Words by Zach Lazzari
I went for a run the other day and stopped when the smell of warm, wet grass crashed into my nose, arrested my thoughts, and sent me time-traveling to high school football practice and the powdered Gatorade we mixed.
I’m sure you have your fair share of nostalgic scents; the kind that act like a flare on your memory, tracing through the events of your life only to spit you out at the exact moment you first or most strongly smelled, well, whatever it is you are smelling. I hope you experience the kind of rush I describe, and I hope even more that it will bring good memories with good scents. I think this is what Great Bear Wax Co. strives to embody.
Jake Carnley wanted to make candles, that much is obvious. But he also wanted to form memories, candle-lit dinners, gifts and soft glows to lift spirits when needed. I remember the Tobacco Bay candle as friends gathered, singing songs at a house in Auburn. When I light my Campfire candle, I think of many campfires I’ve had throughout my life: the dangerous, fickle fires of my childhood, the bonding fires of my college years, the warming fires of my travels.
Each time I strike a match and extend the flame to the wick, it ignites a neurological mass of feelings and images. I remember sitting in Jake’s backyard around a fire and discussing a wild idea to make candles. Most importantly, I remember the people who shared those times with me. I remember details long forgotten because scents bind so strongly to life events that would otherwise seem mundane: the smell of a friend’s home, or the fragrance of a street or classroom from your childhood, lying dormant for many years in the cobwebbed corners of your mind. Candles shine their light on these, brush them off and make them vital again.
here are all of these personal and visceral reactions we have when scents connect to our innermost being, but there are also the more universal scents: the pumpkins and spices of fall, the evergreens and cinnamon of winter, the crisp floral reminder that spring returns each year. Great Bear Wax Co. offers its memory-shaping candles to each of us. It captures moments for us that we may not remember without them, allowing us to return in our minds to earlier days when the wicks were longer.