Founder Q&A: Inspiration Behind the Coven Collection
Curious about how the Coven Collection came to be? Bijou’s co-founders, Jocelyn and Alaina, uncover behind the scenes details on how Hermione, Sabrina and Willow were crafted to become your favorite fall scents.
Q: Is this Bijou’s first collection outside of the Starlet Collection?
J&A: Yes, this is our first collection following the release of our Starlets, which were inspired by actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood. The Coven Collection was something we had been working on since we started Bijou. We draw a lot of inspiration from all things witchy, and we would call ourselves and the people who love our candles the “Candle Coven,” so it really just fell into place from there.
Q: What was the inspiration behind the Coven Candles?
J: I grew up in Massachusetts and there is something inherently witchy about New England. We would go on school trips to Salem in the fall and that really stuck with me. After hearing me rave about Salem for so long, Alaina and I visited a few autumns ago, and we were hugely inspired by the fragrances of New England—fireplaces, autumn leaves, incense shops etc. It was something that came together very easily for us because we just fell in love with every aspect of our inspiration.
Q: Of all the pop culture witches, why did you choose Hermione, Sabrina and Willow?
J&A: We were tweens in the 90’s so Sabrina, Buffy and Harry Potter were HUGELY influential to us. Alaina is a Buffy fanatic (and has the tattoo to prove it!) and has always loved Willow. Willow was one of the first LGBTQ characters we saw growing up, so that was very important to us. Jocelyn is a Potterhead (Gryffindor, and wears a Deathly Hallows necklace on the regular) so Hermione was a natural choice. She's incredibly intelligent, does the right thing even if it's the hard thing and eventually becomes the Minister of Magic! Sabrina is another character that gives us all the 90’s feels. We both loved watching the show growing up and at the end of the day who doesn't love a talking cat named Salem?!
Q: How did you begin to create the fragrance profiles for each Coven Candle?
J&A: We usually start with a basic idea of a fragrance we'd like to develop. For this collection we wanted fragrances that were earthy, herbal and woodsy and when burned together would complement each other. Sabrina was inspired by classic incense and the smell that hits you when you walk into a witch store. Hermione was inspired by campfires and burning autumn leaves. Willow was inspired by Palo Santo, which we burn frequently and have fallen in love with for its beautiful fragrance and cleansing properties. Once we had these scent foundations, we spent a lot of time tweaking all of the scent notes for a perfectly balanced candle!
Q: The packaging is quite different from the Starlet Collection with the black glass and new font. How does the packaging reflect the ethos of the collection and how did you decide on the final look?
J&A: As New Yorkers, black is always something we gravitate towards. It also gives the Coven a very witchy vibe, especially with how the candle flame flickers against the black glass and gold rim. The font is reminiscent of Old English type and is very gothic. It might be a font you would see in an old spell book or grimoire.
Q: Would you recommend a specific Coven Candle for different personality types or zodiac signs or does it come down to personal preference?
J: Oh wow, I love this question! I would say it's personal preference at the end of the day, but I'd love to assign each candle a zodiac sign or element!
Hermione smells really earthy and her actual star sign is Virgo, an earth sign. Earth signs are practical, dependable and and grounded, which I think describes this clever witch to a T! I would say any of the earth signs—Capricorn, Virgo and Taurus—would love Hermione.
I don't know Willow's exact birthday but she seems like a water sign to me. Maybe she’s a Cancer since Buffy is a Capricorn and I imagine them as compatible signs. Cancer and Capricorn are the mother and father of the zodiac and are referred to as "sister signs." The Palo Santo fragrance is very fluid and soft and would be a great fit for any water sign—Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio.
Sabrina is a Libra which is the cardinal air sign. Libras are all about balance, equality and justice, which seems perfect for this fragrance. Sabrina is the most complex scent of the three and was definitely a balancing act to make all of the notes resonate perfectly. In general, air signs love to analyze, and with this candle, there are lots of complex notes to decipher, perfect for any Libra, Aquarius or Gemini!
I didn’t forget about the fire signs—Sagittarius, Leo and Aries—because I think fire signs LOVE candles most of all, so for those with that creative and zesty spirit, the The Coven Votive Set featuring all 3 scents would be a perfect fit!
Q: Will there be more witchy ladies to join the Coven Candles or are you focusing on other collections?
J&A: You never know, but right now we are developing some exciting new things for the future!