The Cleveland Candle Co: diy custom candle

The deeper into the wax fragrance world I dive, the more I crave creating custom blends. Brainstorming, list-making, debating, rearranging, complementing; there’s nothing more satisfying than smelling a scent which is a manifestation of your own personal taste. It’s this notion that The Cleveland Candle Co. caters to. 20181104_113433This past July, I went to Cleveland Candle’s Coventry location with my sis and niece to try our skills at custom candle-making. The shop is a local gem, it’s modern rustic interior welcomes you with a long sleek candle bar occupying the space. The scent wall featuring jars of individual fragrance oils, lining row upon row of shelves, may induce heart palpitations. Hundreds of scents at your fingertips.20180725_165910A master mixologist explains the creative process: first select your candle size from a variety of glass jars, they offer both new and recycled designs. Next, you are handed a clipboard to track the scents you like, then you are set free to sniff the goods at your leisure. The shelves are organized alphabetically by scent category, fresh, bakery, spicy, etc.20180725_170945 (1)There are tried-and-true favorites and some unusual interpretations on scent, a few which jumped out were Sun Your Buns, Narcissist, Lake Erie and Dill Pickle! There was even a taco scent, which I thought smelled of greasy meat but to each her own, no judgement.20180725_171336Excuse my childlike scribbling, but I barely looked at the paper as I wrote down those notes that captured my imagination most. This fresh, earthy fragrance lover was in her happy place.20180725_171459 (1)A dreamy wall of fragrance oils with unlimited possibilities.20180725_171953After much contemplating, I chose Crackling Firewood, Hiking Trails, and Birchwood. It was a sticky July day and I was dreaming of cool crisp autumn breezes. Our mixologist had set the candle wicks and I started the process under her guidance.  20180725_173034This part doesn’t look glamorous but it was quite fun and intense as you add the oil drop by drop, take a whiff and stir, stir, stir again. After some fine-tuning, it was decided my selections were too closely-related, being from the woodsy fragrance family. This scent babe needed spicing up. The mixologist added a smidge of Peppercorn Cardamom which deepened the aroma with savory black pepper, sweet cardamom and clove.20180725_200039The oils were poured into the liquid wax which required a couple hours of cooling time before they were travel-ready. Capitalizing on the wait time was no burden as we hit the nearby indie bookstore, incense shop and restaurants. Upon return, our candles were set and packed in these sporty bags with our scent sheets, there was much rejoicing.20180725_200453Large jars are $26, 8oz. are $14, but there’s always a promotion going, these were $1 off any custom jar. Single scents are available to purchase, as well as pre-made blends if you’re short on time. Lip balms, bath fizzies and other good smellies can also be created and purchased in house. My niece is pretty decisive about scent preference-sweet and fruity or it’s rejected, her ice cream swirl jar is a blend of Fruity Rocks that are Small, Marshmallow and Birthday Cake. 20181104_113127 (1)I like the vintage chalkboard look of the recycled labels. As a finishing touch, customers are encouraged to name and label their blends, which you know I love to do but was unprepared. The above title is what I came up with on the fly. My fragrance does have a distinctive outdoorsy aroma of a morning walk through cool fall woods. If I did it again, I’d add more Crackling Firewood to enhance the smokiness. I was too hesitant not wanting the smoke to overwhelm. The Birchwood note is dominantly bright, snappy and laden with confettied leaves.20181108_084654Soy wax is slower to pool out and this is quite clingy but has nice scent projection, a light-medium in my living room. The candle-making experience was so fun and easy, I feel a strong desire to return soon and create more seasonal blends. The pleasure derived from building a signature blend based on scents sampled by my nose is unmatched. 

The Cleveland Candle Co. has three locations, in Coventry, Mentor and Ohio City. Parties, groups and blogger meet-ups are encouraged and various product classes are held throughout the month. 

Do you have any custom candle bars in your area? Is candle-making your idea of fun, too?



3 thoughts on “The Cleveland Candle Co: diy custom candle

  1. Mmm, greasy meat! There truly aren’t enough candle blends out there based on the scent of a Slim Jim, I always say.

    Oh wow, this looks like SO much fun! I saw your IG post about this, but I didn’t get the scope of the place, particularly the “smell lab.” When I was a kid, my best friend’s dad was a sommelier, and he used to let us muck around with his outdated smell-and-taste kit, which was packed with little vials of every palatable (or not) scent and flavour in the world you could possibly imagine. No taco scent that I recall, but this was 30 years ago. I bet today’s standard sommelier kit probably does come with a taco scent!

    I like the sound of your niece’s blend, and I had a good snort at “Fruity Rocks that are Small.” There’s a non-trademarked phrase if I’ve ever heard one! This seriously looks like such, such fun! We have nothing like this around here. There’s a store at Disney that does custom-ish candles, but there’s no real scent blending component to it – you basically just customize the name and the outside of the jar.


    1. I was in my glory, you would have been too. I didn’t even feel overwhelmed because the process was pretty easy.
      Lol, we loved that blatantness of describing fruity pebbles, but bacon candles are bad enough. There’s truly no need for Slim Jim salami burps scents😂
      Actually, there are quite a few shops like this in the area, another one is a larger chain called The Candle Lab, but we went to this one for the local charm. Guess we Ohioans don’t mess around with building our custom fragrance. Your sommelier experience sounds sweet, I would have loved playing with it, like a real live scratch-and-sniff book.


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