De Tendence

Knit One, Burn One: No.22

What’s our most favourite thing aside shoes, makeup and healthy snacks? Definitely, a nice scented candle. That’s why we were so thrilled to be able to speak with Sophie about her brand new business. What’s left to discover about something so simple yet so delightful? Let’s make it a new year’s resolution to keep on seeking new things even when we might be convinced we know enough…

Editorial life can be quite hectic and Elle UK’s Beauty Editor Sophie Beresiner knows it too well.
Still, she somehow managed to find the time to take her obsession for fragrances and make it a calming candle-producing hobby. It all started in her kitchen, but Sophie’s land of zen, scent and comfort – which ultimately caught her heart – is now a blossoming business. Her label No.22 and its gorgeously scented, cozily dressed candles are the latest novelty to try in terms of home decor.
Sophie spoke with De Choix, unveiling some of the secrets to her success.

No.22

Sophie – Why candles?
Candles have the magic of setting an atmosphere and I have always loved the calming effect of their ambient light, but never really found a design that I loved as much as the fragrance. When I realised they represented for me a ritual in setting any kind of scene – from lighting a candle for a dinner party to just inspiring myself to work, I just thought I could make them myself!

A key element of your design and of NO.22 Candles as a product is knit. What is the story behind it?
I’m not sure how it grew to be my ‘thing’, but it probably depends on the fact that I have always preferred winter dressing. I love being cosy and warm and there is nothing better than knitwear to represent that for me. I love the soft aesthetic – especially cable knit – in every design perspective. So when it came to designing my candle, it was the best choice to compliment the synergy and comfort of the act of lighting a candle.

Does the number twenty-two have a special meaning for you?
It’s always been a significant number in my life. I was born at 11 minutes to 11 on the 11th month on the 22nd day, and having looked into it a little 11 and 22 are ‘master numbers ‘of particular significance. As I said, my birthday is the 22nd, as is my husbands and even my cats!

Candles are considered – most of the time – as a sweet treat, just as beauty products are. Do you see any similarities between candles and beauty?
I absolutely do. As a Beauty Director, I happen to work with fragrances a lot and this got me increasingly interested in the complexity of scents and how it is connected to emotions. I love the thought of being able to tweak someone’s feelings with scented product that might evoke a memory or become associated with a particular time or place.

Your candle line is the combined result of your passions, among which interior design. What is your ideal aesthetic?
Simple, matte, neutral, comfortable, but with a little quirky twist. I like eclecticism and something a little unexpected. Not too many clean lines and sharp edges. I think comfort is more important than modernity.

What is your favourite scent?
For personal fragrance or a room scent? They are so so different. I love a clean laundry scent but I wouldn’t want to wear it personally. I adore unusual, leathery woody smells. Bookshelf is my favourite No.22 scent. I developed it myself in my kitchen, mixing various oils and really deconstructing what I think old books smell like. For me it is a little dusty, leathery with very subtly sweet pages.

Do you pick the scents for your candles yourself?
Absolutely. As a candle fan and consumer, I think about what I want from a candle first, then I think whether it would be viable commercially. For instance, Centrepiece is a classic floral, but with a twist. It has heady scent of plump roses, but crushed together with their leaves and stem for a green freshness.

Would you consider more important for your brand to provide a wide choice of scents and designs or rather stick with few iconic ones?
I love a considered edit. I will start with a small core line, then introduce some limited collections and collaborations, and see where we go from there. It is also why I wanted to launch in Liberty – everything is curated beautifully and so well thought out and I would hope the same goes for my brand.

Despite very young brand, you’ve already took part to few interesting projects, such as creating a limited edition candle for Soho Farmhouse.
I adore Soho Farmhouse as a location so I was delighted to collaborate on this project. It was very easy to imagine how the scent would work out, inspired by the giant firepits in the courtyard of the space, and the Soho House Group are so design-focused that I had an immediate idea of how I’d like to adapt the No.22 branding to incorporate their logo. I had visited the Farm Shop a few times before and could see exactly how the No.22 aesthetic would work in there. There are only 150 of these limited editions in production, each individually numbered as a collector’s item.No.22One of the most interesting elements of your candle line is the bespoke option, which allows your clients to create something truly unique. How does that work in terms of production?
This is a very exclusive service at the moment but has proved to be a hugely popular option. I got excited when I made the first one, because I hand make the finishing touches of all the bespoke orders.

How do you see your brand evolving in the future?
I have a few exciting ideas and accessories in production so watch this space.

What would be your biggest No. 22 goal?
I would love for the brand to remain a niche, but with mass appeal – keeping the line fairly small and the retail spaces fairly exclusive. I’d love people to buy into the brand because of the look and then repurchase because they love the scents and how they enhance their homes. I see it developing as a lifestyle brand, keeping the core aspects of its personality in focus.

Where do you see yourself in five-year time?
I adore being a Beauty Director and working for ELLE, it has always been my dream job and still will be doing it in 5 years. Juggling and developing No.22 – the candles will be produced in a beautiful stone barn candle lab in the Cotwolds somewhere – right next door to my holiday home. I need to sell a few more candles to make that dream happen!

No.22

 

All images courtesy of No.22.

Visit No.22 Official Website here.

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