Feeding The Soul With Wax And Scents
What is An Artisan?
Today it's all too easy to label someone as an artisan without really understanding what the term means. It's more often than not a term used as a marketing tactic rather than to describe someone's art and talent in producing something with depth of passion and imaginative flair. A true artisan is someone who has enveloped themselves in their craft. It’s someone who has taken time to fully understand what makes it so special and who appreciates its intricacies and complexities. Like an artist who spends hour upon hour day upon day perfecting his or her painting so does an artisan do with his or her craft.
The dictionary definition is “A worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand”. It’s actually more than this; it is someone who uses ethical producers and the finest ingredients to create the perfect finish.
The Art of Petits Rituels
Unlike those manufacturers who mass produce candles the same can be said when referring to my Petits Rituels candles and wax melts. Each of my products is lovingly home-made and presented beautifully. My candles are a personal experience that I pass on to my customers. I spend time ensuring the quality of every component, from the oils and wax to the packaging box, even down to the information inside the pack. Everything must be nothing less than perfect and nothing less than perfect is acceptable. This includes the quality of ingredients that go into creating each one of my exquisite candles. I believe I am an artisan and each of my products is its own work of art because I adore my craft and want you to also fall in love with it.
When I create a new scent, the most important factor for the new product is using 100% natural premium essential oils and wax. I source these oils from my favourite revered French distillers. There are many reasons why I choose this particular distiller. They are based in Grasse, a place close to my heart in the glorious mountains of the South of France. Of course, I am French so it is important for me to include my heritage in my craft. Additionally, I know how my distiller works and agree with their strong ethics which is important because the relationship between my suppliers and I is built on mutual respect. The distiller uses a process which is unique to other places in the world whereby they extract the scent at a very low temperature. This preserves the molecular properties of plants which results in a superior quality product. The oils are not only luxurious and invigorating but I can safely say that almost every single one is certified. Oils, rather like fruit and vegetables are seasonal so I always check the quality because the weather can affect the scent too. I also wanted to combine my French heritage with the best of British craft. I source the remaining components of my products from the UK so it’s important to celebrate this fact.
I believe the combination of the two delivers a supreme product, in fact it’s more of a product and I like to think of it as creating an experience to savour rather than just a certain aroma. Once we (the distiller and I) have worked up a fabulous new scent it’s then up to me to recreate the scent in a 100% natural wax candle or wax melt. Candle waxes I use include soya wax, floral wax and beeswax making each candle a unique blend.
I make everything at home in my own space – perhaps I should call it my own personal factory if you like! Everything is hand blended in small batches. I even hand-stir my candles and enjoy watching the blend develop until it reaches the moment when I know it is time to pour it into a mould. I don’t even use a thermometer – it is all done by my own experience and knowledge. That’s why Petits Rituels products are so exceptionally special. In fact, you could call it my own little ritual because I love to inhale the intoxicating aromas as each candle is setting.
Candles improve with age – rather like French fine wine so I cure them for a minimum of seven days but the longer they are left the better they smell! This means I believe I deliver the best experience to you, my customers. You receive an aged and cured candle. Other candle manufacturers certainly on a large scale create their products using artificial scents, sourced from mass suppliers and actually the ingredients they use can be dangerous to health.
Mass Production Candles
Most mass-produced scented candles can release harmful chemicals and this is because the majority are made from paraffin which is a by-product of petroleum. It is packed with chemicals so when it is burned it releases these chemicals back into the air, so people breathe acetone, toluene and benzene. These are carcinogenic and are the same chemicals found in diesel! These ingredients cause asthma, allergies and skin problems. Even hours later, toxic substances are still being released into the air when candles are not lit. It doesn’t end there either because the mass-produced scented candles use synthetic aromas, some containing formaldehyde, alcohol, esters and petroleum. This is why if you’ve ever used a mass produced scented candle, you might get a headache or find breathing difficult after burning one. While mass produced candles are inexpensive, they leave an unpleasant “manufactured” smell too. All these reasons is why it is so important to select something naturally made and support artisans and artists who are being quelled by mass production by branded businesses.
Of course, the luxury of Petits Rituels doesn’t stop at just the candle – it’s also about presentation. I lovingly designed the brand livery, packaging and hand ties. I even pack every one of them myself to ensure absolute perfection and then I post them. When you receive your package, it’s your time to indulge yourself, relax, luxuriate and feed your soul in the Petits Rituels blend I carefully prepared for you.
Nathalie Allard is an Artisan Perfumer and the founder of Petits Rituels. She’s known for creating beautiful room-transforming 100% natural fragrances with real therapeutic benefits.