We have to guide you into the near historical past to explain why we came up with the name Chernobyl Rain for our opium-scented candle.
Once upon a time, there was a village called Pripyat, located in northern Ukraine. At the time it was a part of the old Soviet Union. It was a summery humid region, and the village, with tens of thousands of inhabitants, was an uneventful, contented place. The people worked communally without thought of commerce or profit as was the custom in these Soviet times. However surrounding the village was huge swathes of country sides and forest was a peaceful home to its people.
One day the inhabitants of the village, which now had grown into a town, were suddenly instructed to meet. To their shock and surprise, their settled lives were to be uprooted like the trees they would fall when clearing pasture. They were told they would have to immediately evacuate, and leave their houses, possessions, and pets… for Pripyat lived in the shadow of the Vladimir Lenin Nuclear Power Plant or, as we all now know it, Chernobyl.
Reactor Number 4 had blown, and the area, once so distant and so unknown. Now became the site of the worst nuclear accident in history. On Saturday, 26 April 1986, 400 times more radioactive material was released into the skies above Pripyat than the crushing atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The nuclear cloud spread it’s black soot ominously over Europe, drawing acid rain and leaving people fleeing in its wake.
So why the candle?
As the years and decades passed, strange reports would be whispered amongst the old inhabitants and other people living outside the 1000 square mile exclusion zone. This had been created at the height of the disaster. It was said that the area teemed with wildlife. Wolves could be heard howling in the night, when wolves had not been seen for many years in the region.
For this is in fact what today the area has become. A home for returning species. A wildlife haven of bison, beavers, bears, birds and fauna all flourishing where man fears to tread.
We created Chernobyl Rain, to commemorate the end of the disaster, to celebrate the renewal of the region. Also to show how a positive impact on the local area can once again be felt.
So what’s happening in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone now?
It is interesting that studies show whilst radiation exposure couldn’t be good for animals, the benefits of the absence of humans outweighed the radiation risk. It truly is one of the silver linings of this event.
Also it was not feasible for humans to populate the area. The Ukrainian authorities predicted that it may not be safe for people to live there for more than 24,000 years.
Tourists can visit the exclusion zone but to be safe only for short periods of time. When they do, they find Pripyat, the old abandoned town, lost in time, lost in it’s thoughts. Given once more to Mother Nature, who permits the descendants of the animals left behind in haste by their owners to play in the ruins of the buildings that slowly succumb to her steady encroachment.
We loved this story and how it showed that goodness can come from everywhere and wanted our candle to tell the tale to everyone. During the heightened phase of Covid-19, it’s a reminder that we can get through anything collectively if we find the positive.
So that’s the story of our soy candle. A real message showing there is indeed light at the end of every tunnel. Chernobyl Rain is a scent lingering towards the past and present and its history in between. A scent with woody, herbal and spicy nuances. Opium is distinct, smouldering with resin and spices that could remind you of burning incense. The fragrance is warm and spicy with coffee, white flowers and vanilla notes.
Light the candle and feel the strong yet gentle fire of this all-encompassing scent. It will rain down, drenching you in its fire. Lie back and be overtaken by the chain reaction. Feel the call of distant, far-flung adventures and green forests grown anew from the fall of the dark heavy rain.
When you light our candle, remember to think a little of Pripyat on the 35th anniversary of the disaster this year and the far-flung uprooted lives of those distant peoples.