Whenever we read a book we dive into the atmosphere that the heroes live in and go through their wills and feelings, as if sinking into the scents of the whole picture. At the same time it turns out that we may touch the scent of our favorite character even in real life, thanks to the intoxicant aromas of the candles, created by Nina Alexandrova.
The young lady has graduated in finances and banking with some length of service as a banker, but she realized soon that it was not her vocation. While looking for a way to get involved into something a bit more creative, turning her hobby – reading – into a job, she accidentally came up on something that turned her life upside down:
“It just happened – after having read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas I accidentally came online upon a paper candle of a character from that book. I really liked the idea back then, since that is how one brings in warmth and coziness at home, while at the same time the candle reminds you of the book read or the character you liked liked. That was why I started researching the Bulgarian market and it turned out that no candles of that kind were offered. Moreover, the majority of reading people didn’t even know about their existence. That was the moment when I decided to turn that thing into my job.”
Nina’s approach to the candle-making process was pretty serious – she learnt it all carefully and even attended specialized workshops. At first she produced for herself and the family, but later on she decided to try the market of book fans in this country. It turned out that the interest was huge. Thus the first Bulgarian candles, aimed at true literature fans were born – and those were named With Scent of Books.
The first candle of Nina still remains the most wanted one – it has been inspired by Rhysand’s character from A Court of Thorns and Roses and the scent is of ocean and citrus. Over 200 characters and books have received their scents so far, Pippi Longstocking, The Little Prince and Jay Gatsby among them. The greatest demand has been registered for the characters of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and A Court of Thorns and Roses. Nina has created scents of Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, Ivan Shatov of Dostoevsky, The Master and Margarita of Mikhail Bulgakov, also the main characters of Gone with the Wind and many others. However, which character has been most difficult for Nina to recreate?
“In fact the toughest character is a book, as the candle belongs to Spark of Life by Erich Maria Remarque. The book is very tough, based on a true story from WWII and it is a real challenge to wrap up something like this in a scent. However, it all ended up very well, as the scent prompts coldness – it includes anise, petitgrain, lavender and wild mint.”
What is the actual process of a candle’s creation?
“At first it starts with determining the aromas of the respective character. This is the most specific part, as I mix most diverse scents, which in my opinion would express the character’s temper. Then I use the character’s outlook for the candle’s design, color and label. The next step is the candle itself – I melt the wax, then I add color and scents, pour it into the small jars and then prepare the label of the candle.”
Nina uses palm stearin and palm wax in her work – those are absolutely harmless, not toxic and with clear flame. Then the lady uses over 50 scents that she mixes following her inner feeling.
When one does something with love, it pays off. “Lots of people tell me that I sell happiness to them. I would add ‘warmth and coziness’ to that,” Nina Alexandrova says in conclusion.
English version: Zhivko Stanchev