After months of designing and developing their premier line of VIGYL candles, the founders sit down to talk ethos, vision, and everything you can expect from this new experimental home fragrance brand.
Tell us about the creation of VIGYL? Why start with a Candle line?
First and foremost we are candle lovers. We have always been intrigued by the dynamic and vast landscape of the home fragrance market, which we think is one of the most creative and inspiring categories to shop as a consumer. From the scents to the vessels and packaging, the attention to detail and storytelling that brands and designers are producing can be a sensory overload—but in the best way.
We felt we had something provocative to contribute to this sea of creativity.
How did you land on the word VIGYL?
Our name VIGYL references the communal ritual of observance, to evoke a sense of being present, reflective and intelligently aware. It also speaks to our conscious effort to acknowledge and collaborate with our community.
What was the inspiration behind VIGYL as a brand?
A mutual fixation on experimentation, purpose and the inherent meaning placed on simple objects lead us to reconsider the sexualization and categorization of the candle industry. The cultural influences affecting one’s interpretation of the candle purveyor. The question, can candles be integrated into contemporary life beyond wellness and what is modern ritual? Who defines it?
We had a vision for a product that diverted from the notion that candles were strictly for women, and their purpose was for wellness. Wellness certainly has a role to play in candle candle culture but fragrance is so much more than a tool to calm down or reduce stress. Fragrances should be explored and experimented with, contemplated and even indulged in. Is this too ambitious? We don’t think so.
We’ll update you as the situation evolves.
How did your background influence the design and development of VIGYL?
Having developed candles for mass retailers in the past, our initial discussions centered around the gendered aesthetics and marketing influencing the current market. A product whose purpose has evolved from a source of light, to a symbol of celebration and today, of femininity, hospitality and commercial ‘wellness’. We wanted to create a product in contrast to current narratives, which focuses on craft and sensorial exploration, creativity and collaboration. Crafting a new candle narrative through visual and aromatic storytelling focused on universal pleasures and experimentation.
What is the inspiration behind the packaging design for VIGYL?
The packaging concept for our introductory line of candles reflects the modern simplicity of the vessel and product inside, enhanced by the emotion found in the selected artworks featured on the external box. We chose neoclassical artwork for this line due to its inherent timelessness and incomparable expression of human emotion. VIGYL is an ongoing experimentation and so we have designed the packaging to be dynamic for future collaborations and contributors by creating a system that maximizes creative exposure.
What inspired the glass vessel shape?
It was important to us to engage with recyclable materials with this brand so we designed a tinted glass vessel that can evolve through colour as we explore future collaborations. The shape itself is inspired by a modern take on traditional oil drums. We intentionally chose this industrial shape to contrast the gendered narrative of the candle landscape and it’s become somewhat of a symbolic form for the brand. Oil drums are also often given second life as vessels for contained fires, used to torch waste or provide heat outdoors, so there is a natural relation to the flame, community and changing landscapes. The finished candle blends seamlessly into any modern setting, adding a touch of minimalist class to any space, and allowing the fragrance to function without distraction.
How did you develop the VIGYL fragrances?
We’ve been collecting fragrance inspirations for years, both as developers and in our own brand aspirations. Our introductory line is the product of years worth of fragrance inspirations we had been collecting. Some of them are more literal, and some very aspirational. We viewed the fragrance development as we would any design project—pulling inspiration from different ingredients, locations, art and music. Our intention was for the scents to be abstract and progressive, referencing a story more than a singular recognizable note. We worked closely with our fragrance house and candle producer too perfect that story.
What’s in the VIGYL candles?
VIGYL candles are made with a premium soy blend wax, and are hand poured in a Montreal, Quebec Facility. It was important to us that the candles be produced here in Canada, to support local candlemakers and promote the quality of Canadian craft. We use a natural cotton wick, which has been designed to throw the optimum scent for an even, clean burning experience. All of our candles carry a 10% fragrance load which was a conscious, premium direction for the brand which is about unapologetic sensorial indulgence.
Why is collaboration important to the VIGYL brand?
Collaboration, community and storytelling all go hand in hand in our opinion. Our lives are an accumulation of fragmented memories, some communal and some singular, but all are best recollected through the sense of smell. The idea of collaborating with our community to add a rich layer of dimension to the stories being told feels innovative and exciting. Engaging with creatives, brands and organizations to produce something unexpected is also very rewarding as designers—it gives us an opportunity to learn and it gives the brand an opportunity to contribute.
What is success for VIGYL?
We’re confident in the quality of the product we have created—if we are able to also contribute to the conversations influencing candle culture, that would be what we consider a success as designers. If the brand is able to act as intended, as a vehicle for meaningful collaborations, that would be a success for the brand as well as our community. We’re hoping for both.
We hope you enjoyed this inside look at the design thinking process behind VIGYL.
Subscribe today and join our candle community for more news on collaboration, new product releases and all things VIGYL. Stay tuned and #StayVIGYL