There no denying it, candles are HUGE right now. Beautiful looking and I can only assume fabulous smelling candles are all over my Instagram feed every day. They all look very pretty, but the key is to find a candle that not only looks good but smells great and burns well also.
As I sit here typing away, I am burning my very pretty (tick), amazing smelling (tick) and so far evenly burning (tick) Maison Blanche candle in Pear + Brown Sugar.
Maison Blanch was created by Sydney based candle lover, Kristy Payne. Her candles are 100% soy wax and hand poured in her studio in Sydney. As well as the stunning jars with wooden lids the candles come in, the other thing I love about Maison Blanche is the collection of scents. Forget your boring lavender, frangipani and vanilla, every Maison Blanche candle has an amazing mix of scents, which conjure up a story or memory for Kristy.
Although I am yet to smell them all, judging on my Pear + Brown sugar I am going to bet they’re all pretty damn good. The range includes Cucumber, Ginger + Mint, Sweet Orange + Chilli, Orange + Cinnamon, and Toasted Coconut to name a few – YUM!
I caught up with Kristy to learn more about her amazing candles and the story behind Maison Blanche – which for those of you who didn’t realise (like me), is French for ‘White House’.
What inspired you to begin Maison Blanche?
I’ve always loved candles and I would spend a lot of time and money trying to find the perfect candle with the ideal fragrance blend, made from natural local ingredients, lasted a long time and looked good in my house. I couldn’t find anything that ticked all those boxes, so Maison Blanche was born, purely to fulfill my candle addiction.
Have you always worked in a creative role before beginning Maison Blanche?
Yes and no. Straight out of school, I was working and studying as an actress, which I loved, but I knew I wanted to do something that I could be more in control of. After having a surgery that took me out of the acting game, I travelled the world. Once arriving home I took the first job I could, working in an office. Working in an office was a blessing in disguise. On one hand it was soul destroying to my creative side, but my boss trusted me and let me do things the way I wanted to do, which really gave the confidence that I would have the skills to run my own business one day.
What do you think it is about candles that people love so much?
I think that it’s the combination of the quality and uniqueness of the product. The quality of Maison Blanche is incredibly important; a candle that looks and smells nice isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t burn correctly. A lot of time was spent on creating a candle that burns perfectly, something our customers are very happy with.
I also think that in the Australian market, there aren’t a lot of candles that are design pieces. The candle is traditionally just placed on the coffee table or bedside, and doesn’t add anything to the space. It just serves its purpose of fragrance or atmosphere and then disappears out of sight. I wanted Maison Blanche to be different. Maison Blanche candles are the focal point of the table they’re on. They become an integral part of the decoration and design of the space.
The design of your candles is absolutely stunning! Simple, chic and beautiful. Was it a long and hard process coming up with the design?
The design of Maison Blanche actually came quite organically. When I first started making candles, it was just as gifts for family and friends. I needed a label on the candles I was giving away to identify the fragrance and some key information about it, so I just made a table on Word, filled it in, printed it out and stuck it on the side. The current labels have stayed very true to that first design. The rest of the candle really reflects my style and my home. White and woods are my go to neutrals when decorating and I wanted my candle to transcend décor styles and find a comfortable place in every home.
The memories and emotions a scent can conjure up are quite powerful. What are some of your favourite scents and what do they remind you of?
Every fragrance in Maison Blanches collection is connected to story or memory.
Gardenia + Olive is by far is the most personal fragrance of the collection. The smell of fresh Gardenia flower transports me straight back to my childhood. No matter what house we lived in growing up, I always remember the Gardenias. I used to pick them and put them in my dad’s car so that their smell would fill his car for the drive to work. For me, nothing trumps the smell of Gardenia to conjure up memories of my childhood summers.
You’re an eco-conscious business and encourage your customers to re-use their candle jars. What are some of the most creative ways you have seen customers recycle their jars?
The most creative was when someone baked individual deserts in the medium jars for a dinner party. She decorated the outside, and added a tag saying what the dessert was. It looked great, and it was an awesome way to take and extra portion of dessert home.
Who is your dream customer, if you could see a Maison Blanche candle on the bedside table of anyone in the world!?
Hillary Clinton in 2016. The name ‘Maison Blanche’ was inspired by my obsession for US politics, so it would be fitting to be on the bedside of the first (fingers crossed) female President.