On life, leisure, and what makes a luxury candle?

"What makes a candle a luxury candle?"

When the Raconteur started nearly 3 years ago, we could not have imagined that our list of stockists, customers and collaborators would grow so quickly over such a short period of time. At Team Raconteur we deeply appreciate your endorsement of our unique products. We thank you for supporting an Australian company determined to produce luxurious products using our unique, rare, and beautiful native botanicals.

We are often asked to critique the products of our competitors - usually luxury brands from Europe. Stockists in particular want to know why those candles cost double or triple that of an Australian made candle of equivalent size and quality. Rather than do that, we prefer like to focus on educating our customers about the values that we believe make a candle a luxurious candle. We believe that should lead to everyone making more informed choices.

At the Raconteur we are focused first and foremost on quality. It's all about respecting the integrity of rare raw materials, applying the craft of the hand-made, making something that smells beautiful, and in small batches.

When new raw materials and plant species are still literally being discovered in Australia (8 new species of spinnifex were discovered in WA in 2017) we have an exciting, and disruptive, story to tell of exceptional new olfactory gems. Having studied in France at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery we have learned about the ingredients traditionally used in the fragrance industry. Armed with that age-old knowledge we identified the need to establish a niche studio that sourced and worked with Australian farmers and producers of novel natural raw materials. Working by hand, producing small batches. Making world class fragrances that tell a unique story.

"At the Raconteur we are focused first and foremost on quality."

Our mission is to help educate all Australians, and the global fragrance industry at large, to appreciate the beauty of our rare, in some cases, newly discovered native botanical heritage. Australia should be known for more than eucalyptus, sandalwood, desert rosewood, boronia and mimosa (ie wattle). There's nerolina, niaouli and rosalina. Fragonia. And kunzea. And then there's the whole wonderfully complex fragrant myrtle family. We're currently working on a collab for a client that will shine a light on one of the oldest and rarest flowers used for perfumery for thousands of years by Aboriginal women, but is unknown by the global fragrance industry. This is a unique story. An Australian story. And it goes beyond luxury. It's when a scent based product goes beyond being merely a possession, to something that delivers a rare experience.

We believe that making exceptional quality candles that are worthy of being sought out and collected in our homes comes with the responsibility of informing our customers about the choices they are making. So apart from encouraging questions about what unique raw materials have been used to create a fragrance, we also encourage our customers to ask themselves this question - does the candle you're about to purchase use paraffin wax? If so, then you should know the downside. Studies have shown ( EPA 2001; U. S. Carolina 2009) that burning a paraffin wax releases carcinogenic chemicals through its soot. And then there's that small matter of burning paraffin, a petroleumbased fossil fuel, which contributes to air pollution (hello climate crisis). For these reasons we don't use paraffin wax. Nor do we use wicks containing lead or any other metal - these also release carcinogenic chemicals.

"we prefer like to focus on educating our customers about the values that we believe make a candle a luxurious candle."

This is our criteria for how we define what luxury is:
1. Hand made.
2. Small batches.
3. Using rare raw materials. Sustainably.
4. Making beautiful fragrances, that tell a unique story.
5. 100% soy wax. No paraffin wax.
6. Cotton wicks. No lead wicks.
7. No parabens. No phthalates.

So, when you're looking to make your next candle purchase, rather than just be influenced by price and brand longevity, if you use this checklist, you can't go wrong in making a more informed choice.