Ancienne Ambiance, a family-run business, produces scented candles, home fragrances, beauty products and jewellery that are inspired by ancient eras – Roman, Greek and Persian times. ‘Fragrances are amazing tools that evoke memories, let us step back in time and set off our imagination,’ says founder Adriana Carlucci and talks to Sublime about reproducing scents from ancient recordings, the sustainable and unique production process of the label’s candles, and an ‘ancient sensibility’ that is currently present.
Sublime: What is the inspiration behind Ancienne Ambiance?
Adriana Carlucci: We create luxury goods for the home and body that are inspired by antiquity such as the ancient times of the Roman, Egyptian, Greek, Assyrian, Persian and Phoenician civilisations.
S: Ancienne Ambiance is a family-run business. Can you tell us more about it?
A: We consider everyone in the team to be family, even if not actually related, but yes, several family members play a part in the business and almost every relative is recruited for product testing. (laughs)
S: What sets your candles apart from the rest?
A: We're the only brand with access to the ancient world as we do. I trained in product development and worked in beauty and fashion, but grew up with ancient artefacts around me. Meeting antiquity experts was the norm. Reproducing the scents from ancient recordings wasn't easy, but I worked with leading British and French perfumers to create our unique fragrances for the candles. It took a long time developing them, but our fragrances are quite special, exclusive to us and can't be found anywhere else.
Manufacture also sets us apart from others. Our candles are produced in the UK using traditional candle making techniques involving the time consuming process of placing a cotton wick into wax and hand-pouring into glasses. It is a true art, which really makes the difference between high quality candles and mass production by machine. Also, our candles are hand-finished – we spare no expense on using the finest quality natural ingredients and use a higher fragrance content than other premium candle brands. Our lead-free wicks ensure that our candles burn cleanly and evenly to the bottom of the glass. The correct wick is critical to making a candle that burns properly. Our slow-burning wax blend provides exceptionally long burn times too, so clients get the most out of our candles.
S: There is a distinct ‘ancient’ theme behind the business, tell us about how the candles embody this?
A: Ancienne Ambiance was first created nine years ago as the ancient-themed luxury goods brand of a world-renowned Ancient Art gallery – our family's business for generations. We felt an 'ancient sensibility' that goes beyond collecting artefacts most definitely grew after Hollywood movies such as 'Gladiator' and '300'. The return of goddess gowns on the red carpet also helped set the stage for a renewed interest in all things ancient. Ancienne Ambiance products specifically address that sensibility.
Things have evolved a lot since we first created the scented candles, but they embody the power of letting people step back in time with the use of fragrance. It's an amazing tool that evokes memories and sets off one's imagination. Each candle carries a description about the ancient associations of the scents used.
S: Has the business always been environmentally conscious?
A: Yes, we care about the environment and don't like to be wasteful. The practice of being environmentally conscious dates back to ancient times and there have been some amazing studies of recycling 13,000 years ago! At Ancienne Ambiance we recycle and reuse packaging materials and make sure all product packaging is recyclable or reusable. We also encourage clients to recycle by offering them a complimentary candle for every six used glasses they return to us. We also make sure we work with suppliers that source sustainably too and I believe it creates a better balance.
S: Ancienne Ambiance isn’t just about candles. Tell us about your range of jewellery and beauty products?
A: We offer several jewellery collections including a replica Grecian Goddess inspired range and we've collaborated with London-based jeweller Claire van Holthe to create a collection incorporating rare authentic ancient artefacts. Claire has a unique way of displaying stones and artefacts that shows off their natural beauty and we also stock her own signature collection pieces.
Our beauty product line has expanded in recent years and it’s been recognised in beauty awards, of which we are very proud. I have sought to produce natural beauty products that are multi-purpose and as long-lasting as possible. Many natural elements have several uses, which ancient civilisations understood and applied to both food and beauty.
S: What achievement are you most proud of?
A: We've managed to keep the brand exclusive whilst growing. Our client feedback suggests they don't want us to lose the 'special' factor of our products, which is lovely. Ancienne Ambiance has also been awarded the Blue Butterfly 'mark of positive living' by PositiveLuxury.com, recognising our organic ingredients, recyclable packaging, paraben-free products and sustainable practices as a brand.
S: What does the future hold for Ancienne Ambiance?
A: Plenty of development, it is always ongoing and we will be adding new products steadily for both home and beauty. Our upcoming reed diffusers launch with three exciting new home fragrances, which are divine. The project has taken time to perfect, we shared samples with some clients already and ended up with a waiting list following all the excitement, so hopefully they will be pleased when the final products arrive.
Ancienne Ambiance has recently launched their brand-new website, just in time for pre-Christmas indulging. A fresh design, new products and an updated range of e-commerce features enhance visitors’ shopping experience.
Make sure to visit it here!