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PEORIA, AZ (Candle Chemistry) – A unique scent-sory experience just opened at Park West in Peoria, and it’s perfect for anyone looking to take a walk on the creative side. Candle Chemistry invites you to “pour on in” and “invent with scent.”
Candle Chemistry is one of the two runners-up in the Small Business Spotlight Contest sponsored by Cox Business, National Bank of Arizona, and Local First Arizona, over the summer. Whether you’re looking for something special for your home or planning an outing with friends, Candle Chemistry promises a DIY experience like none other.
“We’re an adventure in custom fragrance experience for candles and body products,” explained Chris Guidi, one of the creators of Candle Chemistry.
Started by twins Laurie and Ron and their spouses, Candle Chemistry is a family-owned company. Their goal was to bring something original to Arizona and give people a unique experience. After “tons of bad ideas,” according to Guidi, they hit on a winner, and Candle Chemistry was born.
There’s no shortage of places to find candles, but candles with a scent that you invent? That’s something special.
Science of scent
Candle Chemistry is all about your sense of smell, which is strongly associated with your memories and emotions. For example, the smell of baking cookies might take you back to your grandmother’s kitchen. The scent of a flower might remind you of a particular moment in your life. Pumpkin spice smells of fall, while pine and cinnamon might get you in the holiday spirit. The connection between scent and memories can be so strong that you actually feel like you’re experiencing the event again.
“[Smell] is our oldest sensory system, evolutionarily speaking, and the one located deepest in our brains,” explained Dr. Christina Zelano, an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “This powerful sensory system is critical to our human experience.”
Smell is where chemistry and biology meet, and the associations we make with certain scents as children continue throughout our adult years. “Scents that soothed children can continue to alleviate stress and anxiety for the entirety of adulthood,” Dr. Leela Magavi, a California psychiatrist, said in a Verywell Mind article last year.
How Candle Chemistry works
Candle Chemistry puts the science of scent in your hands by allowing you to invent your scent. You start by smelling your way through Candle Chemistry’s extensive fragrance library. There are more than 130 individual scents on the candle wall to get you started. The combinations are virtually limitless. (OK, so not limitless. We did the math. With 130 scents from which to choose, there are 357,760 possible three-scent combinations and 11,358,880 four-scent combinations.)
“Don’t worry about whether or not they go together,” Salina Jones, one of the partners, advised. “Just write down your favorites.”
Once you jot down your favorites, you move on to your candle container. Candle Chemistry has something for any style or décor. They also have body products like hand soap, body butter, sugar scrub, bath salts, and hand sanitizer.
Step three - the Candle Bar - is where the magic happens. Candle Chemistry’s Scent Stylists will help you narrow your list of favorite scents and help you come up with a combination that blends into something uniquely you.
After that, you design your label and mix your scent oils at Candle Chemistry’s Fragrance Bar. Then it’s time to pour and stir!
The process takes about 30 minutes plus at least 2 hours for your candle to cool and be ready for you to take home. Larger candles take longer. If you want to pick up your candle before closing, Candle Chemistry asks that you plan accordingly. “This is a great time to visit one of our neighbors for a bite to eat, a drink, or to do a little walking around the neighborhood for some shopping,” Candle Chemistry says. Otherwise, you can pick it up the next day, week, or even month.
Candles start at $25, and you do not need a reservation to invent your unique scent. Candle Chemistry loves walk-ins!
Darrell J. Cunningham invented his custom scent and calls it ... Darrell
Are candles not your thing?
Candles are not for everybody, and that’s OK. Candle Chemistry has you covered. “We also offer a wide variety of high-quality home products just waiting for your custom scent inventions,” it says on its website. In addition to bath and body products, you can create an aromatic mist, a reed diffuser, and wax melts -- all with the scent you invent.
Date night, family fun, bestie hang, or party
Candle Chemistry offers something fun for date night or for you and your bestie, but it’s also great for parties. Groups of five or more need to make a reservation. You can do that online. You can even do a BYOB After Hours Party, which is perfect for kicking off a bachelorette bash or hen night.
“You can bring your own drinks, bring your own wine, whatever you want to bring in to drink, and actually sip on wine or champagne when you’re making your candles,” Guidi said.
“That’s really popular,” Jones said.
Candle Chemistry does parties for kids, as well.
“Everybody likes it,” Jones said. “Men. Women. We wanted it to be a family experience from a family organization.”
“I am a native, and I love the smells of the desert,” Jones said. “What we decided, as an Arizona company, we would come up with a line called Our Desert. It is inspired by the Sonoran Desert. We have fragrances like Sage & Saguaro. We have Prickly Pear. We have Yerba Manza. Desert Rain is probably the most popular.”
Great gift idea for companies - Scent your business!
In addition to the in-shop experience, Candle Chemistry has a burgeoning wholesale side. Companies and organizations here in Arizona and throughout the country are taking notice of what Candle Chemistry does and asking them to help develop scents and candles for their brands.
Candle Chemistry’s flagship store is in the Scottsdale Quarter, and its second location is at Park West in Peoria. “We’re proud of what we’ve done so far,” Guidi said. “We thrive on delivering the best customer experience possible.”
The Candle Chemistry team is working hard on a new downtown Gilbert location. They plan to have it up and running by mid- to late October.
Ready to start your holiday shopping?
The scent of pumpkin spice in the air means fall has arrived and the holidays are right around the corner. Start your shopping now by creating a scent-sational gift as unique as you are at Candle Chemistry at Park West in Peoria.