Creating a candle that evokes memories of Sewanee was not the easiest undertaking. Finding something that smells like fog is, well, complicated. We tried several versions and finally settled on a combination of essential oils that is reminiscent of the dampness that hangs in the air after a rainfall. There's an earthiness, mixed with a lilt of pine, some woody notes, musk, citrus, amber and oakmoss. The candle was released in 2018, in conjunction with my 20-year anniversary of graduating from Sewanee. It has sold extremely well and I am excited to share it with my fellow alumni.
The Sewanee Fog candle will bring back memories of afternoon concerts at Lake Cheston and frisbee golf in Manigault Park and Dr. Smith's class in the Quad. Of walking to class in a fog that's so dense you had to rely on muscle memory to get to your destination. Of hiking the Perimeter Trail and then having a burger at Shenanigans. Of the week immediately following comps and how relieved you were to finally be done. It will remind you of how Sewanee became home.
If you have never heard of Sewanee, it will remind you of something - or maybe not a damn thing - but, it will smell good and make you happy.
If you haven't purchased candles from RLC before, here's what you get: a hand-poured soy wax candle with a double wick (that's lead-free; no soot!). They have an 85+ hour burn life. The candles are housed in a drawstring canvas bag - in Sewanee Purple, no less - making them ideal for gift-giving.
Behind-the-scenes of creating this candle:
Sometimes life throws you a curveball. How you deal with it can alter your course, dramatically. Let me tell you a story.
In January 2017, an associate of mine was closing down his upstart distribution business to get a "real job" with benefits. His daughter had cancer and he needed deeper pockets than a small business owner could provide. I went to his warehouse and noticed a couple of cases of candles. I added them to my purchase, assuming that they would be good gifts for my mama and my sister. The next morning, when I got into my car, it smelled like heaven. They were even more aromatic than I had thought. I decided to try to sell a few and sold through them in a day. So, I reached out and started buying candles from the company that made them.
I made the decision, at the suggestion of the Director of Alumni Relations at my alma mater, to create my own candle. Specifically, it would be called Sewanee Fog. We made an initial run of 14 dozen. And sold out within 2 weeks. Everything was going great. And then that curveball came my way. The proprietary oil blends we were using for the candle had been discontinued without warning. We made several stabs, but could not recreate the scent. Then, I met Debbie DeJean. Debbie and I spoke on the phone, had a brief (ha! It lasted 2 hours!) meeting and I left knowing that everything would be okay. That weekend, when setting up for a festival, who should be in the booth right next to me? Debbie DeJean. If you know me, you know that that cemented the deal. A few attempts later, we had a winner. Since, Debbie and I have partnered on several candles, including some private label items for RLC clients.
This candle smells amazing. I don’t like strong scents. This one is subtle and lovely! Thanks JRL!
This candle is incredible. Whether you attended sewanee or have some other conne tin to The Mountain or not, you will love this scent.
Like everything on the RLC site, this is quality. Beyond the amazing scent, this is a favorite gift for the Sewanee people in my life. Beautifully presented, it captures one of my favorite places on earth. A must for your favorite Sewanee grad.
We burned our new Sewanee Fog Candle all weekend at my friend's mountain cabin. After leaving for three days, we returned not to the usual old-cabin smell but instead to this candle's lovely scent that still hung in the air. Impressive!
I loved the way Joseph created this candle from scratch, and the collaboration involved to bring it to fruition. I have no connection with Sewanee, but I HAD TO HAVE IT based on the story behind it. Joseph took me there in my mind, and it was wonderful. I LOVE the scent, and I also love that it is not an in-your-face loud scent. Joseph truly gets the concept that sometimes less is more.
These candles smell heavenly!!! And I know that we'll reuse the bag to keep our phone & computer cords in a safe place when traveling.