When former charity worker Darrell Wilson, 43 and partner Andy Baker, a journalist, put their travels on hold to start a family, they also created a vegan candle brand to remind them of their epic trips. Lost in Scent is a range of eight candles named after eight of those journeys. Each paraffin-free soy candle’s smell captures the scents of a location and cleverly there is a playlist to match. We spotted the candles selling locally and couldn’t wait to meet the founders.

What was your lightbulb moment in creating Lost in Scent?

Andy and I have always loved travel and the outdoors. Over 10 years we got to see and explore some amazing places.

As a candle fan for many years, I’ve loved the innovation of small independent brands designing their own unique scents and using soy wax.

When we started a family a few years ago travel went off our wish list. In 2016 I attended a local candle-making workshop discovering from start to finish how to make a candle. I loved the experience and that’s when I decided I would marry our love for travel with candles. And so the idea of being lost in scent was born!

 

Why soya candles that are vegan and paraben free?

A large number of designer candles are made using paraffin wax, which uses an animal fat called stearic acid to harden their wax. This extends the burn time of a candle.

As a new parent, I didn’t want my family around toxins or any other nasties.

We wanted Lost In Scent to be as clean and healthy as possible. Soy wax is not only plant based but it also harmonises better with fragrance oils creating a better scent throw. Our oils are sourced in the UK and are paraben-free meaning our candles can be enjoyed free of those nasties.

What is your background?

Originally from Glasgow, I moved to London in 2002. I’ve led UK operations for Ralph Lauren, Molton Brown and Diesel. I’ve also worked for several charities including the Stroke Association and Magic Bus where I’ve been part of strategic teams on volunteer and business development in the UK and India. Working for a charity taught me to learn how to get the best out of other skills and resources not always available which is great for running a small business. As a journalist, Andy does the content and copy. When we design a scent and a fragrance it starts with a story. What was it about that place that spoke to us? Andy gives it a narrative.

You’ve picked specific locations for the candles. Why?

A really exciting part of the process is developing the scent!

All of our scents are born out of a memorable experience, or place.

We start with those happy places first and then build a narrative around that place recalling smells, food, nature, flower and fauna.  Many of our trips are trekking and hiking focused and lots of our candles have a mix of those elements and that’s what makes them memorable. We want to take our consumers on that journey.

We’ve got a little workshop in Chiswick and what we do is make sure we cater for different needs from a massive fragrance wheel. So we start with that destination and memory first and build the scent notes experimenting with around 70-80 scent note testings to see what evokes that memory. Sometimes they don’t work, so we revisit it. From that we build a narrative whether it be walking through the mountains in Nepal or driving down the coast along Big Sur.

Which is your favourite location and why?

I would say Big Sur, as that was the first scent we created based on our drive along the epic Route 1 down the Big Sur coastline in California, where the forest really meets the ocean.

We stayed over at Lucia Lodge which overlooks the hazy Pacific ocean – it smelt of wild sage, citrus trees and of salt in the sea air. Magical!

We love the branding of the candles. How did you create it?

We wanted  our love of wanderlust to be at the heart of the brand, so we worked closely with our designer Crawford Bryce who designed a number of logos that spoke to that. Each scent’s name is hand written by Crawford in our unique script, with its own colour. Every candle also comes wrapped in a hand designed ‘map contour’ and a ‘beyond the scent’ card which takes our consumers further in the scent journey, with related books, films, photographers or how to make a classic martini.

You also have a curated playlist to sit and enjoy each candle with, so it really is a multi-sensory experience.

We call it going beyond the scent. It’s widening our appeal and relates to our blogs and newsletter.

Tell us about the production chain and where and how you make the candles?

We produce in small batches at our small workspace here in west London. Everything is made by hand, we produce in batches of 20 and all the material is sourced in the UK.  This allows us to focus on the quality and the melt, plus we label and package by hand at home. A batch is three days from start to finish. We do our own photography from our travels and studio. Once a batch has been poured and cooled, we bring them home to then label and package by hand.

What are the highs and lows of running a wellness business?

It’s a crowded market so getting a footprint can be challenging, but we know we are doing something different.

Alongside our designer Crawford, we are fully responsible for all  production and conception, even our own photography. So, with a small child, time can be a challenge! Our customers’ positive reaction has been great and getting repeat customers is really rewarding given we are still so new.

Do you eat plant-based food/healthy food?

We try and eat more plant-based salads at home and here are some great healthy eateries on our doorstop including our favourite, The Urban Pantry in Chiswick.

Where are your favourite Glowcations around the world?

Urban Pantry in Chiswick London – local vegan breakfast makes us glow!

Mildred’s in Soho, London – queue for the Sri Lankan curry is always worth the wait

Hula, in Edinburgh – great brunch and smoothie menu, go early!

What 5 things make you glow?

Packing a suitcase or rucksack

Conversations with our three year old

Hot yoga

Reaching the summit of a climb or an amazing view on a hike

Hanging out with family and friends on a hot summer’s day in London

To buy their amazing candles ahead to

www.lostinscent.com

and Glowcation readers can get 20% off during April by using the special code GLOW.

 

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2 Replies to “Lost In Scent”

  1. These candles are just so fab with beautiful fragrances…. very subtle no overpowering heavy tones so organic in every way….. thankyou Lost In Scent for the great journey. And the playlists are perfect! X

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