A Tale of Two Founders, Two Continents, One Mission:
Preserving the master craft of traditional herbal formulation
When Farmaesthetics founder and formulator Brenda Brock sat down to create the very first candle in her line of fine herbal products, she knew one thing for sure: she didn’t want to work with just any candle manufacturer. She wanted to collaborate and work hand in hand with someone who had a deep traditional knowledge and commitment to herbal formulation. She wanted to walk through the natural world of scent and sustainability with someone who shared her passion and knowledge for traditional artisan processes using ingredients found in nature.
Finding that person was no easy task, then one year ago, Brenda’s daughter Lela introduced her to close friend and kindred spirit, Celine Chappert, founder/formulator of Officine Oils of Paris.
With the very first introductory Zoom call, there was no doubt that these two formulators spoke the same language- a unique dialect of flowers, herbs, and traditional processes rooted in knowledge gleaned from their farming family heritage: Brenda’s family in Texas and Celine’s in the South of France. In this time of Covid, language is all they would have to bring their vision together to create this candle, as there would be no flights to meet in person in their prospective studio or lab. This was going to be a long-distance relationship, storytelling, a personal conversation through the language of scent, place and values.
Follow along as Brenda and Celine talk about their unique experience in creating so much more than just a scented candle.
Brenda, what inspired you to create a candle at this point in your career?
“For years we have had customers reach out to tell us how much they love the scent of our Midnight Honey Bath & Beauty Oil, requesting I make a perfume or candle or anything that smells just like that product. It’s been on my formulation wish list for years, then with Covid, home life became so much more a focus in health, beauty and wellbeing. We seemed to have enough time now for self-care and personal rituals, and candles are so comforting, especially in times of uncertainty and transition.”
Brenda, can you tell us about how you approached the making of this candle?
“I started with one ingredient- essential oil of honey, or honey absolute as it’s called. That is the key ingredient in our Midnight Honey Bath & Beauty Oil. I had that one ingredient, that one note, so I let that inform my imagination, and it took me to a place that was both mysterious and comforting. After a while, a sentence came into my mind…. “like the magic of midnight meeting the ancient scents of Mother Nature”. So now, I had a scent and a sentence. Next I needed a masterful artisan to work with me in building an intimate scent experience that takes you to your own private place of warmth and comfort.”
Celine, what did you think when you were contacted by Brenda to work with her on a candle?
“When Brenda contacted me to work with her on a candle, it felt very natural and harmonious from the start. I have loved Farmaesthetics products for years, especially the Midnight Honey Bath & Beauty Oil which is my favorite ritual to end the day. So I was thrilled at the possibility to co-create something together! When we spoke for the first time, it became clear to us both that our stories shared the same passion for traditional herbal preparations from ingredients local to France & the US.”
Celine, tell us a little about how you approached the process of co-creating a candle with Brenda in the US and you working from your lab in Paris?
“From the very beginning we had a starting point, which was the delicious Midnight Honey Bath & Beauty Oil. Our hope was to (re) create that cozy, warm and mysterious honey feeling. I experimented in the lab in Paris with various essential oils and botanical extracts from the southern region of Provence, to find notes that would complement the honey scent profile. The prototypes were sent to Brenda in the US and we tweaked the formula to accent the warm, powdery and mysterious notes that makes this blend so rich and unique.”
We are so pleased with how this collaboration has turned out and the feedback we have received. Midnight Absolute Candle is so unique and was made with so much thought and care. Brenda and Celine cannot wait to work with each other again….
~ Lighting the flames of herbal formulators one candle at a time ~