Get to know a candle brand: Otis and Leaf

By this point, we all know that natural candles are the way to go. It’s gotten to the point that all-natural candles are everywhere and it’s hard to pick which brand is best for you.

When that happens, we can always look toward the stars. For a lot of candle fans, the first time anyone heard about Otis and Leaf natural candles was in an Us Weekly interview with singer-songwriter Olivia Holt, who keeps one tucked into her Bvlgari bag.

Based in Los Angeles, Otis and Leaf is conveniently near its star-studded clientele. The candle company founder, Leah, is a songwriter herself as well as a candle-lover. She said she started making her candles because she wanted to create candles to her own high standards.

“I think synthetic elements are always the quick fix, and easier to execute, but I’m a real purist and can’t live with myself knowing my product isn’t the utmost quality,” she told me in an email. “I care about the candles I personally buy and what chemicals I’m releasing in my house, so I imagine that other people would care about that too.”

Otis and Leaf began as a one-woman operation in spring 2018, when Leah woke up one day and decided to exercise her creative muscles in a different way from her usual songwriting. She made her first candles in her own kitchen, the same way we do it at Candle Fandom.

“I went to a local supply store and mixed some scents I thought would go well together. I went through loads of different scent combos and wax, did a candle making course, and YouTubed my head off. I found time on random days and came up with my staple scents,” she said.

Leah sent me three Otis and Leaf candles to try out in my home: Fig Bellini, Whiskey in the Pines, and Vanilla Irish Cream. My favorite was Fig Bellini, a sweet scent tempered with a bit of acid, blending into a sophisticated aroma with an Old Hollywood feel.

With a minimalist presentation, a canvas gift bag, and a label that includes a handwritten font and a dab of gold paint, Otis and Leaf candles are at once understated and elegant. They’re a natural take on a luxury candle, and it’s no wonder Leah counts celebrities among her customers.

“We ended up in Us Weekly because Olivia Holt loves the candles and she happened to have one in her handbag. That was pretty awesome!” Leah told me. “It just feels great to be able to stand behind a quality product and see that my customers notice the care that went into it.”

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