The Queen Of Clean Candles And Accoutrements Melanie Apple BY SUZAN BRITTAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANA ADAMS
can’t think of a better or more American name than Melanie Apple to make delicious smelling French inspired scents and candles via her brainchild, Voyage et Cie born in 2005. But it was her need that created a desire to formulate these invigorating, solid vegetable based burning concoctions. Apple elaborates, “I have asthma, so I wanted to find a product that was natural that wouldn’t cause me to cough and have breathing issues… I wanted to find a really clean burning candle and I couldn’t find it, so I decided to create my own.” Wow… did she ever! Her quest to quash her hypersensitive reaction to dirty burning candles and toxic body products led her down a business path to inventor and Entrepreneur. Ah, the sweet, organic smell of success!
Apple’s lovely and modest personality match the, French inspired store, Voyage et Cie (Travel and Co.) in Studio City, California, which is like walking into a fresh field of wildflowers laced with sweet vanilla and lavender. Her tastefully blissed out décor and storefront instantly transports you to a cobblestone street in Paris. If you’re a fragrance freak, you will do just that – FREAK! You won’t know what or where to smell first. The store is filled with wearable and smell-able scents for your body, car and all the rooms in your home and especially for the bedroom and maybe a little sexy time. Speaking of… there’s even a natural fragrance you can spray on your sheets. While living and studying in Paris at the Parsons School of Design/Fashion Design, the Collège International de Cannes, University of Paris IV: Paris-Sorbonne, and ESMOD International (School of Fashion) ‘Ooo la-la, excusez-moi’ she; “…fell in love
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with fragrance stores all around Paris… I wanted to create a fragrance that was healthy from a vegetable wax… and smell less toxic.” Thus, Apple shared her French infused agenda bringing a little bit of her France to her California hometown. Four years ago, she opened the minimalist brick and mortar, Voyage et Cie, her dream store implementing her combined talents of fashion, design and business. All of her 100% handmade products are mixed either in her store [with her own two hands] or at her United States factory. This true blue patriot is determined to have all her products be either, organic, natural or vegetable (soy) based. All the scented perfumes are mixed with real flower oils without preservatives, chemicals or alcohol. Who knew – most pricey store bought perfume could be mixed with so many chemicals like diethyl phthalate, which has been linked to low sperm count and women having trouble conceiving. Well, that defeats one of perfume’s purposes all together. Day after day, we spray these toxic brews on our skin while inhaling them. Did you know paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum and is found in most candles on the market? So while you’re bubble soaking in your claw tub infused with organic oil water, being taken away by the smell of wild orchids and orange blossoms, you’re actually inhaling the toxic fumes of toluene and benzene being emitted. Not at all relaxing to think about – is it? Besides Voyage et Cie products being sold online (voyageetcie.com), these handcrafted originals are also found in very high end hotels, like The Peninsula in Beverly Hills, CA, in upscale spas, and at fine retail stores around the country. Apple also customizes in-store, your favorite fragrance for your choice sized candle ranging four to sixteen inches. All the shower and bath scrubs smell so yummy and natural, but it takes all your will power not to eat the brown sugar scrub out of the jar. So, if you want to fill up your senses or fill up your scent-ces… take a promenade into her store and get lost amongst the array of products, perfumes and paraphernalia. I promise the intoxicating trip to her little bit of France in California will be très magnifique.