A creative rain-or-shine activity that smells like heaven and is right around the corner from shops and brewpubs? Sign me up.
Walking into Garsnett Beacon Candle Company’s new fragrance studio in downtown Holland, some folks stop just inside the door for a deep breath. “Sniffing samples” of more than 75 fragrant oils are arrayed along one wall, and the traces of floral, woodland, and other aromas … What is that? I just can’t place it! … are intoxicating.
The shop carries Garsnett Beacon’s locally produced jarred candles and some lakeshore-made items of other kinds. But the main event is DIY: customers make candles themselves.
Browsing scent samples and deciding which two or three will create an evocative blend is step one. Then customers move to high-tops and, with staff delivering materials to the tables, use cocktail jiggers to mix fragrance oils. Then they stir their concoction into melted soy wax and pour it into a vessel they’ve selected.
And we’re not just talking pumpkin spice. “Barbershop” blended with “Saffron Cedarwood” smells almost like cologne. Mix champagne fragrance with blood orange and you’d swear there’s a mimosa in your hands. (While your candle cools and sets, you can head around the corner and indulge in one at your choice of Holland’s cocktail bars and restaurants.)
The process takes a pleasant, aromatic 30 to 45 minutes. Then the candles rest and cool at the back of the shop. Customers can pick them up after about 90 minutes, or up to two weeks later.
Reservations for groups of up to eight can be made online; bigger groups should call. Walk-ins are accommodated if staffing and space allow. Kids are welcome, but the proprietors request one adult per child age 10 or younger, to assist alongside.
Garsnett Beacon Candle Co. Fragrance Studio 210 S. River Ave., Holland (616) 287-3444 garsnettbeacon.com