Essence + Alchemy

Tell us a bit about Essence + Alchemy.

Essence + Alchemy is a beautiful collection of small-batch natural and eco-friendly botanical candles and home fragrances handmade in the botanical laboratory in Sheffield.  I’m Lesley founder and maker and my initials are rather fittingly LAB.  I grew up using natural essential oils as part of my daily life and so Essence + Alchemy was born out of my passion for experimenting with natural scent and using the alchemical processes of combination and transformation to create exceptionally natural scented products.

What's so special about your candles?

A very technical and scientific approach is applied to making Essence + Alchemy candles. Each one is formulated with beautiful blends of high-quality, natural and botanical ingredients, containing no artificial fragrances or dyes. They're made from rapeseed wax, which is a warm, soft and natural plant wax made from pressed rapeseed oil. Rape is a plant that has been grown in the UK for hundreds of years as animal feed and to protect and improve soils. The plant wax is clean, long-burning and is also vegan-friendly, toxin-free, sustainable, biodegradable and harmless to wildlife – a much greener alternative to mineral (petroleum) wax.

The scented candles are poured in bespoke British made handblown glasses with a wood wick and fragranced with my unique handmade blends of therapeutic grade essential oils.  On every lighting they will crackle and flicker, giving out a warm glow and delicate natural aroma.

Which scented candle would you take with you to a deserted island?

That’s tricky because each scent is very different, but if I had to choose one, it would be the Tranquility candle because it contains vetiver, known as the 'Oil of Tranquility’.  This is a very calming and grounding oil and it happens to be one of my favourites. The candles are very long burning, which would be an advantage if I was stranded on an island!

What's important to you?

Simplicity and transparency are very important and that’s why everything that goes into an Essence + Alchemy candle is on the label: plant wax + essential oils + natural wick, plus each scented candle has my 'LAB Notes' – the essential oils used to create the scent. 

Without nature and plant-life, Essence + Alchemy wouldn't be possible. Not only does it provide the raw materials that go into each product, but it’s the very essence and inspiration behind them, so it’s important that the raw materials and packaging I use are ethically and sustainably sourced through British manufacturers and suppliers. Packaging is minimal and made from 100% recycled card. Boxes and glassware are recyclable and more importantly, reusable.  

Anything else you want to tell us?

The Essence + Alchemy range now includes Botanical Atmosphere Mists, which have been carefully designed and hand blended with organic plant oils, floral waters and pure  essential oils to evoke beautiful and long-lasting natural fragrances in the home or workplace. 

Since starting Essence + Alchemy, the journey has been incredible and it’s exciting to hear how a candle has changed a person's mood – relaxed or energised them, transported them to a memory or simply filled their home or workplace with beautiful aromas.  

I'm always developing new candles and products and there are some new Essence + Alchemy products coming soon. I also love collaborating with other makers or organisations for limited editions or bespoke projects so if there’s something that you would like to chat about, please get in touch