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Manly scents

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Candle fragrances like dirt, bacon, and leather attract new customers

When most of us think of sweet smelling aromas, we imagine vanilla, apple pie or lilacs, but to some discerning noses there is nothing more pleasant than the scent of dirt, lawn clippings or even bacon. Just ask candle maker Jennifer Hickman of Andover, Massachusetts. She has noticed there's quite a market out there for 'manly' fragrances

"They're odd scents," Hickman said. "Bacon is our biggest seller online."

Hickman started Kittredge Candles in 2009 after being laid off from an HR firm in Boston and named her business after her grandparent's home on Orr's island in Maine.

"The house itself was owned by a Captain Kittredge who was a sea captain," she said.

However, Hickman, who thought 'Kittredge Candles' sounded better than 'Hickman Candles,' never realized her company's name would cause such confusion in the business world.

"The person who started Yankee candle is Michael Kittredge and he spells it the same way, so there's been some confusion," Hickman explained. "His [son's] new company is called Kringle Candles' (since Kittredge was taken).

From the very beginning, Hickman has always had a line of 'man scents' in her inventory.

"We have 180 fragrances all together. Bacon, beer, dirt, pizza, leather, wild cherry cough drops. They're not bad scents. Dirt is a nice smell," she said.

Besides candles, Hickman also makes lotions, soaps and lip balm in more typical fragrances like ocean mist, eucalyptus and cucumber melon.

"We take about two thirds of our fragrances when we go to a show," Hickman said. "It amazes me that bacon is so popular when we have all those pretty scents."

Last month, Hickman attended the Strawberry Festival in South Berwick where her unusual fragrances were a hit.

"They're a great novelty gift," she said.

Hickman plans to return to Maine this fall for the Summer Solstice craft show in Wells on Sept. 8 and 9. In the meantime, her products and unique scents can be found online at http://www.etsy.com/shop/kittredgecandles.

Last modified on Thursday, 26 July 2012 08:03

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