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Meet Lucinda from Scents of Saudade

Lucinda from Scents of Saudade handmade soy candles

The famous saudade of the Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness.” – A. F. G. Bell, In Portugal of 1912 

We stock Lucinda's beautifully made candles. The fragrances are as unique as their names; Gramophone, Old Books and my favourite Rain on Hot Cement. I am such a fan that I keep the candle at my desk and inhale the aroma when I need a moment of quiet time. It may look weird, but honestly who can resist the fresh earthy aroma of a thunderstorm after a long dry spell ... not me!

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a Sydney girl born and bred, though I have had many different postcodes since the age of 16. Most recently a 5-year stint in London, where I met my Portuguese husband (hence the Portuguese name 'Saudade')

I also had our child in London. With no family or support network in the UK we had to choose between two beautiful islands, Australia or Madeira. We chose Australia but feel saudade for Madeira. I think anyone who has started a life abroad and then picked up sticks and started over can relate to this.

I haven't always made candles, in fact I have had many, many jobs (too many!) I could write about 4 different resumes, for 4 different careers! I just never found anything that really stuck until now. I've always had a compulsion to create, no matter what matter what line of work I have found myself in though.  And the wisdom of life experience has taught me that sometimes in life you need to create your own opportunities.

Where are you based?

I am based in Sydney, but pieces of my heart are scattered across London, buried in Madeira, floating around Melbourne, sprinkled throughout India. I know this may sound cheesy but it's true!

 

Lucinda from Scents of Saudade pouring handmade soy candles

How did it all begin?

Homesickness, deep and profound homesickness. I went to London on a working holiday visa, and when I married my husband transferred to a European residence visa. With no date of return to Australia, and hardly any money to my name, that is when I truly longed for my home. When I finally got to come back one Christmas, I remember thinking how bright and vivid the colours were when I landed in Australia. And the sound of the birds! I remember being jet lagged as anything sitting on my balcony at 3am just listening to the cacophony of Australian birds and just crying. I didn't realise how much I missed those unmistakable Aussie sounds.

Before I returned to London a relative gifted me a soap that was meant to smell like the beach in Australia. I hid it in my wardrobe when I got back home and would take it out and sniff it in the deep dark depths of London winters. It was then that I realised how wonderful scent is at comforting, recalling precious memories and uplifting a space. I started trying to capture scents that I associated with London and put them into bath bombs. At the time I knew nothing about scent blending and some of my creations were horrific! also I couldn’t make a bath bomb to save I was rubbish at making bath bombs. I kept testing, researching and studying scent though. I then bought a DIY candle kit, and the rest is history.

What influences your work?

A lot of it is based on memories and travels and of course saudade. I see my candles as like little time capsules of memories through scent.  I love when my candles help someone recall a fond memory.

Lucinda from Scents of Saudade handmade soy candles

What do you love about what you do?

Creative freedom! My ideas support my business rather than someone else’s. I love being able to connect with others through my products, I love helping people connect with one another also. I have a customer that purchases my outdoor themed scents to calm her autistic child during lockdown. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that a candle would have such a positive impact on another person’s life, so hearing feedback like that just trumps all of the other benefits of running a business.

I also think that creating something with your own hands as an artisan, is such a humble respectable trade. When someone makes something, they imprint themselves onto it, and you just do not get that from mass produced items from a factory. There's passion and intention in handmade products, and now that I myself am a creator it has really opened up my eyes to the heart and soul that goes into other handmade products.

 

Apple Pie and Ice-cream Mini Memories Candle - Scents of Saudade

What is the most difficult part of what you do?

It's difficult to put it down to just one thing, but probably building a business without having ever run a business has been a huge learning curve! There is just so much that I don't know, but I am getting there one step at a time.

How long does one of your pieces take to make?

The signature candles take at least a day as they are poured three times. The Mini memories probably half a day. Production of soy candles can often be affected by the weather too. Hot weather (they take much longer to set) Winter they set too fast so you need to manage both issues.

What Are Three Interesting Facts About You?

  1. I once went mute for a month to raise money for animal welfare. I'm quite a talkative person so it started as a dare, but ended up being one of the most enriching experiences of my life and I had a really lovely donation for WSPA at the end of it.
  2. I studied Advertising and copywriting and had produced radio advertising scripts that were aired, and a tagline for a range of cleaning products before I had even graduated from university (all unpaid!)
  3. I used to train staff to operate all of the rides at Luna Park - remember lots of jobs! :)

What Are You Most Grateful For?

My son and my husband. They are the reason I keep pushing myself.

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