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The APOTHEKE Candle You Need, Based on Your Mood

By Noah SilversteinSep 5 2023
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The power fragrance has to transport us to a specific memory is truly remarkable. It can catch you in an unexpected moment, your olfactory senses reawakening feelings you’d long tucked away or perhaps forgotten about. Want to crank those feelings up a notch? Go into a home fragrance store like APOTHEKE.

With its move to 620 5th Avenue, the Brooklyn-based brand brought its pared-down, lowkey vibe to the ethereal Channel Gardens, but not without “adding a little jazz and decadence to it,” says founder Chrissy Fichtl. It’s a bright and inviting space that sparks the same fervent feeling of community as its flagship location.

Fichtl launched APOTHEKE in 2011, having become a soap-making hobbyist who eventually found herself surrounded by her homemade creations. She took them to the Brooklyn Flea, where her soaps started gaining traction and eventually branched into candles based on customer feedback. One fortuitous day, a customer came by who, after hearing her story of starting the brand, offered Fichtl space in a concept store he was opening in Brooklyn. The customer turned out to be the then-CEO of West Elm.

From there, she continued slowly growing APOTHEKE, staying at the Brooklyn Flea and other markets for several years before setting up the brand’s direct-to-consumer website and first outpost in Red Hook. “There’s something so essential about the in-person retail experience, especially when it comes to fragrance,” says Fichtl. It didn’t come without growing pains: having to find a factory to produce thousands of products for wholesale, and realizing the brand’s original packaging featuring a dachshund (modeled after her own) was deterring customers. “After being asked 50 times if it was dog soap, I could see the market was naturally guiding me in the right direction,” Fichtl says.

Having found a successful niche in elevated, luxurious home fragrances, the question of expansion into other categories like skincare and hair care has crossed Fichtl’s mind. “In those moments, we do what we did from the beginning: listen to customers,” she explains. “Our reviews always note how great our candles smell and praise how we mix our home fragrances, so we want to stay in our lane and hone our expertise.”

In that same spirit, Fichtl curated the brand’s best-selling candles based on your mood. Read on to find your perfect APOTHEKE candle match to get you in your feels.

When you’re feeling… Happy

“When you sniff this one, it’s an explosion of fruit. It’s so juicy, everyone who smells it always immediately says, ‘It’s so good!’”

When you’re feeling… Sad

“This is a very moody one; it’s got a dirty green scent to it that has a smell of a rainy day in a field.”

When you’re feeling… Nostalgic

“This is a seasonal one, it reminds me of my dad burning leaves in the backyard. It brings up memories for me, so hopefully it will for [others, too].”

When you’re feeling… Focused

“It’s a clean scent that’s our most refreshing, which I find is good for when you’re trying to focus.”

When you’re feeling… Cozy

“This is a bestseller — it’s a cozy, warm amber scent. I actually just burned one in my own apartment, and I texted my team being like, ‘Do you all know how good Charcoal is??’”

APOTHEKE is open at 620 5th Avenue Monday through Friday from 10 am to 7pm, and Saturday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

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