written by: Dan M.
People who've followed along on our journey know how important makers are to Boston General Store.
When the shop first launched online, the idea was to create a small assortment of products from around the world featuring craftsmen who truly cared about their trade. Today, four years after opening the business, we still carry almost all of the items from that original collection, speaking to the significance these makers have had in the continued success of BGS.
One of the earliest maker partnerships we made during our first years was with P.F. Candle Co., a handmade candle and fragrance company. Started as Pommes Frittes (later shortened to P.F.), the brand's name is a play on the pronunciation of “Pumphrey”, as in Kristen Pumphrey the founder of P.F. Candle Co. Kristen now operates the business with her husband, Thomas Neuberger, in Los Angeles. They've been around since 2008, but Kristen has over fifteen years of candle-making experience and it shows in every single one of the well-crafted products they create.
Their work is done expertly and honestly, making all of their candles with soy wax (grown domestically), cotton core wicks and high-quality fragrance oils. If you've been to one of our shops and picked up one of their candles you've probably gotten a lecture about soy wax – even if you already knew everything there is to know about soy wax.
Warning: soy wax candle lecture ahead.
A lot of the candles you see on the market today are commonly made with paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is a by-product of the petroleum making industry and has been used to make candles for over a hundred years. The problem with paraffin wax is that it doesn't burn very clean which shouldn't be surprising considering its source material. If you've ever burned a paraffin candle near a wall you might recall seeing a black, sooty stain left behind. This soot being released by paraffin candles, along with some types of incense, is considered to be a type of harmful indoor-air pollutant, per a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2001.
Soy wax burns much cleaner and is made from the oil derived from soy beans, of which 90% of the world's supply is grown here in the United States. A soy candle also burns slower than its paraffin counterpart, meaning you're getting more for your dollar with a soy wax product.
The list of benefits from using P.F. candles versus paraffin goes on and on; their cotton-core wicks being yet another. A lot of candles today still use wicks made with lead, which as everyone knows contains many harmful chemicals. Cotton-core candle wicks remove the existence of those harmful toxins released into the air made by lead-based wicks.
All of this points to the dedication that P.F. Candle Co. puts into being an independent maker. They are providing sustainable, eco-friendly products that are made well and meant to last longer. Which is why when P.F. contacted us to tell us about their upcoming incense line, we couldn't have been any more excited.
Getting into the incense market is a natural progression for P.F. as they've shown their skill in crafting all types of fragrance products. They took that skill and created a line of incense sticks that matches the quality and sustainability of their other goods, such as candles and reed diffusers.
If you're a incense devotee you're going to love P.F.'s incense sticks. If you're not someone who's used a lot of incense in the past but adores P.F.'s fragrances like us, then you might find yourself becoming an incense groupie in short time.
Their incense is made from charcoal with the company's special fragrance blends and are hand dipped, packaged and shipped by their team in small batches each week. The incense is available in seven of their most popular scents, which you may already be familiar with from their other collections.
There's the three leading scents of Teakwood & Tobacco, Amber & Moss, and Golden Coast, plus other favorites like Patchouli Sweetgrass, Nightshade, Copal and a unique new aroma of Black Fig that you should seriously think about giving a sniff test to the next time you stop by our shops.
Lighting one of their incense sticks will help to cleanse negativity away and enhance your mood by filling your space with delicate aromas. They'll change your perspective on a bad day and are perfect for anywhere in the house, from living rooms to bathrooms and can even work well in a hectic workplace. Each pack of incense comes with fifteen sticks, so you can expect to get about fifteen hours of burning time total. But their dynamic scents will keep your area fragrant for double that time.
P.F. Candle Co. is eager to prove that they are more than just candles. According to their own words, their mission is to “activate the senses...”, a fitting motto for a company that has committed themselves to transforming the atmosphere of rooms everywhere with their fragrances.
We are really happy to carry yet another P.F. Candle Co. product here at Boston General Store and to continue a strong friendship with this committed maker.
Give their incense sticks a try because we know you'll love them as much as we do. And if you're in need of a holder for your new incense obsession, check out the beautiful ceramic wares from Gopi Shah.
- The Boston General Store Team
If you're interested in trying out P.F. Candle Co.'s new incense, stop by our shops in Brookline and Dedham or buy here online.
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Spring isn’t only a season of growth, it’s also a season of anticipation. It’s almost like a buffer zone between the long, dark, hostile winter and the bright, shining weather of the summer – at least that’s the story here in New England. The flowers start to bloom, birds are chirping, and thank goodness for clocks moving forward because this is about the time we start to beg for more sunshine.
So, with nature slowly getting us ready for all those lazy beach days and trips to the Cape, it’s time to start thinking about one thing and one thing only...the annual ritual of spring cleaning.
There comes a moment when keeping good news to yourself is impossible. And because we're ready to burst at the seams, literally and figuratively, we'll cut to the chase.
Boston General Store is growing.
Yes, this is our official announcement that we'll be opening a second permanent home in Dedham next month, made possible after a first-year success that wouldn't have happened without help from a lot of people.
There are lots of things that set the tone for the holiday season each year; warming spices, colorful landscapes, cheerful music. But something about stocking stuffers excites us during this time more than anything else. Small, wrapped, thoughtful surprises. What's not to love?
If you're scrambling to find presents for your friends and family, here's a guide to a few of our favorite pint-sized presents in the shop this year: