Nouvelle Candles: Lighting the Way to a National Presence

On any given day, alluring aromas drift through the air on Commerce Street as Nouvelle Candle Company blends, pours and packages its beloved candles.

You may catch a whiff akin to rich coconut and bergamot, or smell delicate florals, like paperwhites and lavender. There’s no sign marking the business, but behind the doors of the old Wilcox Grocery Store, a meticulous, boutique manufacturing process is underway. The Nouvelle Candle team is hard at work creating its signature line of high-end candles.

The Nouvelle Candle team at their Commerce Street manufacturing warehouse.

Founded in 2001 in Scott, Louisiana, Nouvelle Candle Company quickly captured the state market and soon, other parts of the country. Tom and Denise Scarborough bought the company in 2010 and moved production to St. Francisville, where Denise has lived since 1979. The couple worked with Bank of St. Francisville to buy and renovate the facility.  

Candle manufacturing is a competitive field, Tom says, but Nouvelle has excelled for nearly twenty years thanks to its enduring commitment to developing custom blends that surpass consumers’ expectations.

“We are a fragrance-central candle company,” Tom says. “A lot of companies focus on packaging, but the real question is, ‘how does the candle smell, and can you actually smell it?’ Our candles ‘throw’ the fragrance well because we use a generous amount of essential oil in the manufacturing process.”  

Nouvelle Candles also stands out for its retailer relationships. Rather than sell through Amazon or other online outlets, they work with other small businesses and brick-and-mortar retailers that specialize indistinctive interiors and gifts.

Two Nouvelle employees packing up a large order.

Though the company distributes nationwide, it’s still known for being a Southern candle maker, with a production line of about forty fragrances inspired by the region it calls home. The scent Crepe Myrtle, a nod to the lush, flowering trees of the Deep South, blends honeysuckle, light citrus and greenwood. The name is a bit tongue-in-cheek, Tom says, since real Crepe Myrtles don’t have much of a smell. “We think it smells how a Crepe Myrtle ought to smell,” Tom jokes. “It’s consistently our bestseller.”

Other popular fragrances include Eros, which fuses orange blossom, patchouli, bergamot and cypress, as well as Sea Salted Lemons, which combines notes of basil, orange and eucalyptus, and Jardin, with its Provencal combination of lavender, thyme and basil.

“It’s been a lot of hard work, growing the brand,” he says. “But we are so pleased with what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

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