Brant Anderson of Olphactory Candles Elizabeth Lavin

Home Accessories

A Detective Sniffs Out the Perfect Candles

Foul smells on the job led Brant Anderson to create his own candle company.

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.

Just Be by Siedah

Owner Taja Siedah Guerin started out with body butters, but she soon incorporated candles into her brand. She kept the body in mind by creating her candles with coconut, beeswax, and essential oils, which can double as massage oil once burned. Our favorite scents include Free, with notes of lavender, clary sage, and patchouli; and Strong, with absolute rose, palo santo, vanilla, vetiver, and geranium. $15 for 4 ounces.

Gluttony Candles

Created by former Pirch Dallas chef Bryce Murphree, Gluttony Candles are made of 100 percent soy wax and use cleaner Eco Series wicks. Initially designed to help mask the smells of his large German hounds, the candles come in more than 18 food-related scents, including wild arugula, roasted pumpkin, and applewood-smoked bacon. Each cleverly comes in a soup can that’s been hand-dipped in wax. $23 for 14 ounces.

M.A.D Candle Co.

Whether you want a single candle, candles at wholesale, or you’re looking to participate in a candlemaking workshop, M.A.D Candle Co. is your one-stop shop. The Design District business specializes in recycled wine, liquor, and beer bottle candles, which make for creative gifts and party decorations. Those looking for something more custom have the option of bringing in their own bottles and jars. $18 and up.

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