Thursday, 19 April 2018

TEAKWOOD & TOBACCO by Oak 84

You can’t have failed to notice that the fashion for candles shows no signs of fading anytime soon. That combination of the flickering flame with an enveloping scent has made them the lifestyle must-have, and no home seems complete without one. The latest company to enter the candle arena is Oak 84, but their name may still be unfamiliar to many of you. Hand produced in South Carolina, and originally exclusive to the local boutiques in the area, Oak 84 have now also gone online and their reputation is spreading fast. So, with this in mind, I thought it was time to test-drive their Teakwood & Tobacco.

Oak 84 is a company that was born out of a desire, and a need, for the founder to relocate to his childhood home. Ronnie Miller was originally born in Elloree, South Carolina, but left the area when he moved to Philadelphia. It was there that he was first bitten by the candle-making bug when he volunteered to create fifty candles to celebrate the opening of a local art gallery. His original scent was Blackcurrant & Nectarine and, whilst it was immediately successful, he put it aside to concentrate on a career that was about to take him to New York.

Whilst in New York Ronnie ended up working for two designer menswear brands but his idea of creating candles would always remain at the back of his mind. It was also at this time that he started to wonder whether he could create a luxury product but at an affordable price. In 2017 he returned to South Carolina, this time to Hartsville, and finally launched the company that would eventually become Oak 84. With the support of his fiancé, John Michael O’Neal, the business has continued to gain momentum in a challengingly overcrowded market.

One of the reasons for their success is the attention to detail that they have shown in the production of the candles. Oak 84 are 100% soy wax and are all hand poured by the guys themselves so that they can keep an eye on the quality. The fragrance oils that are used are a combination of naturals and synthetics and, whilst Ronnie doesn’t create these himself, he works very closely with his supplier so that even proprietary blends can be tweaked into something that is unique to Oak 84. One such scent is Teakwood & Tobacco.

John Michael had asked Ronnie to create a candle with a masculine edge to it and it instantly became a bestseller for them. I would describe Teakwood & Tobacco as the combination of a country house library, a glass of cognac on a waxed side table and an unlit cigar. Wonderful patchouli-laced leather notes are given immediate priority but a pepper and vetiver mix provides a beautiful earthiness. It’s this latter quality that keeps the amber and sandalwood at a perfect level and stops too much sweetness coming through, but it does allow the richness. The addition of cedarwood adds the finishing elegance to this perfect scent, which may explain why I’ve already placed my second order!

Teakwood & Tobacco is priced at $10 for 120g or $18 for 240g and their full collection can be viewed by visiting oak84candles.com

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