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Friday, 10 April 2015

Kiss Air Candles - Interview with Louise Cox



As my previous blog posts can attest to, homeware is a real interest of mine.  How we choose to decorate our little boxes and what we put in them says a lot about our taste and personal style. One of the easiest ways to spruce up a home is with candles as these work on two senses, sight and scent.  Kiss Air Candles are especially present in both this aspects and I was lucky enough to experience them first hand.    

Caffeine fix is a real hit to heighten the senses.  The coffee essence is strong and unapologetic, I could smell vanilla as well - though don’t quote me on that, it may not even be present!  It’s definitely one of the most attention seeking scents I’ve come across.  Jasmine and Freesia is light and fruity, as my mother loves freesia this makes me think of her.  Both candles seem to delicately scent the room even when they aren’t lit (which makes for longer lasting pleasantness!).  I got to speak with the owner of the company, Louise Cox, quizzing her on her favourite scents and what’s in store for Kiss Air Candles... 

How did you come up with the name Kiss Air Candles?
In the 90’s there was a racehorse called Kissair and the name stuck. When brainstorming brand names it was on the list and the more we thought about it the more we thought that when you burn a candle the scent kisses the air, it fitted perfectly.

What was it about making candles that appealed to you?
We initially started making candles because we were buying ones that did not smell when burning. After researching, experimenting and testing we hit on a winning formula. Once we cracked this, making candles allowed us to be creative in the scents, this is really what appeals to us.

What does Kiss Air provide that is unique?
The thing that really makes Kiss-Air Candles stand out is our fragrances. We have some unusual scents like Really Rhubarb, Cut Grass and Mojito which customers are always intrigued to smell. We also develop collections that take people back to a time in their life such as cocktail hour range. People often recall fabulous holidays when they smell our Pina Colada candle. Of course, we still have the traditional lavender, coconut and vanilla but it’s those that are a little bit different that customers love.

Where are the candles made?
We make our candles in Cambridgeshire by hand. We’ve no fancy equipment but make them in small batches, manually mixing in the fragrance and hand pouring the wax into the tins. As we are a small production we are able to ensure the quality of our candles.

How long is the candle making process?
We tend to spend a day in the workshop making batches of different scents.

Why Soy?Soy wax is the new buzz word when it comes to candles. It’s a natural vegetable wax which is created from renewable resources and completely biodegradable. We like its green credentials but the main reason we use soy is because has a great ability to hold fragrance, perfect for producing highly scented candles.

Do you know if the soy beans are fairly traded?
We don’t believe the soya beans are fairly traded.

What inspires you to come up with new and interesting fragrances?
We take inspiration from things we love such as cocktails, flowers or work towards a theme, so when it comes to developing a scent we generally know what sort of fragrance we want and whether it will be a standalone scent or part of a collection. We then work with highly skilled perfumerists to create a fragrance that is true to life. We work hard to ensure our scents are authentic and love the comments we get from our customers telling us our scents are spot on and what memories they evoke.

You’ve been featured in several must have lists, what do you think is the secret to this success?

We think it’s a combination of the fabulous scents, stylish packaging and affordable price point that make them a must-have item. We also think it was this that led to our Cocktail Hour collection being shortlisted in Gift of the Year 2015.

Similar candles on the high street are anything from £10-£50, how do you keep your prices so reasonable?
As our candles are in tins and use fragrance oil this keeps the cost down. We are developing a pure essential oil range in glassware and this will push the price up (so) the price comes down to the materials used.

Tell me about your association with Wood Green the Animals Charity, how did that come about and why did you decide to partner with them?
We support Wood Green The Animal Charity because it’s a charity that does so much great work in looking after and rehoming dogs, cats and many other animals too, plus it is a just up the road to us. In 2013 we rehomed a dog, Berty, who had been looked after by Wood Green after being left tied up in a field. So, for the charity we give £1 from every Cut Grass and Toasted Marshmallow candle sold.
We like to support local Cambridgeshire charities and last October we created a limited edition Pink Roses candle for Addenbrookes Breast Cancer Appeal and will be partnering again with them in 2015.

Do certain scents suit particular rooms?
Fragrance is a personal thing and we tend to burn all scents from Chocolate Cake to Rose Garden in the lounge or bedroom. However, we do have fragrances which are well suited to certain rooms such Caffeine Fix for the kitchen, Sea Spray for the bathroom, Cut Grass for the conservatory and Lavender for the bedroom.

What is your favourite scent of Kiss Air Candle?
My favourite changes all the time but at the moment it’s Peach Bellini from the cocktail hour collection, with its juicy peaches and champagne scent ~ you can really smell the champagne bubbles. I am really looking forward to our summer collection, Ice Cream parlour, as Mint Choc Chip and Mango Sorbet are divine!

Which store would be your dream stockist for Kiss Air Candles?

You can currently find Kiss Air Candles in over 20 fabulous independent boutiques and gift shops across the UK and we are hoping to increase that this year. A dream stockist for us would be a stylist home store such as Habitat.

Which celebrity home would you most like to see a Kiss Air Candle in?
We already have several fabulous celebrity fans including Katie Piper, Camilla Dallerup, Jessica Wright and Anna Passey and Jess Ellis from Hollyoaks. Our candles fit really well in comfortable, yet stylish homes with their pop of colour and we’d love to see (them in) the homes of Gok Wan (we have sent them to him in the past) or the Kardashians!

What’s next for Kiss Air Candles?
We’ve lots of exciting things in the pipeline. We are really excited about our summer collection, Ice Cream Parlour, a range of five ice cream inspired scents launching in May. We’re also working on an affordable luxury aromatherapy range which we hope to launch in the autumn. 

With ice cream candles, a perfect note for the coming months and Louise’s passion for aroma it looks like even more great things are likely for KissAir Candles.
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