Kintsugi-Inspired Collection: Candles Celebrating Resilience | The Story Behind the Candle
Raw, earthy vessels and nature-scented candles for inspired living
New Kintsugi Collection Launch
This winter in Brooklyn, L+L launched our new Kintsugi Collection, inspired by the Japanese art of repairing broken vessels and honoring the cracks as a symbol of resilience. Our scent-infused, cement vessels are raw, earthy, and filled with Japanese-inspired fragrance blends to evoke peace and tranquility.
Each vessel is hand-made, unique in color and artistic deterioration. Some cement vessels are created with non-toxic iron oxide pigment powders. And some cement vessels retain their original smell while other have been rubbed with fragrance oils to heighten the sensory experience.
This collection embraces the uniqueness that comes from using natural elements.
Kintsugi or "Joined with Gold"
With “kin” meaning golden and “tsugi” meaning joinery or repair. The art of kintsugi is the ancient act of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — a metaphor for embracing imperfections and celebrating life’s perceived failures. The kintsugi technique is an extension of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which sees beauty in the incomplete and values simplicity. Wabi-sabi and kintsugi encourages one to do more than just accept imperfections, but to draw attention to them and celebrate them…with golden repair.
Kintsugi teaches us that our broken places make us stronger and better than before. “It’s a realization that life is not a smooth, linear climb to the mountaintop of “success,” says Professor Omid Safi in an article published in On Being, "but often a messy, beautifully messy series of falling flat on one’s face, bouncing back, and falling slightly less awkwardly the next time. (And the next, and the next.)…There is a way to illuminate cracked cups, spaces, hearts.”
Kintsugi Collection Candle Scent Profiles
Our Kintsugi Collection contains two candle scent profiles that are specifically curated to invoke inspired living and meditation. Currently, we have the Tōjinbō (東尋坊) candle with scent notes of vetiver, elemi and the sea, and the Shinrin-Yoku (森林浴)candle with scent notes of hinoki, smoke and moss.
With the green earthy smell of vetiver mixed with the balsamic lemony spice of elemi and sea salt, the Tōjinbō (東尋坊) candle brings you to the edge of the rocky cliffs of Tōjinbō in Japan...the exuberance of salt brine wind in your face and the dark peaceful waters of the winter sea tumbling below, reminding you that nothing remains constant, everything must change, and rebirth is always possible.
And with the deep woodsy richness of hinoki cypress, smokey cedar wood, and loamy earthiness of moss blanketing the forest floor, the Shinrin-Yoku (森林浴) candle immerses you in the restorative greenery of nature. Calmness comes over you. The ground is solid beneath you. A wintry wind nudges the leaves from branches. Fading light filters through the trees. Deep exhale. This candle is the therapeutic antidote to life’s chaos.
Originating in Japan, shinrin-yoku, or "forest bathing," is the practice of spending time in nature and is one of the steps towards Ikigai (生き甲斐) or “living with purpose.” It calls on one to unplug and connect to nature to de-stress and reconnect with oneself and one’s community.
"Forest Bathing" in Brooklyn
In search of our own shinrin-yoku, we’ve found our favorite Japanese-inspired places to “forest-bathe” here is Brooklyn, NY: the Green-wood Cemetery Tranquility Garden in Greenwood Heights and the Japanese Hill and Pond at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
According to the Brooklyn Public library, The Japanese Hill and Pond at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, located at 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn NY 11225, was the first Japanese garden curated within a public botanic garden in America. It was designed by landscape artist Takeo Shiota and took two years to complete. It opened to the public in 1915 with its magnificent cherry blossoms, Japanese maples, snow goose and other traditional flora. This urban refuge also includes Japanese-inspired architecture, such as wooden bridges, meditation paths, stone lanterns, viewing pavilion, a Shinto shrine, and a dramatic vermilion-colored wooden torii. It’s an astonishingly peaceful place to spend an afternoon in solitude or with friends and family.
And Green-wood Cemetery’s Tranquility Garden, featuring nature’s elements of stone, wood, water and metal, is a great place to find a moment of stillness and reflection, watching the koi swim and the occasional great egret fish. Surrounded by urn niches, there is the deep reminder that our time here is brief, and our relationship to ourselves and each other is ever-pressing.
As Prof. Safi writes, “Let’s repair each other. Let’s seek what’s cracked in each other. Let’s heal our broken spaces. Let’s fill what’s broken with gold. May we emerge more beautiful, more whole, and luminous.”
About Our Process and Candles
All of our candles are small-batch produced and hand-poured with love in our Brooklyn kitchen with our two daughters by our side. They are made from a soy blend wax with a cotton, lead-free wick, and phthalate-free fragrance oils. And they are eco-friendly, non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free.
Our Kintsugi Collection is available in round vessels with corresponding 3oz metal tins, prefilled square vessels, or prefilled oval 2-wick and oval 3-wick vessels. Each vessel is unique and can be repurposed. They are sealed with non-flammable, non-toxic sealant. We do our best to waterproof, but natural decay and new cracks may occur over time. Please handle with care. We recommend these cement vessels be used to hold our pre-poured wax, corresponding tin candles, dried flowers, succulents, or small home goods. Re-purpose + Re-love.
From our L+L family to yours, may your year be filled with light and love, resilience, and many golden cracks.
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