Vela Negra Candles is using Black to illuminate your spaces and consciousness
Buying Black, reducing stress, and lighting the way
Sometimes the relaxation and escape you need is just a spark away. Wholistic experts and physicians alike agree that burning candles calms the spirit, increases concentration, and enhances the ambiance.
“It is scientifically proven that scented candles can play an essential role in the physiological effects of mood, stress, working capacity, and overall mental health,” says cognitive behavioral therapist and clinical integrative psychotherapist Chryssa Chalkia.
Fortunately, one Black woman is bringing high-quality candles to the global marketplace that are “inspired by heritage and home.”
Vela Negra Candles is a sustainable brand that uses non-toxic materials for its vegan coconut soy wax candles. The Spanish name translates to “black candle” in English. Founder Aisha Cort says she chose to make all candles with black wax to dispel negative energies and to provide “new beginnings and clarity, as when the light of the vela appears.”
The sustainable company uses fragrances that come from phthalate-free, perfume-grade oils and uses ethically sourced wooden wicks. The brand even encourages customers to repurpose or recycle the containers once they’re ready to move on to their next luxurious scent.
Cort says she began making candles as a personal stress reducer, but soon found that others were interested in sharing in the luxurious experiences she’d been creating for herself. The Afro-Cuban and Guyanese entrepreneur uses influences from her heritage and travels to develop scents like Ashé (a blend of sage, cedarwood, blackwood, and other fragrances) and Coquí (made with fragrances reminiscent of the Puerto Rican holiday beverage commonly called coquito).
Further honoring Cort’s culture, the company’s Herencia Hispanic Heritage Month Artisan Collection features Vela Negra’s signature black wax in containers designed by Harlem native, Sammy Gee, who is also a Black woman. Each digitally designed print honors a Spanish-speaking Caribbean island, and each scent is crafted to transport you to the sands of Puerto Rico, the shores of the Dominican Republic, or the sweet-smelling cigar rolling rooms of Cuba.
If you shop Black often — and even if you don’t — you may have seen the iconic black wax sculpture candles molded in the shape of a female body all over your Instagram feed lately.
The limited-edition offering poured from the company’s Santa fragrance is meant to be a “celebration of women, beauty, divinity, and more.” Its scent is a combination of amber, sandalwood, and cardamom, though many customers never burn the six- and eight-inch-tall statuettes and prefer to use them as design accents instead.
Vela Negra candles can burn for up to 80 hours, depending on the size. Prices start at $20 and can be purchased online through the company’s website.
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