x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Luxury, ecological soy candles from La Vela

Lakshimi Sukumaran wanted a more natural, safe and long-lasting alternative to what she was finding on the market.

La Vela candles. Courtesy of La Vela
La Vela candles. Courtesy of La Vela

My interest in candles started as a curiosity. I wanted to find out more about what went inside them. Why were some better than others and how could I make it more natural? I have always loved walking into a beautifully fragranced environment or having the warm glow of a candle to set the ambience for entertaining or a relaxed night in, so I wanted luxury long-lasting candles that are also pure and safe to burn.

I started up the business two years ago, three years after moving here from Melbourne. I source all the ingredients myself and assemble them here in Dubai. The candles are crafted using natural, ecologically sound ingredients that include soy wax and 100 per cent natural cotton wicks.

Everyone's different when it comes to their favourite fragrances. Most vanilla-based fragrances are popular - vanilla sweet pea, vanilla musk and vanilla sandalwood. My favourites change depending on my mood and the occasion: orange blossom, lemon grass and green tea or a classic like French lavender.

It's satisfying to know that people appreciate the quality of the product and know the story behind the candle. The highlight of this business for me so far has been meeting some fantastic and inspiring people along the way and building relationships.

We also produce a range of personalised candles and work closely with the wedding and event planners Carousel with these. I'm now working on bespoke wedding favours and products for baby and bridal showers.

A great local business I recommend to people is Vintage Bloom, which sells fabulous floral arrangements. They also run workshops on how to create your own. My other favourite local businesses include O Concept, S*uce, O'de Rose, Ayesha Depala and the lovely Dinz sisters.

La Vela candles are available at O'de Rose, O Concept, Zen Yoga and Maison Sez. For all personalised candles and inquiries, email lakshmi@lavelacandles.com or visit the La Vela Candle page on Facebook.