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Brief Published: 15 May 2020

Scented Candles Offer Escape to Normality in Lockdown

Earl of East

With social life on hold, consumers are turning to products to reminisce on fun experiences from the outside world. London fragrance studio Earl of East is enabling this through the memory-inducing power of scent, creating candles that evoke the nostalgia and comfort of everyday activities.

Candle sales are surging during the Covid-19 pandemic, with international online retailer Net-a-Porter reporting a 130% year-on-year increase in mid-March (Vogue, 2020), as brands capitalise on smell’s influence on mood and memory. Candles that transport us someplace else offer a tempting proposition to housebound consumers. 

Earl of East harnesses this power in its new collection of candles, titled Scents of Normality, developed with London branding agency Uncommon Creative Studio. The collection spans three unique fragrances, each inspired by the aromas of beloved places that consumers are unable to visit during lockdown: The Cinema, The Local (pub) and The Festival. Profits will go to Hospitality Action, a UK support group for hospitality workers.

The range has a humorous edge, with each candle featuring a tongue-in-cheek description of the good and bad scents experienced in that environment. For instance, The Cinema is summarised as “a heady fusion of salt popcorn, foam banana and glistening hot dog, enveloped in a fug of recirculated air”. In actuality, this translates to an enjoyable and balanced blend of brown sugar, maple, pecan, vanilla, orange and lemon.

As consumers feel upended under lockdown, products that celebrate the comfort of such experiences gain fresh appeal. “Whilst we can still dream about far-flung destinations, it’s actually the places closer to home that we miss the most,” Earl of East’s co-founder Niko Dafkos said.

For more on the commercial opportunity of home fragrance and the use of scent to conjure memories of place, see The Scented Home.