Experts on the Danish art of hygge note that one of the key factors to creating a warm, cozy environment is candles.
Milwaukee Candle Co., which has a studio in Walker’s Point, hand-pours Milwaukee’s contribution to hygge. Owner Kevin Goudzwaard says he and his workers can produce 400-500 candles a night. This includes the Hometown Collection, which represents different events in and parts of the city, including Bradford Beach (on a good day), Lake Park Breeze, and Brewery Tour.
He also has an Essential Collection, which he sells locally and ships around the country, and a Collaboration Collection in which he's collaborated with other local businesses like Stone Creek Coffee and Great Northern Distillery in Plover, Wis.
From sandalwood and vanilla to blood orange and mahogany, Goudzwaard gets complex scents into his soy-wax candles. He says he creates complex fragrances by layering the oils on top of each other.
"You really break it down into three different levels," he says, "your base notes, your heart notes and your top notes. Your top notes being more of your citrus fragrances that evaporate first, it's usually the first scent that you smell, your heart notes being more of your florals and your base notes being more of your woodsy resins."
Goudzwaard also explains why it’s been important for him to give people the scents of Milwaukee.
"The whole idea of the company from the get-go is to bring a piece of Milwaukee into your home, bring back previous experiences that you've had," he says. " ... The idea that they smell Lake Park Breeze and it brings them back to a wedding that they went to there or a picnic that they had with friends," he says. "The whole idea is to bring comfort and familiarity through these candles."