Heather Martyn has been looking to her local area for inspiration for Nellie Mimosa’s scented candles

What does Bournemouth smell like to you? Is there a scent which says “Southbourne”? Or the perfect fragrance to capture the essence of Christchurch?

The answer, apparently, is yes, according to Heather Martyn, of Southbourne boutique gift shop Nellie Mimosa, who has created three new luxury candles inspired by the scents of the local area.

Heather, who has been running the store, formerly The Candle Box, in Southbourne Grove for the last three years, invited customers to test a range of scents during the recent National Fragrance Day.

More than 60 fragrances were tested and voted for, with those taking part deciding that Bournemouth smelled ofsea grass, Southbourne suited the aloe, straw and cucumber scent, and Christchurch was most like the pink fizz and grapefruit aroma.

The candles, believed to the the UK’s first regionally branded and scented, are named Essence of... Bournemouth; Christchurch and Southbourne and retail at £15.

They have now been produced and packaged in their own beautiful gift boxes featuring charming artwork created by Nellie Mimosa’s own brand executive Steven Conn.

“The Southbourne box shows the high street and the clifftop and the beach,” explains Heather. “In Christchurch we’ve got boats, the castle ruins and the Priory and Bournemouth shows the pier and a mash-up of iconic buildings in Bournemouth as well as the Red Arrows.

“The idea came from people saying they wanted to take back something from their holiday. We launched them at the Shake & Stir Vintage Festival on July 1 and they’ve been really well-received and selling well.”

Heather is hoping to increase the range with essences of Mudeford, the New Forest, Poole and Westbourne and also wants to introduce a collection of reed diffusers as well as some new, seasonal scents for Christmas.

As well as their unique fragrance, Heather is keen to promote the candles’ other great qualities.

“With a 60-hour burn time, these candles are made from 100 per cent plant wax, not petrolbased wax,” she explains. “There’s no paraffin and no lead, they’re just high quality perfume oils or essential oils, all natural, clean burning. People are now much more aware of clean burning and these are also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

“People do think about products which are ethically sourced now, and these are made in England, in the next county. “I want to try a few different things and see what else we can come up with. We are just trying to increase the Nellie brand now.”

Nellie Mimosa, 50 Southbourne Grove T: 01202 432020

W: www.nelliemimosa.co.uk