Nantucket Island lies a mere 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, but locals and visitors alike agree it feels much farther away. In fact, it’s believed that the name “Nantucket” is taken from the native Wampanoag tribe’s word for “Faraway Island.” Nantucket Candle Company (NCC) seemed an appropriate name for my newest venture, indeed.
Having spent a large chunk of my life on the island—a secluded place that to me, felt light-years away, filled with magic and wonder—and wanting to protect the place that played a significant role in shaping me, I created Nantucket Candle Co.
I had always wanted to capture the Nantucket experience in a product, and I found that I would be able to do so by tapping into the connection between scent and memory. The initial three scents for Nantucket Candle Co.—Cisco, Sconset, and Polpis—are named for locations on the island, all of which have their own distinct vegetation and landscape. Cisco’s scent takes its inspiration from mixed wildflowers, salt-spray rose, bayberry foliage, blueberries, rose hip, and the scent of seaweed and the ocean.
Sconset smells of clean and simple daffodils, green grass, and rugosa roses, while Polpis has notes of sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum), grape blossoms, honeysuckle, sweet fern, and sassafras. With a range of fragrances mimicking natural elements found throughout Nantucket’s most precious places, NCC ensures that whether you’re near or far, the spirit of the island is always with you.
To safeguard that spirit for years to come, a portion of the proceeds from each candle are also donated to the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. That’s a little something I like to call giving bACK.
Nantucket Candle Company proves that history really does repeat itself. Since the island served as a whaling capital and hub for business in the 19th century, Nantucket’s most treasured commodities included whale oil and beeswax candles—considered akin to fine china of the day.
Wanting to pay homage to the island’s heritage, NCC has ushered this tradition into the 21st century in a more sustainable way. I’ve done this by using a blend of soy, coconut oil, and Nantucket beeswax. These candles represent the transition of Nantucket’s rich history from an island for commerce to the escapist hideaway we all know and love today: A pretty bright idea for a foggy little island.