Inside an unmarked building in downtown St. Francisville, Nouvelle Candle Company produces about 500 candles a day. The 18-year-old business handcrafts artisan scented candles for shops and customers across the country.
After hesitantly following my GPS up to the incognito Nouvelle Candle headquarters and slowly creaking the door open, I’m greeted by a cloud of citrusy, floral fragrance.
“I’m glad you were able to find us,” owner Tom Scarborough says with a laugh. “We can’t have a sign on the front or else we’d never be able to get any work done, with all the people knocking on our door.”
In the production room, a close-knit team of six is busily working to fulfill fresh batches of high-grade candles. From start to finish, they complete everything by hand. Each person has their own task: One pours the wax, another trims the wick and another labels the boxes, while one team member preps the orders for shipping.
“We don’t want to be a gigantic candle factory,” Scarborough says. “We want our product to continue to be handmade, have that human touch and to employ local people. We’re not out to be the biggest, baddest candle company. We’re out to make really great-smelling candles.”
Those long-lasting, sweet-smelling candles have become staples in the region. They are sold at Alexander’s Market, Paper N’ Things, Mosaic Garden and Time Warp. The company’s customers are loyal. Many shops that carry Nouvelle Candle Company candles have been purchasing them for more than 10 years.
Nouvelle Candle Company has more than 40 unique fragrances. Best-selling scents include the smooth and floral Crepe Myrtle and fruity Tuscan Currant. As December approaches, requests for seasonal scents are in full swing. The company has seven holiday fragrances ranging from an earthy Fireside scent to a piney Rosemary Wreath.
No matter the time of year, though, Nouvelle Candle Company’s mission remains the same: to create luxurious candles that fill its customers’ homes with long-lasting aromas.
“Our formula has stayed the same since the very beginning,” Scarborough says. “On average, we use about three to four percent more oil than our competitors do. Some company’s candles will smell good when you first open it up, but once you get to the bottom, it’s just plain wax and no fragrance. … A Nouvelle Candle will be fragrant all the way through.” nouvellecandle.com
1. Trim the wick before each use: It will prevent smoking and an oversized flame. Save your scissors and invest in a wick trimmer.
2. Blow out the candle after three hours: For optimal burning, allow the wax to reset and solidify before relighting.
3. Keep out of drafts: Too much oxygen can cause smoke, so don’t place your candle by a window or under a fan.
4. Don’t leave candles unattended: Open flames can lead to hazardous fires.
This article was originally published in the November 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.