It’s all go around here as we (the extended Camille Co. team and I) have been busy developing a new candle fragrance. As we are in the midst of this project, I thought it would be the perfect time to share what the process involves. The following steps aren't in chronological order, and while this messes with my rather strict organisational tendencies, it isn't actually a linear process.
Above image: Sneak-peek at our mood board depicting the personality traits for our new fragrance. This should give you a sense of the personality or mood of the aroma ;)
The first step in developing a candle is brainstorming and inspiration. So where do we start? With an idea. And where do we elaborate on our ideas? Pinterest! Yes, I know I go on about this, but it’s hard to not be obsessed with Pinterest when it comes to projects like this.
Above image: Fragrance concepts from our fragrance designer
After knowing what we want for the new candle, it's time to get in touch with our perfumer, a fragrance designer from France who makes his living in New Zealand. He is equal parts 'nose' (creative) and 'scientist' (chemistry).
The perfumes are designed to the 'nose' of the Camille Co. team. He has a record of which base notes, middle notes and top notes we love. (To find out which fragrances we are drawn to was an interesting process, but a long one, so another time.) Along with a mood board, we provide the perfumer with the name of the fragrance which he takes into account when starting the fragrance design process. Samples go back and forth (with feedback) until the team and I are 110% happy with the fragrance. As fragrance has the longest lead time (it travels by boat from France) - this has to be one of the first steps.
3. Design Process
Above image: Botanical drawing for our new candle fragrance soon to be launched
This is personally my favourite part of the whole process. As I am, after all, a graphic designer www.designbycheyney.com (cheeky plug).
I worked in the industry as a Packaging Designer before starting Camille Co. and I was always so shocked by the amount of over-packaging that goes on. It was wasteful and unnecessary. From boxes packed in boxes, packed in more boxes and stuffed with bubble wrap. So much of it came with all the bells and whistles - coatings, gold foil, embossing, debossing, you name it, and quite often the packaging would cost more to make than the product. That is why I wanted to create high-quality products which had well-designed packaging - carefully created so that they're sustainable, but also cost-effective, and beautiful. This is the ethos I make sure to keep top of mind when it comes to designing anything for Camille Co.
Once the fragrance is chosen for the product, it's time to design a botanical print, and following that, the packaging. This part is probably one of the easiest parts since the personality of the fragrance will influence the pattern designed for the packaging.
Above image: New jars for our new fragrance wait to be poured
We recently picked up hundreds of printed jars from our local printer and also made a trip to our local supplier to pick up candle wax for the next batch of candles. There is a lot of coordinating to do behind the scenes in preparation for the actual production process.
Above image: Soy flakes - A key ingredient
Once all ingredients are gathered, they are then delivered to the local candle-maker to hand-pour each candle. The crucial part comes next - coming up with an appropriate fragrance load and testing some samples (for quality control). When approved, the pouring process begins!
Once the packaging has been designed, it needs to get it printed, and it is best to have this ready in time to package before the candles are poured. Camille Co.’s printer uses soy ink to offset print the packaging, and then the printed boxes arrive (flat-packed). It’s then time for the team to step up, folding and packaging the candles by hand - this part takes a lot of care and precision.
Above image: Our boxes are tightly packed into custom cartons so no extra filling is needed
(Learn more about our manufacturing process here.)
5. Spreading the word
Perhaps the best part - the candles are now ready to hit the shelves and land into the hands of our lovely customers! To spread the word, it is important to put a lot of time into marketing. Photoshoots, attending markets, social media marketing, advertising, blog posts, newsletters, designing collateral, print advertising, collaboration… it could go on forever!
Attending markets can be tiring, but they're so worth it. Seeing people interact with our fragrances and fall in love with our products is beyond satisfying.
Above image: Cheyney with her uncle at the last General Collective market
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in the comments below.
Until next time,