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A Detective Sniffs Out the Perfect Candles

Foul smells on the job led Brant Anderson to create his own candle company.
By Dalila Thomas |
Brent Anderson Ophactory Candles
Elizabeth Lavin

When Brant Anderson started his candle company, it was part passion project, part necessity. Over his last decade as a law enforcement professional in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, he routinely came into contact with people and places that left a not-so-sweet impression on his senses.

“A lot of things get stuck in your clothes and in turn get stuck in your brain,” he says. “You’re affected by smell, and sometimes it’s a memory you want to forget.” So Anderson, who had long been a cologne collector and jazz lover, started Olphactory Candles. His designs, which he pours and wicks by hand using coconut cream wax, serve as an ode to his favorite music genre.

“When you think of jazz music,” he says, “you think of low light and a level of sophistication.” Scents have names like Cole’s Trane and Scratched Vinyl. Heritage, his signature scent, has a strong, masculine smell. “The notes of honey, cedar wood, and musk remind me of my East Texas and Louisiana roots. It reminds me of hard work.”

You can also expect unique combinations like the cactus stems, soft musk, and white flowers found in a scent called Noir Vanguard. Just don’t expect seasonal options. “I don’t want to fall into that lane,” Anderson says. “Life isn’t seasonal. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want.” $32 for 14 ounces.

Come to Light
Three more candlemakers find their inspiration in unusual places.