House & Home

Rachel Vosper

Bespoke and ready-made candles and home fragrances from one of the country’s leading chandlers

Of all our senses, smell is the one most strongly tied to our emotions yet, as Rachel Vosper points out, most of us don’t make the connection. She, on the other hand, knows all about the power of fragrance, using her knowledge to create the scents that go into her hand-poured beeswax candles and signature home fragrances. If you can’t find a fragrance you like, Rachel will make it for you, adapting the many aromas in her extensive scent library.

 

While her Belgravia flagship store sells ready-made candles and home fragrances, bespoke is a big part of Rachel’s business, with a client list that includes artists and designers, as well as some of the world’s big corporates. Last year a collaboration with Virgin Atlantic resulted in AIR, a bespoke fragrance comprising essential oils from every continent that the airline flies to, designed to enhance the customer experience. An AIR candle is available to buy in Duty Free.

If you can’t find a fragrance you like, Rachel will make it for you, adapting the many aromas in her extensive scent library

Rachel Vosper

‘It wasn’t just about the chance to work with the airline to create its signature scent, but also the opportunity to elevate the customer experience on the ground; to heighten the sense of excitement throughout the journey,’ says Rachel.

 

In a similar vein, Rachel is currently working with the Soho House group to create candles for its beach, city and country houses globally: ‘There will be three tailor-made fragrances initially, with plans to scent each house individually and to provide candle-making workshops.’

 

These are not, of course, the easiest of times for chandlers: translating the sensory experience to an online marketplace is difficult; so too is maintaining a point of difference in an increasingly saturated market. And then there is the question of sustainability, with hundreds of thousands of candle votives destined for landfill.

Rachel says: ‘Consumers are now much more socially conscious about their purchases. One of our unique offers
is our bespoke refill service, which means we not only refill our full range of candle vessels with fragranced wax and bespoke scents, but we can refill pretty much any container that our clients bring in, be it their favourite used candle jar, best crystal vase or a vintage tea cup.’

Not that it’s always quite that simple. ‘An international client once asked us to fill 100 seven-wick crystal bowls, each one with five refills. Two of us worked around the clock over several days to get the order ready. We were still doing the final top pours when the delivery lorry arrived to take the candles to the South of France – it broke down en route and arrived five minutes before the deadline.’

Rachel is certainly bullish about the year ahead: ‘2020 is going to be very interesting. We are opening a store in New York’s Tribeca district and collaborating with a fabulous British crystal brand that already has a great presence in the US. I am currently doing extensive research and development – I should be able to reveal the results later this year, but let’s just say it will completely revolutionise the candle industry.’

Rachel Vosper