Review: An evening of fun, fizz and fragrances at The Outdoor Candle Company
What I loved about it:
This was such a wonderful way to spend an evening. Rachel from The Outdoor Candle Company has created a relaxed, sociable and creative space to make beautiful candles, and her workshops are both fun and informative. I loved the scent quiz included to encourage us to tune into the various types of fragrances, and was so impressed with Rachel’s in-depth knowledge and how the whole workshop was delivered. I would definitely recommend it for a girls night out, hen party or just something a little different!
Value for money (out of 10):
A welcoming and relaxation introduction to candle making
I’m always looking for new and different experiences in Kent, so when Rachel from The Outdoor Candle Company invited me to one of her luxury candle making workshops, I was very keen to find out more.
Located at her home studio just outside of Tunbridge Wells, The Outdoor Candle Company offers two-hour workshops giving you the opportunity to create one large or two smaller scented candles. Accompanied by coffee and cake or nibbles and fizz (depending on whether you book a morning or evening session), the workshops are focused on teaching you about the history and craft of candle making, as well as the fragrances and scents themselves, in a relaxed and fun setting.
A former Primary school teacher, owner Rachel turned her hand to candle making in 2020 after years of finding joy in candles and fragrances around her home. Inspired by wanting to make outdoor candles that not only served a function, but also smelled lovely and added to the ambience of an al fresco dinner party, her business was born and has gone from strength to strength since its conception. Now, she makes both indoor and outdoor hand-poured soy candles that are paraffin-free and use as many natural products as possible.
I opted for a Thursday evening session (starting at 7pm) and was welcomed into Rachel’s purpose-built, home studio on arrival. The wonderful fragrances of the candles immediately struck me as I walked through the door, and Rachel’s bubbly, friendly approach put me straight at ease. There were just three of us in the workshop which worked really well. It felt intimate and bespoke, but also made for a great atmosphere to chat and be sociable whilst we made our candles.
The workshop started with Rachel introducing us to the history of candle making, her journey to forming The Outdoor Candle Company, and talking in detail about the various types of scents that form complex fragrances. Her background as a teacher was evident as she talked so eloquently and enthusiastically, really engaging us as she spoke. We were each given leaflets with more detail, a scent wheel to refer to and an outline of the steps for making our candles which was very useful.
We were then given mystery bottles of fragrances to see if we could guess what scents they contained. This was really fun and a great ice breaker. For us, it was an interactive and easy activity to get us all talking, and I can imagine it gets quite competitive in bigger groups of friends! It was a gently informative way of familiarising ourselves with the scents and tuning into what emotions and feelings they sparked, one by one.
It was then time to start making our own candles. We could choose between making one large three-wick glass candle or two one-wick amber or tin candles. We discussed the various pros and cons of each vessel with Rachel (whilst recounting our various candle mishaps along the way!) and eventually all chose to make two amber candles. Rachel was so knowledgeable and passionate about the candles themselves and that really shone through during the entire workshop.
The next step was selecting our fragrances. With a range to choose from, we were given time to carefully select which we liked best from the pre-made candles that were on display, with Rachel advising us along the way. The selection varied hugely and had something for everyone – from the sweet notes of Gingerbread right through to the clean, crisp scent of Freshly Cut Grass. I chose to create an earthy toned one of Himayalan Cedar & Jasmine and a fresher Lime, Basil & Mandarin.
Rachel talked us through the entire process and explained everything simply and effectively to make it as easy as possible as we measured our candle fragrances out and stirred in the wax. Once they were complete, she then brought out the Prosecco and nibbles for us to enjoy as we waited for the candles to set. This worked so well and gave us a chance to learn more about candles, as well as pick up tips for their care. I certainly came away with some real gems that I think will transform the way I use candles around the house and hopefully make them last longer.
Overall, it was a fabulous evening and one I’d definitely recommend if you’re looking for something a little different or are a candle lover yourself. Rachel has created a wonderful, creative and relaxing space for anyone to come and learn more about the art of this fascinating process and the scents involved. I particularly think it would work well for a hen do, date night or gift for a friend as it felt like a really special and unique experience. Plus, you get to go home with a beautiful, handmade candle which is always a bonus!
The Outdoor Candle Company run morning and evening workshops, as well as private events. Please see their website for more details. Gift vouchers and home candle making kits are also available.