With the release of our new 2021 winter collection, 'Ancient Yule Festival' rapidly approaching, we sat down with our founder, Leah, to discuss her inspiration for the new collection.
What are your favorite things about the Winter season?
All seasons have their charm and special things, but Winter is the season of creativity for me. When it's cold outside and much darker during the day and shorter daylight hours, that's the time I get busy in other ways. It really puts me in the mood to create new music and start other creative projects. It helps to create a cozy indoor space with an atmosphere you love since you spend a lot more time in this space during these colder months.
How did you come up with the theme for Ancient Yule Festival?
I've always enjoyed Norse mythology and many of the great TV shows, such as Vikings on the History Channel. Some of my first candles ever had a Norse theme, which I released with a Medieval-inspired Winter album, called 'Ancient Winter'.
Then, last Winter I was playing the latest Assassin's Creed Valhalla game. The setting is in ancient England as the Vikings are beginning to settle and form relationships with the locals (as well as plunder the goods!). The game included a lovely Yule season festival in the village, and it was just a great highlight of the game they added and I became convinced we just had to do a Norse Yule candle theme this Winter!
How did you come up with the ideas for the scents and how was the process of formulating them?
I first started with the concept of the Yule festival and some of the traditions that you might find. I wanted to include food and drink, games, and traditional items. That led me to the main six in the collection, along with scent designs that transport you to an ancient Norwegian winter festival.
Here's what I imagined:
We begin with Northern Lights, which sets the scene. A dark and freezing night, ice and snow on the ground, and a biting chill in the air, yet a beautiful display of bursting color in the black, starry sky. The scent is mysterious, earthy, with a hint of spice.
It's so cold out, you can't wait to get back inside to the warmth of the Longhouse Hearth, where a fire blazes, and a roast churns on a spit. The scent of smoke, crackling cerdarwood, and aromatic herbs are intoxicating.
Next, it's time to sit down at the communal table alongside family, where something absolutely delicious is placed on the table, still too hot to touch.... it's your favorite, Braided Sweetbread,which is only served once a year if there's enough honey leftover from the Summer harvest. The scent of wild honey, imported spices, and nuts feels like a dream on this cozy festival night.
You look toward the door and see the The Yule Tree, freshly cut today, which reminds us that everything else will become lush and green soon again. You're loving the thought of coming warmer days as fresh forest air and moss covered wood drift through the longhouse.
Looking toward the back of the longhouse, you spot something leaning up against the wall... it's your favourite festival tradition: Wheel of the Sun! It's a large wreath made of tree branches and evergreen leaves, which we light on fire and roll down the snowy hill, reminding us that in the dead of Winter, the Sun shall indeed return. The aroma of ripened red berries on fresh-cut mossy branches and soft musk fill the room.
It's been a very long day... after a long trek through the snow, and Yule festivities, it's time to retire to The Jarl's Chamber, where cozy fur blankets, and your favorite belongings beckon you... did you almost forget you are the Jarl? The scent combination of your musky cedar bed with your private stash of citrus fruits & exotic spices recently acquired from trade posts create a sleep spell, lulling you to a deep, deep sleep.
Are you excited about the packaging this year?
I'm especially excited about the packaging of this new Winter collection! I think everyone will be blown away by the artwork and the attention to detail we've put into the experience. My hope is when you unbox each candle, you'll get a sense of an Ancient Yule Festival and feel like you're right there, experiencing it first hand.
What's your personal favorite scent from this collection and why?
This is a tough one, but I absolutely love The Jarl's Chamber, with The Yule Tree, and Braided Sweetbread as a close tie behind it!
What do you hope people get out of this collection?
My wish is always that our candles absolutely delight people. I want our candles to enhance what people are already doing, and help them create great memories with their loved ones. The power of fragrance, the ritual of regularly lighting your favorite candle, and even the unboxing experience can be a powerful positive memory trigger.
Whether through gifting or immersive reading, gaming, dinner parties, or simply creating the perfect atmosphere for your home with our candles, I'm hoping people feel this Winter is far more magical with the Ancient Yule Festival collection!