Make your own candle and fragrance in Rochester


Scents by Design is located at 728 University Ave. and is open Tuesdays through Sundays beginning at 11 a.m. (Photo by Madison Weber)

By Madison Weber ’23, Staff Writer and Social Media Editor

Maple syrup, mulled cider,  Honeycrisp and so many other fall favorite scents are sought after this time of year. Target, Walmart, Amazon, and other big chains are always stacked with mass production of these popular seasonal candles that have become a fall staple to winterizing your home.

Walking into these department stores, these predetermined scents can be found en masse lining the shelves. But now, there’s Scents By Design — a pour-your-own candle and fragrance bar in Rochester that boasts over a hundred unique scents that change seasonally. 

Along with the fall favorites, are Scents By Design’s staple scents like lavender, whipped cream, and champagne. The store is also home to plenty of more unique scents, such as old books, goji berry, and cannabis.

“It offers a unique experience… With a custom scent that matches each individual’s nose and environment that you can’t just buy off the shelf,” Owner Christina Julien said. 

First, sniff your way through the wall of scents, writing down the ones that you like, and then you meet the staff at the counter where scent experts help you choose two to three that will blend well together. 

Each customer gets to pick their own decorative vessel to hold their scented candle wax, as well as design a custom label for their candle. Once you’ve picked your scents, you’re able to mix the pure oils together in a portioned cup to achieve your desired scent ratio. The oils are then poured straight into the hot soy wax in the vessel and stirred. 

While enjoying the candle pouring experience, Scents By Design offers a non-alcoholic and alcoholic drink menu (including two-for-one mimosas on Sunday). Each month, the store has a variety of events including a monthly book club, showcases of different local artists, and monthly themed events like  Chocolate, Wine, and Candles, Intro to Tarot, Barre at the Candle Bar, and more.  Upcoming events can be found here.

Spencer Bonawitz is a Fisher student and works at Scents By Design. “I work with customers to create a custom fragrance. I guide them through the experience and make sure they are getting exactly what they want,” he said.

At Bath and Bodyworks, anyone can come in and pick up those scents, but here, it is unique to you.” 

Julien added, “Rochester has a lot of great small shops and businesses that are an important aspect of the community.”

Bonawitz also encouraged Fisher students to get off campus and support small businesses. “You discover so much more when you open your mind and go out and find these places. Especially post-pandemic, supporting small businesses is more important than ever before.”

Scents by Design is located at 728 University Ave. and is open Tuesdays through Sundays beginning at 11 a.m. 

Prices range from $20  to $40. More information can be found here


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