The Art of Candle Making
Bastide's candlemaker is a man of few words, but many talents. With his wife and business partner (we clearly are obsessed with family businesses), Guilhem oversees a team of fifteen experts de bougie - Beautisans who scrutinize every imaginable dimension of a candle’s design.
Based in the Provence city of Carnoux, Guilhem’s expertise on paper is candlemaking – he humbly insists that his job is simple, just “making candles that smell good.” In reality, his expertise in the making of a beautiful candle goes far beyond wax and wick, extending from the chemistry of the fragrance oils to the nuances of packaging. He exemplifies a true Beautisan whose craft is his passion, a subject of great respect and dedication.
When we set out to create products that would not only surround us with beauty we recognize and love from Provence (in colors, scents, and textures), but also carry provenance and quality substance, we knew it was quite an undertaking. We also knew from day one that we had to include candles in our collection – we absolutely must. Nothing creates an environment or evokes a mood more smoothly, subtly, or sensually than a candle, burning its delicate flame with great power. Like all the products in our collection, the difference between a quality candle and a lesser one, made with compromises, can be quite dramatic. With help from our Beautisans, we set out to master the 1-2-3’s of candle making.
- The fragrance of the candle, its soul
The heady scents of Bastide are all created by our Nose, Mathieu. Mathieu found his inspiration in seemingly remarkably unremarkable everyday moments in a Bastide home that become poignant memories – a quiet morning humming with the bees in the lavender fields, the familiar burn of a mid-summer sun during an afternoon walk, and the silent gaze between two people in the midst of a buzzy dinner on the terrace. Transforming his inspiration into the reality of the fragrance oils, Mathieu balanced the notes to be the most expressive, allowing the candle’s scent to really bloom and fill up a room. Guilhem worked closely with Mathieu, ensuring that the fragrance oils would also be in harmony with the special wax and wick.
- The wax & wick, its expression
Using a mixture of paraffin and vegetable wax, Guilhem created completely unique wax blends, balanced to amplify the impact and longevity of each fragrance while keeping its integrity.
Each of our candles actually has its own wax blend, uniquely balanced to maximize its fragrance expression - none are the same.
Thanks to Guilhem's expertise and close partnership with Mathieu, our candles do not “sweat,” which could happen to candles whose wax cannot safely support its fragrance oils, causing drops of oil to surface and bubble up to the surface of a candle. Our blended base also ensures the wax is at an ideal hardness (at least in our humble opinions), which also helps the candle to burn evenly. We chose a simple cotton wick, following generations of tradition, and we always recommend you to trim the wick after use, to prevent smoke.
- The glass, its vessel
Our love for glass runs deep. It is a tribute to the heritage of Côté Bastide, which has always been lovingly packaged in glass, and it is our tribute to using as many recyclable products as possible for our world and our children. We searched for a long time for the perfect glass vessel until finally, we realized the answer lied in finding imperfect glass. Bastide’s candles are sold in hand-blown bubble glass – each glass is completely perfectly imperfect, unique in its formation and its bubbles.
Hand-blown bubble glass means the rim of the glass may not be not perfectly because hand-made leaves room for “human error,” but that’s why we love it. Each glass is completely unique, one of a kind.
And speaking of recycling, a great tip after you use the candle: just place the glass in the freezer for four hours, remove and flip it over, tap the bottom gently, and any residual wax will come right out, and you will have a lovely new hand-blown tumbler.
We are so proud of our candles, and we adore our Beautisans!
"Man loves company - even if it is only that of a small burning candle," Georg C. Lichtenberg