We spend how much on candles….?

I read a great article in ‘Stella’ magazine from The Telegraph 1 the other day, apparently the scented candle market is on the rise and we Britons are spending £90million on them each year!

Kerry Potter’s article made for interesting reading citing the recent research from Kantar that shows more than 25% of British households buy scented candles and that spending is up 22%. That’s great news for all of us in the candle and home fragrance business, now all we need to do is direct some of the big brand spending towards the smaller, UK, handmade candle companies and we’ll be as happy as kid in a candy shop or a scented candle lover in a candle shop I should say!

I completely agree with Kerry that many people do buy ‘high end’ candles as a way of owning a piece of that brand, a way of making themselves feel as though they too can afford the lifestyle of the rich and famous. It’s the ‘lipstick luxury’ sensation, when you may not be able to afford the new outfit so you buy a new lipstick instead.

When the candles that were talked about in the article were all upwards of £30, some as much as £390 (but that is for a candle that weighs nearly 2kg and has artwork on the pot it is in) you can see how easy it is for the spending figures to grow, yet from what I could see, all the featured candles were mass produced, not handmade, and the main things that people were buying was a branded sticker and possibly a pretty box. I know at least one of the brands mentioned in the article have their candles made for them by a generic candle company so whilst they may have signed off on the scent and the packaging, it’s not really ‘their’ product so to speak, not in the same way a handmade candle is.

There does also appear to be a growth in the ‘artisan’, handmade candle companies where the owners have sourced their fragrances, waxes, wicks, colours and packaging with an immense level of attention to detail and care that can only come when what you sell actually matters to you. Some of us are keen to support other UK businesses and make a point of using UK fragrance houses, wicks and packaging manufactured in the UK and packaging designed and made, yep, you guessed it, in the UK. I believe that we have some excellent business skills and manufacturing capability within our own small island and as such, we should make use of them and support them where possible.

It certainly is good to know that money is being spent on candles and the other good news that some research coming out of North America conducted by Mintel2 is showing a growth in the ‘ethical buyer’ as well. Conscientious consumers who care about supporting local and small businesses, the ‘mom and pop’ businesses where every pound or dollar spent actually matters to the business and the people working on and in it. For the small candle businesses I can confirm that every sale matters, every contact with a potential customer or gift recipient is a chance for us to share all the hard work and dedication that has gone into our creations. Whilst it is true that the basics of making candles is actually quite straight forward, getting the right blend of wax, colour, fragrance oil, correctly sized wick for the container and the other elements to ensure a great scent throw and clean burn, can be quite complicated and very time consuming meaning that every candle and how it burns matters a great deal to us.

I was  ever so pleased to read that Kerry concluded that she will continue to purchase her scented candles as the very lighting of them relaxes and calms her in times of stress, perhaps I should send her some Lubylu candles so she can experience the warm glow of a handmade, vegan friendly, manufactured in the UK soy wax candle….

@StellaMagazine #scentedcandles #handmade #soywax #vegan #madeinuk #smallbusiness #homefragrance #candles


  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/scented-candles-status-symbols-that-burn-money-or-worth-every-pe/
  2. Source – Mintel North America Consumer Trends 2016





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