I'M SURE YOU ALL ARE NO STRANGER to the amazing candles that Kristen Pumphrey of Pommes Frites Candle Co.-- whom I've been privileged enough to know for a while-- puts out. I have my favorites like Campfire, Lavender, and Summer Breeze, but Kristen was kind enough to send me two new scents inspired by the Southern California road, which I'm always exploring, from San Diego to Palm Springs to Big Sur to San Francisco. She's put together all the best, most perfect summer scents into these two candles, Mojave and Golden Coast, with notes of lavender, sage, palo santo, and vetiver, among others. They're both perfect for burning at your outdoor barbecues to get that summery California feel.
Read on below to learn more about Kristen and her candles!
How did you get started? What made you pursue candle making?
I made candles for the first time as a hobby when I was about 12. I would make all sorts of fun colors and shapes and use different types of molds. When I graduated college, I worked at a craft magazine but ran a blog/made things on the side. My side project ended up turning into a full time job when I lost my position at the magazine because it folded. Candles seemed like a natural thing to include in my first business offerings, since I already had the skills and materials! We simplified to just making candles in 2013 when they started to really take off.
What's the story behind Pommes Frites' name?
My last name is Pumphrey, which kinda sounds like Pommes Frites when pronounced correctly. It was kind of a nickname back in the day - think Myspace circa 2007, haha! I guess that’s the problem of naming your business something you thought was cute at age 22 - it’s a little bit of a head scratcher.
How do you get the inspiration for your candles?
Our main line is largely inspired by travel and memories. Scent is so transportive-- I want our candles to offer up more than just smelling good. For example, our two newest scents are inspired by our many trips to the coast and to the desert. We wanted to capture the way those two places feel, not just smell. Golden Coast is fresh and breezy-- a friend of ours said it smells the way driving through a coastal redwood forest with the window down smells, and I agree! Mojave was harder to capture, because the thing about the desert is that’s where the earth is the most raw, so there aren’t as many plants and traditional scents to draw from. We wanted to capture the dry air and brushy chaparral/creosote, and rounded it out with a little bit of desert sage and white lavender.
What's your favorite scent in your collection?
Summer Breeze is a perennial favorite - it smells so floral and humid, I love it!
What are you listening to/reading this summer?
Right now I’m listening to a lot of 70s brit punk - a little bit angsty but still upbeat. I’m reading Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and have just started “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”, by Dee Brown.
What's next for PF Candle Co?
Right now, we’re working on releasing a few new products - reed diffusers and a larger size of our candles. We’re expanding into more home fragrance and also working on a NEW line for next year with a different vessel. That’s been super fun, because we are traveling and brainstorming so much to do inspiration for that line, as it’s very different.