert) & what I’m not so great at (inventory & graphic design, I hate you.) About business – apparently time actually is money. About candles – keep trusting my nose. And about my customers – they are fantastically loyal!

I made more candles than ever, gleaning lots from pouring, pouring, pouring. The intensity of fall craft shows helped me see where some of my processes could be more efficient. So I’ve already rearranged the little studio in preparation for next year. I’m excited!

What else is in store for 2018? Well, I want to get more Lulumiére candles out into the wild. I’ll be working with local stores so that you don’t have to necessarily go into downtown Seattle to get that last minute gift. I know it can be a challenge to leave the burbs on a whim. If you have a favorite local gift shop, I’d love to hear about it!

I also have some new scents coming down the line. One of them is ready to go but I’ll be asking your thoughts on scent profiles or types of vessels that you think are missing from the collection.

Wow, you guys have lots to do for next year! Get crackin! (And thank you, once again.)

We Shop

2017 Booth

Before I get into it, please note that my entire Etsy shop is 30% for the next few days! It starts today, Cyber Monday, and runs through this Thursday 11/30. Happy shopping!

Ok first off, thanks to everyone for stopping by to see me at the last few events. It’s been a whirlwind but I feel like I can finally catch my breath now.

Ayame Kai: The best because everyone in the community is happy to see each other there. I don’t know of a friendlier shopping atmosphere. I can hear you shoppers stop each other in the hustle & bustle to say hello, give a hug & tell each other just how “genki” you look. Love that. I also recognize many of your faces now that come back year after year to this special handmade show. That makes my heart full.

Vendor Splendor: My high school alma mater’s Small Business Saturday event. Even though the physical building I attended is now landfill for the Costco that now sits on top of it, I still love going back… to the new building I never attended. Anyway, you all are so cute in your Royals gear. Stay classy, Lynnwood!

The Seattle Collective: My first time at this event and it was way hipper than I will ever be. Not at all pretentious or snobby. Just totally laid back Seattle vibes with awesomely curated studios. Now, I must share all of the goodies I happily bought:

  • Alexandra’s Macarons – I tried to buy a box of 6 before she was even set up. What? I’m not a glutton. She sells these amazing things out of her minibus. Too cute.
  • Metamorphic Gear – I got an sweet toiletry bag from him. Mostly upcycled materials like climbing ropes, sails & more. Nice hardware. Super cool.
  • Apartment on Belmont – They were my booth neighbors. Loved chatting candles, business & racoons. Got this card but should have bought a dozen more. Her face is so good. I’m sure I have something rad to say to someone.
  • Slate Coffee – We were really lucky to have these guys artfully pouring coffee for us right on the spot. I tried two blends and they were both delightful. Their coffee even made my bland breakfast bar sing. No easy feat.
  • Mustard & Co – Might I recommend the Garlic Dill and the Black Truffle mustards? I got them both. So good! Mustard > ketchup.
  • Honeyberry Studios – Her cards & prints are as lovely as she is. She also teaches classes! If you want to go, let me know & I’ll go with you! I got the rooster card for my aunt. But don’t tell her, it’s a surprise.

My First Workshop

Last night I had the privilege of joining the awesome crew over at Bellevue Square Pottery Barn for an evening of candle making, team building, charity & delicious refreshments. It was my first candle making class ever, so I might have been a little bit nervous. But right away, I could sense that everyone was there for a good time. Pressure was off – phew!

The store associates each brought three vessels to candelize. (That needs to be a word.) One candle to take home and two to be sold with 100% of the proceeds benefiting St.Judes Children’s Research Hospital.

I must admit, this time of year might not be ideal for me to be hosting a class as it’s a busy time for candles… but they totally had me at St.Jude’s. As a mother & as a human being, my heart goes out to all those providing for children who need extra medical care.

Though I was there for a short amount of time, it was a blast getting to know some of the guests. That’s Trish on the left. She is hilarious & she gets things done. In the middle is the store manager, Louisa. She’s incredibly warm & engaging. Then on the right, that’s British Liz. She’s everything absolutely wonderful a British Liz ought to be.

We had all manner of shapes, materials & sizes of vessels to play with. Look at these beauties that this sweet gal brought in. The associates each picked a scent for their set of candles and signed gift tags with their name on it as the maker. These were truly poured with love & goodwill. I’m honored that I could be a part of this lovely occasion.

Swag

Is she going to talk about her personal self confidence? Maybe. Or is she referring to free promotional material. Yes, that too.

I was really honored to be part of a few custom corporate projects this fall. One of them was to develop a signature scent for a local line of boutiques. I worked directly with the founder, Malika Siddiq, to come up with a distinctly sophisticated candle.

Tomorrow, Lika Love will be opening their third boutique shop in lower Queen Anne. (They’ve got one location in West Seattle and another in Madison Valley. Both amazing shoppes in beautiful locations!) To celebrate, we will be launching the Lika Love Signature candle in all three stores. And to share the love, the Queen Anne store will be giving away some pretty substantial swag bags. These Lulumiére 4 oz candle tins will be included & I couldn’t be more excited! Come on over, if you can. I’ll be there and would love to say hello. ❤️

Lika Love Queen Anne: 535 Warren Ave N

Cheers!

2017 Event Schedule

Hello hello!

If you live in the greater Seattle area, you are IN AWE of how gorgeous it is these days. It’s sunny. The skies are blue. Down jackets are not needed for most of the day. And the colors on the trees are ridiculous. Enjoy it, breathe it, take it all in. And then put these dates in on your phone because you are really curious about the new candle scents going on & you want to/must/should sniff them in person.

One thing I am loving about this lineup is that some of these events benefit people near & dear to me. Kids + old people. I love those age groups and find that I am part kid & part grandma inside my heart. If I could just add dogs to the mix, I’d be all set. Maybe next year.

2017 Events

 

Chai Spice + Vanilla

Chai Spice Vanilla

Many essential oils tend to run on the cool side of the scent spectrum (think peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree) and we love that. For fall, however, we are all about the cozy, soft & warm! It’s like that “hygge” movement that is everywhere. Which I totally get, but still don’t know how to pronounce.

I really think you’ll love my newest creation – Chai Spice + Vanilla. We’ve got some warm, creamy vanilla as the base. Then I basically used a recipe for chai to infuse those comforting spices into the candle. //Pro tip: chai means tea. So chai tea is saying tea tea. That’s probably not what you mean. Go pro by just calling it chai.

The chai portion of the candle has all the goodies. We’ve got essential oils of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove & black pepper. So good! I’m pouring them up now & hope to have them available on Etsy by the end of the week.

Copper mugs are back

Maybe it’s because schools around here didn’t get out for summer til the very end of June, but I felt like autumn & back to school showed up to the party at an inconsiderately early hour. Come on, the sink is full of dirty dishes & I’m still wearing yoga pants.

So hide your scarecrow & pumpkin decor for a bit. I’m not trying to see any of that.

However, I must say, the late summer sunsets have been gorgeous. Salmon pink & pale blue skies for days. So I’m easing into it. Today I was inspired to make a small set of copper mug candles. I love copper all the time but especially for this season. Copper + cozy candles are a big win. Enjoy!

Making Scents

Don’t even worry about the title, you’ll learn to love it.

Signature Grapefruit Candle             VS.      Pure Grapefruit Lime Candle

Did you know that I’m carrying 2 lines of candles now? There’s my Signature Collection & then my Pure Collection. Love them both. What’s the difference?

Well, it boils down to how the candles are scented. This is a totally unsubstantiated figure but I’d say that 95%+ of candles out in the market today use either synthetic or synthetic-essential oil blend scents.

Why synthetic? There’s a few major advantages:

  • The obvious one is cost. Synthetics are a fraction of what steam distilled natural oils cost to produce. Did you know that it takes about 45 lemons to make a small 15 ml bottle of lemon essential oil? Laboratory produced lemon scent doesn’t cost nearly as much to make.
  • Another big reason is that with synthetics, you basically get the whole rainbow of smells. From the deep woods & musks, to hefty citrus, to florals galore, and all the little nuanced scents in between, there’s a lot of options there. Essential oils simply can’t cover the entire scent rainbow.
  • Finally, as a scent mixer, I recognize that synthetics help keep scents from disappearing. If I leave a tablespoon of grapefruit essential oil sitting out, it will be gone baby gone in a short period of time. However, if I leave the same amount of  my synthetic blend grapefruit oil on the table, it will still be there tomorrow. So there’s definitely some staying power in the synthetics and that is important in retail.

On the other hand, there are areas where essential oils just can’t be beat:

  • Aromatherapy isn’t just for spas & hippies anymore. For treating colds, stress, nausea… there are real benefits here for inhaling a healthy dose of essential oils. For more information, visit your one friend on Facebook who does direct sales.
  • Also, there’s no denying – Mother Nature’s handiwork doesn’t always come out as good in a lab. For instance, my favorite flower of all time – the peony. I have sniffed just about every single peony scented candle, lotion and perfume out there. None of them come even close to what a garden peony smells like. So yep, there are still a bunch of scent profiles that man can’t match. Sandlewood, bergamot & neroli come to mind.

Wait, why don’t you know what neroli smells like? Dude, because it’s so expensive!

Enter synthetic-essential oil blends. This is what I use in my Signature candles. We use a phthalate-free synthetic base and fill in the gaps with essential oils. There’s nothing in it that’s harmful & we are able to keep it all really affordable. That Signature Grapefruit candle you see up there? It has a creamy base with some melon middle notes and that sweet grapefruit up top.

My Pure Grapefruit & Lime candle? It has almost a lime sherbet base and a light grapefruit finish. The ingredients on that one? Soy wax, grapefruit essential oil (top note), blood orange oil (midrange) & lime (base) essential oil.

I think they both smell fantastic and I happily burn either one all the time. Which one appeals to you?