The Scent Life Candle Bar opened last October. Located on the corner of West Gambier Street and Main Street in downtown Mount Vernon, the shop offers customers the ability to infuse candles and other products with a custom scent; it is the place to go whether you’re seeking a fun experience off the Hill or simply need an antidote to dorm room odor.
“We want to provide a fun and unique experience in a friendly atmosphere where each and every customer feels welcomed, respected and supported,” co-owner Angie Merckling said.
Having always wanted to start a business, Angie and her husband Jason Merckling partnered with The Candle Lab — a similar store in Columbus — last year to found The Scent Life in Mount Vernon. Aside from just selling candles, the Mercklings employ “scent guides,” who can assist in fragrance selection.
Upon entering the building, the store’s interactive element is clearly present as a wall with shelves that store nearly a hundred different candles of various scents. This shelf is central to the experience the shop offers, allowing customers the option to buy a candle off of it, or to utilize it in creating a custom blend of aromas.
The fragrance selection and creation process is a three-part experience. As if perusing a bookstore, customers begin by exploring the candles on the shelf and writing down their favorite scents on a clipboard. Customers may take their time with this process as they encounter many new scents, for the shop’s inventory is extensive with conventional as well as uncommon aromas. Among the atypical scents available are those found in nature, such as awapuhi (a type of wild ginger root), patchouli (an herb related to mint) and yuzu (a citrus fruit found in East Asia). Also fascinating are scents as specific as the ubiquitous “old books smell,” the curiosity-piquing “straight razor” and the also-shaving-related “mug and brush.”
In the second step, customers choose what vessel their fragrance will occupy. In addition to candles, the store offers fragrance oils, hand sanitizers, multi-purpose spray and wax tarts.
In the final step, the customer decides on the scents they want to blend together. This is where scent guides are available to aid customers in pairing scents. Customers also choose the ratio of the scents in the blend. The unique smell concoction is then infused into the customer’s chosen product. By the end of the experience, the goal is for customers to have enjoyed themselves and created something personalized.