Sassenach Scents

by Maggie Rose in Rannoch, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 10th June 2020 we successfully raised £2,029 with 24 supporters in 41 days


by Maggie Rose in Rannoch, Scotland, United Kingdom

New stretch target

My stretch target of £2,500 to raise will help me with/to:

  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Invest in additional packaging materials


Having always had a creative streak in me, I've been crafting handmade candles for years. After an unexpected and heartbreaking redundancy immediately following Brexit, a friend mentioned I should try selling my candles. Being here in the Highlands, I found that the amazing flora that grows wildly throughout its breathtaking woodlands and landscape afforded me an opportunity to create unique, plant-based, naturally scented candles, that are not only safer for the environment and all of us individually, but are affordable and beautiful as well. 

My passion and love for creating things ties in with my passion and love for the environment - nurturing it, protecting it, respecting it - and after much contemplation, I decided to start my candle business in February 2020. 

Sassenach Scents© captures the essence and magic of the Scottish Highlands - its untamed outdoors, the love of nature and wildlife - creating delicate, non-overpowering scents that captivate the senses.


Each candle is lovingly hand-poured using 100% vegan, ethical, cruelty-free, renewable, sustainable, natural soy wax; fitted with Eco-friendly wicks, infused with pure, natural fragrances found in the Scottish Highlands; then carefully poured into unique recycled/recyclable glass containers. 

The candle scents capture the changing seasons. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter - each season will bring an array of delightful and tantalising fragrances for the senses.

Customers will have the ability to keep and reuse/recycle their glass containers for themselves - storing a host of goodies inside after their candles have burned - or will have the option to send back the glass container(s) to be used towards their next candle purchase - thus reducing waste. All glass containers sent back will provide a 10% discount towards their next candle purchase.

Creating and packaging is a zero-waste, plastic-free, fully sustainable, ethical and planet conscious process. This includes using recycled/recyclable materials for shipping; unique and unusual glass containers; whilst sourcing natural, environmentally friendly and biodegradable products/materials from local farmers and businesses here in Scotland - thus helping other small businesses survive here in Highland Perthshire.

No palm wax, beeswax, pesticides or herbicides. 

No chemicals. No additives. No toxins.                                       

Zero-Plastic. Zero-Waste. 

Zero impact on the environment and on you - which means a healthier planet and a healthier you.


Why are natural soy candles better for you and the environment?

Natural soy wax is 100% GM (GMO) free. No pesticides or herbicides are used at any stage in its cultivation. Soya beans are, of course, a renewable source and the wax is naturally bio-degradable, making it an Eco-friendly, sustainable product.

Soy wax burns cleaner than paraffin wax. It has no petrol-carbon soot unlike paraffin wax, which can blacken walls, cause respiratory problems, as well as release toxic carcinogens into the air.

There are absolutely no colourants or dyes; nor any chemicals or artificial additives in any of my individually handmade, naturally scented candles.

The natural soy wax I use has the following benefits:

It's 100% vegetable (plant-based), made from pure soybean oil

It burns longer and cleaner than paraffin wax without soot build up

It's natural, biodegradable and free from pesticides and herbicides

It's produced without genetically modified material

It's easy to clean up with soap and hot water, eliminating the need for solvents

It's not subject to animal testing

It's a renewable, sustainable resource


Paraffin wax was discovered in the mid-1800s, and since then, it’s been a major cornerstone of the candle making industry.

Many candles that you find today on the market are made of paraffin wax. Unfortunately, it’s not the safest compound to be inhaling as it burns, nor is it safe for the environment.

Paraffin is derived from petroleum and made up of straight-chain hydrocarbons, which combusts to produce a dark soot that permeates the air we breathe, whilst getting into linens, staining walls and leads to respiratory problems.

Candles made of paraffin wax also contain hidden dangers in the form of additives or chemicals added to the wax in order to make the resulting candles look, smell, and burn better. These additives are derived from a petroleum called microcrystalline, which helps improve the texture of the wax, as well as polyethylene produced from natural gas that creates that glossy finish you see on paraffin wax candles.

The environmental and health dangers of paraffin wax candles include:

  • Daily use of paraffin candles over the years may contribute to the development of health problems in adults. In one study, researchers at South Carolina State University found that long-term exposure to certain types of candles can lead to poor air quality and pose health problems to a home’s inhabitants.
  • Paraffin candles release unhealthy chemicals such as alkanes, alkenes, and toluene, all of which are toxic to humans and the air we breathe. Inhaling these compounds over a long period of time can increase the risk of developing chronic conditions such as common allergies, asthma, bronchitis and even certain types of cancer.
  • Paraffin candles can emit trace amounts of chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. As acetaldehyde enters your blood, it damages your membranes and can possibly cause scar tissue. It also results in a faster heartbeat, a bad headache or an upset stomach (similar to a hangover). 
  • Paraffin candles also contain trace amounts of acetone, benzene, toluene and naphthalene - all of which are toxic when inhaled.
  • Many paraffin candles have potentially toxic metal wicks and are scented with synthetic fragrances. Stabilsers are often added to the paraffin wax to control the way the candle burns and create a strong scent throw.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, paraffin wax candles are also the leading cause of indoor air pollution.

A 2009 study confirmed that even unscented, non-pigmented paraffin candles using no dyes still released pollutants into the air. 

And while paraffin candles are popular in homes, restaurants, hotels, and more, they pose hidden dangers to our health and the environment with long-term exposure. 

These types of candles do more harm than good and should be avoided.


A bit more about me, as I'm told I have quite an amazing story to share and that I should share it! 

How do I convey that I'm an Italian-American, originally from the states, but feel totally and completely at home in Scotland?  After coming to Scotland in 2008 for the first time and exploring its magical and stunning landscapes for over a month, I fell madly in love with this enchanted land.  I vowed on that return flight to the U.S. that I would move to Scotland and live here the rest of my life. As a strong-willed and determined woman, once I put my mind to something, I don't stop until I finish what I've started. It took me nearly 10 years of planning, the selling of my home and all my belongings, blood, sweat and tears, but in 2018 I made the life-changing leap!

As a 'Sassenach' on a solo adventure with my three cats, we made our way to the Scottish Highlands.  It was a long and tiring journey, but so rewarding to bring my dream to fruition.  

This particular area - Rannoch - grabbed my heart and resonated with my soul when I first visited in 2008.  There's something so very special about this area - so much beauty, tranquility and history here - it stirs something deep inside you. As you drive past Queen's View and make your way towards Rannoch, you feel as though time transcends and you're entering another world. To now to be a part of this amazing country, to be living my dream here, is an incredible gift that I cherish.

Being surrounded by nature, wildlife, clean, fresh air and scenery that takes your breath away, I am extremely grateful that I get to live, work and create in this magical place and call it my home! 

(Ironically, after moving here in 2018, I learned the famous 'Craigh na Dun' scene in the popular TV series 'Outlander'  (and other scenes) had been filmed right here in Rannoch.)


Your donations will assist me in procuring the proper professional equipment, designing labeling/logo and also support marketing and advertising costs. 

Start-up businesses (depending on the type of business) typically cost around £2,000 to launch successfully. My first target I'm striving to raise will help me with:

  • Product design
  • Label / Logo design
  • Packaging materials
  • Obtain professional equipment (ie, candle wax melter, etc)

My stretch target of £2,500 to raise will help me with:

  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Invest in additional packaging materials


The global COVID-19 pandemic has created a very uncertain landscape for millions of small businesses in the UK and around the world, which is going to make it very challenging for us to survive. I honestly was unsure what to do given I had taken the leap in February of this year (pre-lockdown) to start my candle business, then the virus/lockdown hit.

I am mindful of the challenges that are ahead of me, but my strong-will and determination are driving me forward. Given the current crisis we are in, I want to reassure everyone that all necessary precautions are being taken to ensure that your health and safety are my utmost importance during the candle making process, packaging and shipping.

This is an ALL OR NOTHING Crowdfunder, so pledges are only paid across to the project if the target is achieved, so every penny counts.  If funds are low, but YOU love this idea, please spread the news about Sassenach Scents© so that I can bring this project to life and help bring a part of the Scottish Highlands into your homes. And thank you with all my heart!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

Sassenach Scents Natural Spring Scented Candle

Receive one large-size candle from the Spring Collection. (385ml - 50+ hours burn time).

£5 or more

Thank you!

A handwritten thank you from me to you, with a wee memento from Scotland!

£10 or more

Sassenach Scents Natural Spring Scented Candle

Receive one small-size candle from the Spring Collection. (100ml - 20 hours burn time).

£20 or more

Sassenach Scents Natural Spring Scented Candle

Receive one medium-size candle from the Spring Collection. (212ml - 40+ hours burn time).

£40 or more

The Complete Collection

Receive one small, medium and large-size candle from the Spring Collection! (100ml, 212ml and 385ml)

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