There’s no doubt about it, gorgeously scented candles are the ultimate interior accessory. I joined designer and candlemaker Laura Wilson at her North Berwick headquarters to learn how to make a soy scented candle.
Stepping into Laura Thomas Co Headquarters, a wave of delicious scents assail my senses. The workshop table is set with jars, stainless steel jugs, whisks, rather scientific-looking scales and a vat of wax bubbles quietly in the background, all ready for a workshop in making scented soy wax candles.
Laura Wilson started her company, Laura Thomas Co in 2012, when she was living in New Zealand and found it difficult to source mid-range, well-made bedding. She began her own company sourcing high quality, fair trade cottons from India, Egypt and Vietnam. Since returning to her native Scotland four years ago, Laura has added a range of homewares and lifestyle products, including stunning Turkish towels and gorgeous scented soy candles, which she hand-pours herself. She also runs workshops for total novices like me.
Candle-making isn’t that hard, Laura assures the four of us sitting nervously around the table. “You just follow the steps. The fun part is creating the scent.” Laura’s passion for fragrance is infectious and soon the four of us are engrossed in choosing two or three scent combinations for our own candles. It’s not easy, as Laura uses essential oils and there was a staggering array to choose from. But under Laura’s careful tuition, we all managed to identify the mood and smell we wanted to create.
Laura shows us how to weigh and pour the molten wax, which has the consistency of honey, into the steel jugs. We add our oils and whisk the mixture to cool the wax to the perfect pouring temperature. There is a burst of aroma – hinting what my finished candle will smell like. We then centre the wick in a gorgeous LT jar, holding it in place with a lolly stick, pour the wax and leave it to set. Laura advises us to leave our candles to cure for a week – longer if we can, to ensure we get the best fragrance. Laura chats to us about candle maintenance, something she is very ardent about. “You should always burn the whole top layer of the candle, right to the edges of the jar, so it melts in an even pool,” Laura says, “and wicks need to be trimmed after each use.”
My candle has taken me a couple of hours to create, but Laura and her team make these at a rate of knots. Laura laughs “With Christmas on the way, we’re especially busy, we’re pouring up to 200 candles a week.”
LAURA THOMAS CO | laura-thomas.com