Candlemakers add aromas, ambience
Cathy Weiner lets other people roll out the holly.
This time of year, she’s rolling out the pine, balsam and cranberry. They’re popular scents in her line of Wicks of Fire candles, made in the basement mixing room of her Latham home. Aromas from the evergreen trees and red fruits become more popular during the holiday season.
“I add a mixture of half pine and half balsam fir and mix them together to make the tree smell,” said Weiner of her most popular flame-holders. “I call it Christmas; I make it in both red and green.”
Cathy and Lane Pelletier are also burning for the holiday season. Their Adirondack Candles business has seasonal scents for sale.
Both manufacturers say they know why people like flickers on the mantle or kitchen table during cold weather months. “We’re closed up, and all the windows are closed now,” Weiner said. “People want to have that wonderful smell in their house.”
For other people, candles become part of their holiday decorations. If parties are part of their December or January, candles add ambience.
“A lot of people have artificial trees, so they’re trying to replace the live tree scent with a candle,” said Lane Pelletier.
Weiner, who began her business in 2001, said her Christmas variety outsells her other candles two-to-one throughout the year.
“People just love the outdoor smell,” Weiner said. “In August, I make 400 16-ounce candles of the Christmas scent and 200 of the 10-ounce jars. In September, they really start flying.”
The Wicks of Fire cranberry-balsam is Weiner’s second-best seller; she makes 300 16-ounce jars and 150 10-ounce models. The next most popular choices are autumn scents, hot apple pie and spiced pumpkin pie.
Weiner said some people buy for the seasons, for seasonal aromas.
“In the spring and summer, it’s a lot of the floral scents, fresh and clean scents like lilac.,” she said. “I have a spring rain scent and the flowers, the jasmine, the lavender.”
Weiner also makes a bayberry candle.
Candle fans can find Weiner and her candles at the Empire State Plaza concourse during the holiday season, from Nov. 30 through Dec. 23. She also hosts candle parties and travels for arts and crafts fairs. Her 16-ounce candles, which burn for 95 hours, cost $13.89. The 10-ounce candles, which burn for 50 hours, are $7.99.
The Pelletiers say the Adirondack line of holiday-themed candles is popular year-round. An Adirondack pine candle will sell during the winter but also during the spring. Same thing goes for the deep woods berries mix. The Pelletiers’ Christmas balsam candle is called “Chrismoose balsam,” to take full advantage of the mountain theme.
“We do have some scents that are more seasonal and will sell better during the season, but we don’t make them special just for these season — things like hollyberry,” Lane Pelletier said.
Scents like Adirondack’s warm pumpkin pie and mulled apple cider pick up more fans during the fall, when chillier nights are becoming more common.
Some berry-scented candles work better when the weather is warmer. While cranberry, bayberry and hollyberry candles are naturals for December, Pelletier said blueberry scents are better for sunny days.
“Blueberry is more of a summer candle,” Pelletier said. “Summer scents would be clean scents, like mountain mist, lodge linen and lake breeze.
“We do well throughout the year, selling to seasonal stores, tourist stuff,” Pelletier said. “Every year, when people close their windows and it’s getting cool out, our phone rings more. People are trying to burn something inside now that they’re cooped up inside. They’re not outdoors; they want to get rid of that stale scent in the house.”
Adirondack Candles are available at Impressions gift store in Saratoga Springs, Adirondack Fireplace in Amsterdam or by calling the home-based company at 399-8831.
More information about Wicks of Fire and Adirondack Candles is available at the companies’ respective websites, wicksoffire.com and adirondackcandle.com.