Local woman makes 'green' candles

February 19, 2010 3:31:58 PM PST
Candlelight and a bottle of wine may seem romantic to some people. But for one area woman, the combination invokes the idea of a 'green' business.

The first thing most people do before purchasing a candle is take deep whiff. You always want to know whether it smells good before you buy it. But soon, you might also want to know whether it is good - and green.

It took much trial and error before Gerri Alger got her formula just right.

"I started experimenting and months and months of finding the right wicks and wax, Nicolet took form," said Gerri Alger, owner, Nicolet Candle Company.

Alger started the company in 2007 after growing frustrated in her search for products that would burn cleaner and use recycled containers. She makes the luxe candles right in her Ukrainian Village kitchen using soy wax, cotton wicks and re-used glass.

"Soy is different because it is a vegetable oil. It is completely pure. There is much less soot that is emitted when it's burned. It doesn't leave all of the black marks on the wall that you'll see from a traditional candle," said Alger.

Alger uses essential oils and natural scents for fragrance. The candles are white because she uses no additional dyes. Color comes from the containers, which all had a prior use before coming to her. The green containers were once wine bottles.

"After the candle is burned, you clean out the container with warm soapy water and use it as a drinking glass," said Alger.

The candles range in size from 2.5 to 16 ounces and retail from $9 to $34. There are about 25 different scents.