Shop selling handmade candles, scented items opens
Published 12:04 am Sunday, March 13, 2016
.NATCHEZ — Whenever Lou Laird bends over a bubbling pot in her workspace on North Pearl Street, she’s boiling up something black and wicked.
But her products aren’t bad for your soul. They’ve actually helped her find some balance in her life.
And they’ll make your home smell all the better.
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Laird — along with Darrin Parkhill, Leasa Keyes and George Rutherford IV — recently opened Wicked Scents, a candle and scented products shop that also deals in antiques, local art and handcrafted items.
The candles —handmade by Laird — are paraffin based and manufactured using repurposed wax.
Customers can choose from multi-colored candles that offer a range of scents, but it’s the black candles of which Laird is really proud. Made with a proprietary blend of “this and that,” the black candles are the store’s signature branded product.
“We are finding that a lot of people really like that,” Parkhill said. “It’s a smoother, masculine scent, but it’s not overpowering.”
The color choice for the store’s branded products was made because nobody else uses it when making candles.
“So when you find these black candles, you know it’s Wicked Scents,” Parkhill said.
Laird said she initially started making the candles after a period of stress and depression.
“Dr. Chuck Borum, who is my church brother at First Presyterian Church, influenced me to getting up and out and doing something that will occupy me, to do something during the day, to address it,” Laird said. “And it worked.”
But now that work is available in jar and upright candle form. It’s also for sale in the form of decorative cubes for wax heaters, as well as in forms one might not associate with candle-making — for example, a coffee-scented candle in a coffee cup.
The name of the store itself came from a clerical error that the owners liked so much they decided to keep it. They had initially filed their business application to open as “Wick’d Scents,” playing on the idea of candlewicks.
“On the license, it was written up as ‘Wicked,’ and we all liked it that way, so it stayed,” Rutherford said.
For those who don’t want open flames or to deal with melted wax, the shop is selling scented essential oils, including — among others — lemon, lavender, tea tree, panaway and stress-relieving oil.
“You can put it in a diffuser, and with boiling water (the diffuser) works just like a humidifier,” Laird said.
In the near future, the store will start offering beeswax candles and hand-made goat’s milk and honey-based soaps, Parkhill said.
All of the art and hand-made items — including pottery by Sara Carey, wreaths by Amber Rutherford and baskets — comes from local artists or producers. Parkhill handled all the refurbished antique items —including creative reappropriations such as an old sewing machine converted into a sink — himself.
One of the goals is to support — and be supported by — Natchez, Parkhill said.
“We have found local honey, local bees wax, local goat’s milk for the soap and maybe in the future we will find local oil,” he said. “Everything has to be found locally or bought locally — everything we do is all Natchez.
“We have local artists on our walls, and we like being in touch with our neighbors, and it turns out some of our best customers are our neighbors.”
Wicked Scents is located at 118 N. Pearl St.
For more information about the store, call 601-300-0558.
Wicked Scents can be found on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1Xibzyr.