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Nostara
Understated all-natural home fragrances that smell divine

Symbolising new beginnings, it seemed like the perfect metaphor. From the get-go, the idea was to produce hand- poured, soy wax candles and soy-based reed diffusers, all sustainable and ethically sourced within the UK, and sell them online.

 

She began with a collection of six unique fragrances, made using essential oils in collaboration with an award-winning local perfumer, including refined Bergamot & Black Tea, zesty Lime & Juniper and the fabulously fresh Linen & White Gardenia. The brand’s ethos – bringing a sense of luxury to the everyday – was immediately evident, not just in the fragrances themselves but in the design-led details, from the simply frosted glassware to the sophisticated rose gold and silver candle lids. ‘A lot of people want an understated candle in their home; something that doesn’t shout with its appearance but has a gorgeous scent,’ says Nikki, who spent the first two years personally connecting with potential buyers at country shows, craft fairs and pop-ups all over the UK.

Nostara’s ethos – bringing a sense of luxury to the everyday – was immediately evident, not just in the fragrances but in the design-led details.

The strategy was a huge success: year-on-year the business has doubled in size and a selection of retail partners are now on board, stocking the products too. ‘I’m always excited to meet new customers and help them find their ultimate fragrance. The last few months have been particularly challenging as fairs and exhibitions have been cancelled but demand for beautiful fragrances in homes and offices is ever present,’ continues Nikki. Having run the business with a close friend until recently, she is now flying solo and has temporarily shifted the focus towards online sales and corporate gifting.

 

In response to requests, a ‘more manly’ fragrance with rich, dark undertones, Leather & Vetiver, was added to the collection last year and this year sees another launch: Winter Wonderland. ‘I am a huge fan of Christmas so wanted to create a traditional winter candle, something cosy and warm,’ she says. ‘The fragrance is a medley of winter spices and fruits based on clove, lemons, ginger and cinnamon with backdrop of jasmine.’

Room mists and travel candles are also now part of the range, and there is another new home scent in the pipeline for spring, as well as an earthy eau de toilette and floral, oceanic eau de parfum. ‘I’m such a lover of fragrance, whether for the home or as a perfume, so it’s really exciting for the brand to be evolving in this way.’

Currently, there are two collections of home fragrances, differentiated by their packaging (grey boxes for the core range, black for the premium). ‘Design is at the heart of everything I do at Nostara and creating fragrances with a perfumer will continue to be a key pillar of the brand’s uniqueness,’ she concludes.

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