• isla candles goa

ISLA Candles | My New Business in Goa!

So enough teasing about this new hobby I have… I started a candle business! Well, I don’t know how much of a business it is yet as I am just now getting them in shops.

I leave for Karnataka in just a couple weeks and have another secret little project this week, so knew I needed to get this in local shops & take a few photos to show you guys before I left.

isla candles goa

isla candles goa

The start of ISLA candles

When I came to Goa I was shocked to discover I couldn’t find really nicely scented candles anywhere. I even wrote about it in my packing list for expats coming to India. When I was packing to come back to Goa last June, I packed about 6 huge Yankee candles. My dad said, “why don’t you just MAKE candles there… you’d save so much space in your bag”. So a little bell went off and I thought yeah, I bet I could do that easily!

Well, it turns out it’s not SO easy to just start making things in bulk amounts. I worked with sources from all over India for each little part (like wicks, revets, dyes, stearic acid- yes there’s a science to candle making!, wax, and glasses) from Gujarat to Agra. I had to sample so many providers until I found quality supplies.

isla candles goaAll my scents come from Ramkrishna in Mapusa who makes all his essential oils himself and is pretty famous for it. Because scent was what I wanted more than anything, I was willing to invest more into his pricey ones to make sure these smelled divine!

The scents I’ve made are all mixtures:

Apple & Cinnamon | enhance concentration, stop headaches

Lemon & Mint | increased energy, stress relief

Lavender & Vanilla | anti-depressant, anti-anxiety

Orange & Citronella | cheerfulness, mosquito repellantisla candles goa

isla candles goa

Where you can find ISLA candles in Goa

I have already stocked some in Natti’s Naturals in Arpora near the water park. You’ll soon be able to find them in White Brick Wall in Panjim. I plan on selling some at both the Wednesday & Saturday market. Better yet, you can just email me at [email protected] and let me know which you’d like and I will bring them to you if you’re in Goa. I’ll be added them to more shops throughout the season & might even start shipping them on Etsy. Then again, if they don’t sell then I’ll just have hundreds of candles in my house and become a crazy candle lady.

isla candles goa

isla candles goa

I’ve only made so many, so once they’re almost gone I’ll decide what to do next regarding fragrances. Are there any mixtures you love and would like me to make!? I also think I’ll go bigger next time and have option between the 6 cm and add on a 10 cm candle.

I keep refilling mine at home and am loving the citronella/orange combo right now to keep away mosquitos.

isla candles goa

isla candles goa


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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Rachel October 6, 2014 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    This is pretty awesome! I’ve always been curious about the amount of work it takes to start producing things in bulk. Congrats on being such an entrepreneur and great job finding a niche in India that needs filling!

  2. Julia October 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Great idea! Actually, scented candles are ALWAYS a good idea. I am sure they sell out quickly!

  3. Ashley | Ashley Wanders October 6, 2014 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Congrats on the new business! I hate candles that smell too strong or perfumey, but it sounds like you chose really nice fragrance combinations!

    • Rachel Jones October 7, 2014 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks, yeah I THink they have a nice balance in them

  4. Andrea Anastasiou October 6, 2014 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Oh I do love scented candles! These look great. Best of luck with your new venture :-)

  5. Christine | The Journeyoguer October 6, 2014 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Congratulations Rachel, that’s a great business idea! I’m such a scented candle lover! The scents you have so far all sound gorgeous, I will definitely stock up when I get to Goa again. :) Well done!

    • Rachel Jones October 7, 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      thanks :D I am happy to have some new scents myself lol i just made a practice peppermint today.. was a bit too strong lol!

  6. Catherine October 6, 2014 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    What an amazing idea! I love how entrepreneurial you are – was very impressed with the way you’re post about setting up a massage business, and now this! All the best with your new business :)

  7. Sarah October 7, 2014 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Congrats! I know t’s not easy to start producing a product, especially in India. Girl Power! :D

  8. Hidden in a Book October 7, 2014 at 1:20 am - Reply

    I tend to be allergic to scented candles (anything perfume/smelling of perfume), but they sure look beautiful! Do you make any unscented ones?

    • Rachel Jones October 7, 2014 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      The lemon and mint are veryyyy light, but I think in the next batch I’ll do some unscented!

  9. Stephanie October 7, 2014 at 5:29 am - Reply

    love the look!! definitely a pretty candle to have around the house. I will definitely be wanting one once I get to India! sometimes I need a break from incense :)

    • Rachel Jones October 7, 2014 at 9:05 pm - Reply

      Yay! I’m glad you want one :) I need a break from incense too!

  10. Katelyn @ Diaries of a Wandering Lobster October 7, 2014 at 6:11 am - Reply

    Congratulations! It’s tough to start a new business, but you’re a smart girl so I know you’ll do great! I hope you get big enough to have to ship to the USA! :-)

  11. Justine October 7, 2014 at 11:35 am - Reply

    How exciting! I love the look of the candles and the packaging is great too :) I love your scent combinations, especially since you put so much thought into them. The orange and citronella sounds great for me — anything that smells great AND keeps mosquitoes away is amazing! For the next batch it might be fun to play around with scents that are representative of India. I think scents that are inspired by India’s teas, fruits and even incense would be kind of cool! Best of luck :)

    • Rachel Jones October 7, 2014 at 9:02 pm - Reply

      That’s a great idea. I love scents of teas and fruits and think that would go over well. I haven’t gotten into the incense ones because it’s already kind of happening in Goa and I’m not sure how they’d sell.

  12. Laura October 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    An exciting new venture! They look so cute and I love the scents. Good luck!

  13. Veronika October 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    This is exciting! Starting a business abroad? Well, that’s the way to go I’d say.. :) Especially as you found a hole in the market! Congratulations and fingers crossed!

  14. Tina D'Souza October 7, 2014 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Nice page, Rachel! Congratulations on the new launch! How about Monsoon rain…….. or doing something with ginger, jasmine or mogra? All the best to you in your new ventures. I’ll look for your candles in shops!

  15. Tim | UrbanDuniya October 8, 2014 at 7:10 am - Reply

    Lovely! Best of luck for the business – they look gorgeous, and you deserve to do well! :)

  16. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown October 8, 2014 at 7:27 am - Reply

    YAY!! This is freakin awesome! Good for you girl!! Those all sound like such delicious scents. I really like combos like eucalyptus & cedar, and lemon/orange & basil. I would totally buy your candles if I was in Goa. All we have here are the shitty Febreeze and dollar store ones that are full of chemicals. My mom is an aromatherapist and I can only handle the good stuff so I’m always filling my suitcase too… hmmm… maybe I should make candles too!

    • Rachel Jones October 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      oooo those scents sound awesome! i’ll have to see if my man can make them! We have the shit ones here like that too.. how cool about your mom though , you shoudl totally start making them! it’s the sourcing that’s the hardest and knowing how many to make without losing money

  17. Colleen Brynn October 8, 2014 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Oh I really hope you ship! I will definitely support this. I’m all for that apple and cinnamon one and the vanilla. Vanilla is my fave.

    • Rachel Jones October 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      mmm yeah those are my faves too! or the citronella! the lemon and mint is less strong… and i like mine SUPEr strong lol

  18. Glamourous Journeyler October 8, 2014 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Congrats on the new venture! and what a place to do it too! especially with the strong spice smells all over India it’s nice to come home to something comforting.

    Me personally, I do love the smell of lemongrass so if you could mix that in that would be great! =)

    • Rachel Jones October 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      Exactly! Keeping the scents simple and not as Indian as most of what I’d find here. I love lemongrass too! wonder what I can mix that with… hmm

  19. Alex, Speaking Denglish October 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    How freaking cool! And already in shops? Way to fulfill a need and create a business out of it. I am now just wishing I could smell them…

    • Rachel Jones October 8, 2014 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks Alex! I have two more shops to drop them off to tomorrow and see how they sell. Also, the post is scratch and sniff ;)

  20. Max D October 8, 2014 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    In the nineteen fifties I travelled by plane from Mumbai to Goa.The plane arrived at night, my drive from the Air-Port to Panjabi was filled with heavenly smells from plants and trees…Thanks for doing the same 50 years later

  21. runawaybrit October 9, 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    If we end up anywhere near you next week when we visit Goa, I’ll take one :-)

    • Rachel Jones October 9, 2014 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      Cool! I will be in Karnataka, but they should be in Thalassa by then, which is the best restaurant in Goa! And you can get them at Natti’s Naturals and in Panjim at White Brick Wall. Have fun in Goa!

  22. Adam @ Round the World we go October 9, 2014 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Good luck Rachel, they certainly look the part! Looking forward to hearing about your other secret project now!

    • Rachel Jones October 10, 2014 at 11:16 am - Reply

      Thanks, the next one I don’t think I can say for a couple months :/

  23. vic October 11, 2014 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    hey Rachel, like your blog, yeah i am a Goan based in USA. do you list it on ebay . I wonder how much it cost to ship it US. get to know some fine Goan guys to help you out. but then you will have to go to church and get to know the priest (lol), you know although some of us liked the hippies back then in 60s/70s, but they didn’t leave a good impression on the Goan society as a whole because of drugs and nudism and Goa is not India
    and Rachel, Feni is not a moonshine drink, it is actually made from cashew fruits.
    take care , i hope the Russians don’t bother you

    • Rachel Jones October 12, 2014 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      It would cost quite a lot to ship so I’m waiting on that. Yes, feni is not moonshine we just say that as in the U.S. moonshine is homemade alcohol and most local bars make it themselves.

  24. Katja January 3, 2015 at 10:50 am - Reply

    really great looking candles! we also spotted them yesterday in the tamarind resorts jewelry vitrine. if we just wanted to buy plenty “big” (as big as possible) … cheap … normal candles here for our apartment – would you have a place to recommend? (ideally region … morjim / siolim / … candolim etc – or mapusaI

  25. Jasmine March 19, 2015 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Are these candles still available. Do you ship to Oregon

    • Rachel Jones March 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      they are, but I don’t ship! they are too heavy for their worth

  26. Bren June 21, 2015 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Hey, I never read about this until now – congrats! You always learn so much from little ventures like this. I actually never understood why girls always lose their shit over scented candles, but I promise to buy one if I’m ever in Goa :)

  27. Selena April 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    I totally agree with your post Rachel. I read your blog and I liked it. But i like your colorful Candles. I love the look of the candles and the packaging is great too.. I love your scent combination, especially since you put so much thought into them. Thanks for sharing. :)

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