Behind The Scenes with Rino Minami of Tokyn Candles & Co.
I've always been fascinated with how certain scents evoke detailed memories, transporting you back to a specific place and time. It becomes an even more intimate moment when these fleeting olfactory memories come flooding in while a warm glow and flicker of the candle illuminates your room...
Hi! My name is Rino and I am the candle-lista and creator of Tokyn Candles & Co. I launched Tokyn Candles in late 2015 in Brooklyn, NY to set out to create natural aromatic soy candles that would allow me to share the experiences I've had in various regions in Japan and the US through a collection of original scents.
I handle the whole process from start to finish from blending of essential oils, wicking, to pouring, and packaging. Creating unique fragrances requires a lot of experimentation and trial and error. I've always had a good nose (which, until recently I thought was an unfortunate trait living in NY) and I've spent countless hours testing out various combination of essential oils and fragrances for the perfect unique blend. I hand pour all my candles in small batches of six as I like to take my time with each candle to ensure that it looks just right. It's also the most therapeutic step in the overall process for me- there's nothing more soothing than pouring the melted golden wax and watching it slowly cure and turn a soft ivory.
For my Musubi Collection, I hand-tie and decorate each candle with gold & silver string. The art of knotting has a long history in Japan and has a special meaning with different knots attributed for different occasions. The particular knot around the candle is called a "awaji musubi" which symbolizes the unity and strong bond between people. This knot is often used for gifts or other celebratory moments to wish for continued success which ties in perfectly with my mission of spreading love and light! For my Botanical Collection, I hand-arrange real greenery and flowers to encase around the clear glassware. I always go to the flower district in NY and local flower shops in search of unique botanicals and natural flowers to add to my current collection. My process allows me to wear many different hats - part scientist, floral designer, artist, and candlemaker!
You can take a look at my whole collection on www.tokyncandles.com and follow @tokyncandles for updates on new items and pop-ups!