We all know that the power of scent can whisk us away to far-off lands. Brooklyn-based entrepreneur Lindsay Silberman knows that all too well, and ingeniously channelled her scent memory into a candle line inspired by five-star hotels around the world. Silberman’s on-the-ground research is solid: it includes 10-plus years travelling the world and visiting some of its top properties, first as a magazine editor at Town & Country and now as a luxury travel and beauty influencer.
“I’ve always loved that experience of being engulfed in a scent on a property and then associating the scent with that trip,” she says. “I remember thinking about how I could recreate that—I just never had the time.” Time became quickly available when the pandemic hit; Silberman’s trips were cancelled, everything slowed down, and she noticed on her Instagram feed that more people were spending money on home décor. Hitting the ground running, she brought HLC to life along with her business partner and husband, Matthew Stevens. The label launched online in October 2020—and sold out in under 30 minutes.
“I was so nervous when we launched because scent is so personal,” Silberman admits. “I knew I loved the candles, but was praying other people wouldn’t want to return them.” (Newsflash: nobody did.) Laden with notes of agarwood, vetiver and atlas cedar, that original Hotel Lobby signature candle still sits at the core of the collection, and was heavily inspired by The Edition and The 1 Hotel, both of which are infused with signature scents. “They were the first hotel scents that really took my breath away when I was travelling,” says Silberman.
Other offerings include the sexy Hotel Lobby Paris Nuit, a rich blend of musk and mahogany that’ll transport you straight to the City of Love, and the summer-ready Hotel Lobby Island, imbued with beach bungalow vibes of coconut, almond and vanilla.
Each handmade candle is 100 per cent soy wax and presented in a hand-painted glass vessel that’s designed to be reused (bud vase, trinket jar—the choice is yours.) Meticulously wrapped in a chic box with a single ribbon—a master of unboxing herself, Silberman obsessed over every packaging detail to get it just right—each candle comes with a cute hotel “key card” with tips on candle care.
Now, rather than guess your perfect HLC scent from the online descriptions, Canadians can shop them IRL at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver and Montreal, with more cross-country locations coming this fall. —Katie Nanton