While there is no shortage of home fragrance brands that claim to be all-natural, few can claim quite the same depth of knowledge as Sun.day, a new venture that began life just a year or so ago in East London.
Artist Natasha Garbawi began by selling gorgeously scented candles, packaged somewhat incongruously in old cider bottles, which she had picked up on the streets of Hackney. Her first outlets were local markets, such as Hackney Vegan Market and the Rosewood Hotel Slow Market in Holborn. And she quickly gained fans for her scent blends, which have been given intriguingly urban names such as ‘Midnight (Somewhere)’ and ‘Rooftop Garden’.
All are made using pure aromatherapy-grade botanical essential oils (which aren’t cheap), such as bergamot, basil, thyme, pine needle and lavender. These are carefully blended by hand with pure coconut wax and GMO-free plant waxes, and finished with a pure cotton wick. They’re now packaged in apothecary-style brown glass jars, although she still makes the cider bottle candles to order.
The resulting products are, she says, “mindfully crafted to invite a sense of harmony, stillness and beauty into your space, and harness the essence of nature that can often get lost with a busy city lifestyle.
“I’ve experimented with making botanical skincare products since I was a child. I learnt from my family in Macedonia, especially my grandfather, who was renowned in the town for his knowledge of the properties of wild herbs, and how they could be used to create botanical remedies. He would make a tea from Sideritis to alleviate colds, pain, congestion and anxiety. And a miracle balm for burns and cuts from an ancient red root.
“In Hellenistic astrology, Sunday is the day of the sun, which is a source of life, giving warmth and illumination. I thought it would be a good name for our candles, as they are all natural, and rely so much on the earth.”
For candle-haters, Natasha’s blends are available as reed diffusers. She has also recently introduced a range of spray mists, including a cheeky citrus-based blend for deodorising and freshening the loo. Products are available online, and at independent retailers across the UK. East London retailers include: Botany E5 in Chatsworth Road, Search and Rescue in Stoke Newington and Islington, and Sublime in Hackney and Clerkenwell.