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Making candles that recreate Bermuda’s magic

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Nina Froncioni in her garden (Photograph suppliedi)

A pluviophile is someone who loves the rain. Nina Froncioni used the word to explain the motivation behind her first scent.

She delved into candle-making a month ago after her mother, Adrienne Cotterill, gave her a book on the craft for Christmas and now she has five Bermuda-centric scents on sale at the Farmer’s Market in Botanical Gardens tomorrow — Dark Rum, Pink Sand, White Lily, Cedar Stack and Tank Rain.

“The one that gets commented on the most is tank rain because it has a nostalgic feel to it,” she said.

“I like the sound and smell of rain. I especially love the feeling of when it’s raining and you get a tension headache; it’s so good.”

The candles are made from essential oils and soy wax.

It took her a while to find oils she felt were a good match for Bermuda’s rain.

“I mixed [an oil] called rain, one called dirt and another called freshly cut grass, so you really get that earthy tone,” she said.

“For cedar, I tried to get that real Bermuda smell to it — smokiness, amber. Candles are such a nice ritual. I burn candles every night. I love bringing them out seasonally too.”

Mrs Froncioni makes the candles in small batches in her Devonshire kitchen. She makes 75 over the course of a weekend.

She uses “upcycled” Bermuda bottles, her designed labels are printed on recycled paper and the cork tops, stamped with the outline of Bermuda, are recycled. The wax is natural soy which burns 50 per cent longer.

The 31-year-old did a Keep Bermuda Beautiful cleanup in her neighbourhood and she was shocked by the amount of trash.

“We do them all the time at work, so I organised a neighbourhood cleanup as an act of goodwill,” said Mrs Froncioni, a graphic designer at KPMG.

“There was hidden trash everywhere. There are beer bottles in bushes.”

It proved to be her treasure. She then approached local bars to put theirs aside, bought a bottle cutter and got to work.

“I really liked the look of the amber bottles and the labels are easy to remove,” she said.

“Mostly Guinness, Sam Adams, Twisted Teas ... I started to think what I could do.”

There was “a lot of tinkering” as she worked to perfect the ratio of oil to soy.

Looking for a larger source, she toured the recycling plant and visits every fortnight.

“It’s fun going because you never know what you’re going to find. Last time, I found a bag of Guinness bottles,” she said.

A new line of smells is already in the works.

“It’s fun following the seasons,” she said. “There are a lot of exciting dates to work with — Valentine’s Day, Easter, the first day of spring, Cup Match. Bermuda has a lot of these.”

Mrs Froncioni regularly enlists the help of her mother and her husband Phillipe.

“There are candles everywhere. I have a new technique which takes a few seconds using a power drill and a blowtorch. I use safety glasses and gloves because my mom made me,” she laughed.

Follow her on Instagram: @limestoneandcedar

The five inaugural scents (Photograph by Nina Froncioni)
Pink sand burns in the plant-lover's home (Photograph by Nina Froncioni)