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September 30, 2008

A Scent of Scandal rocks Hollywood with its candle collection.

Boldface Names

A Scent of Scandal rocks Hollywood with its candle collection.

By Melissa Meisel
Associate Editor

Are you an airhead? Gold digger? Teacher’s pet? Then perhaps you want to seek out A Scent of Scandal, a collection of soy candles sold in boutiques nationwide and Whole Foods markets in California. Founded in Los Angeles by brother and sister team Ari Solomon and Heather Brancaccio, the candles contrast a rustic metallic-packaged look with a playful association between the name and a fragrance. For example, Airhead smells of cotton candy, Gold Digger is carrot (“carat”) cake and Teacher’s Pet is classic apple.

According to company president Mr. Solomon, “We've been told they're clever and ‘gift-y.’” The brand also has a devout celebrity following, including Paris Hilton, Eva Longoria, Ashton Kutcher, Jeremy Piven, Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake, to name a few. Recent launches include Old School, a Granny Smith apple scent and Rough Patch, a creamy pumpkin pie fragrance with a hint of spice.

With so many fragrances and so little time, just how does A Scent of Scandal select its seasonal releases? Mr. Solomon notes, “After being in the business for a couple years, I noticed that certain types of scents do better at different times of the year. Florals are huge in the spring while warm, comforting scents do well in the fall. We try to find scents that correspond in this way.”

One growing niche for the company is its personalized candles—which go beyond the standard wedding shower or birthday party. According to Mr. Solomon, “Our best sellers are candles that we personalize for individual retailers. Boutique owners love the idea of personalizing their own ‘scandal’ and putting their logo on the product. It helps spread the word about their business and is a fun way to express their personality.” Recently, notorious Hollywood retailer Kitson markets A Scent of Scandal’s exclusive “A-Lister Papayarazzi” candle with a hint of papaya, and it’s said to be its bestselling luminary.

Besides bearing crafty names and out-of-the-box fragrance selections, A Scent of Scandal candles are eco-friendly. All products burn for 30-35 hours, feature 100% soy wax and metal-free, all-cotton wicks. The packaging is also recyclable.

A recent venture for the company is Candles For A Cause, a fundraising effort in which for the sale of two special-edition SKUs—Farm Sanctuary, a grass scent and Sea Shepherd and ocean fragrance—15% will go to either the Farm Sanctuary foundation or Sea Shepherd society.

“One of our greatest joys to be able to support like-minded organizations,” says Mr. Solomon.

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