Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you are all having a lovely, joyful time whether you are celebrating this festive season with friends or family. Christmas to me is all about creating a warm and inviting environment, a place that embraces you within its warmth. Where you want to cuddle up on the sofa beside a beautiful, freshly decorated Christmas tree, with the lights low, Christmas songs playing and candles lit. The mood is set! The candles are an important factor, not only do they need to look beautiful but their scent is one of the most appealing factors. The scent is like the icing on the cake it is the final layer in creating the perfect mood.

I have found you the most perfect candles from Istanbul, they are made by NYKS.  I came across these stunning candles on a trip to Turkey last year and am sure you will be pleased to know about these little beauties.  The brand name is derived from the Greek goddess of the night and I think that is the perfect name!  Last week, I managed to catch up with Merve and Deniz about their creations and the elements that make these candles so unique...

Who is behind NKYS?
Merve Tatari (30) and Deniz Yurtkuran (28), we both graduated from Istanbul Bilhi University. After university Merve was working in advertising and Deniz was working for her family business in tourism and also their olive oil museum. Wanting to set up their own business and create something from scratch they decided to combine their knowledge about olive oil and design to create a new brand, making olive oil candles with natural Turkish essential scents. We wanted to use local materials within Turkey for our products. 
NYKS flagship store was opened one and a half years ago in Galata, Istanbul.
Merve Tatari & Deniz Yurtkuran

Merve Tatari & Deniz Yurtkuran

Where did the inspiration come from to start NYKS?
Honestly, we don't know where the inspiration came from. One evening while we were having dinner the idea came and the next morning we started to research about candles, olive oil, natural essential scents and artisans. We always wanted to do something different and unique. The rest is history!
What does NYKS stand for?
The brand name NYKS comes from the Greek Mythology meaning Goddess of the Night.
What is the magic ingredients used to create the actual candles and their scents.
Our magic ingredients are olive oil and essential oils. As far as we know, nobody else makes olive oil based candles in Istanbul or other countries. All our candles are paraffin free, it means that you not breathe any chemicals. Because of the olive oil the candles burn for much longer.
For our scents we are using natural essential oils instead of perfumes. We use natural oils from Turkish woods, fruits, spices and flowers. Our scents are changing according to seasons. In summer time we had bergamot, now for winter we have orange, cinnamon, pine and vanilla. Besides this some of our scents are permanent. For example; Lavender, Cedar Tree, Laurel Leaf, Lemongrass (Which is our signature scent) etc..
These two feature make our candles more natural, local and unique.
The container for the candles are in themselves a work of art. How have you sourced and created the vessels of copper, brass, nickel and glass?
In ancient times, Turkish people used copper for everything. Their plates, coffee pots, stew pots etc but nowadays unfortunately we forget to use this material. 
We did our research for about a year. We searched for the best deals for raw materials and we found the best local craftsmen who are able to make the perfect candle containers and copper and brass accessories. Local craftsman are harder to find due to mass market, factory made products. So it is important for us to cherish the local craftsmen.
We also use glass for our candles and all glass is again made by local craftsman or recycled. Our marbles come from the Anatolian part of Turkey. Most importantly for us is to use local Turkish materials and use traditional craftsmen to support them and their work. We use copper, brass, nickel, glass, marble and ceramics. They are all sourced locally and represent our identity. We design all NYKS products and they create them with their expertise.  
Where is the store NYKS currently based?
NYKS flagship store is in Galata Serdar-1 Ekrem Street. It is the oldest neighbourhood in Istanbul. This area began to evolve slowly. The buildings were restored, small shops and cafes began to open. Each street and building has their own story, there are lots of historical buildings. We also have so many lovely neighbours, both Turkish and foreign. We really love this location and are very happy to be in Galata. 
Have you any plans for new products or designs that we can look forward to seeing in 2016?
Towards the end of 2015 we were starting to produce stationary such as notebooks, pencil trays, bookmarks etc. In the summer time we will look to produce some outdoor and kitchen accessories. For candles we will have a new summer scent, we are planning Jasmine as well as new decorated glass and new sizes as well.
Can the candles be bought internationally?
Yes, we have also started to export to other countries. USA, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland etc but everybody also can buy NYKS products from www.nyks.com.tr or instagram: @nyksgalata

I hope you are just as inspired by these beautiful candles as I have been. You won't have seen these candles in the UK yet but when you do, remember you saw them here first!

Now back to the Christmas celebrations everyone, light some candles, put some music on and perhaps sit back and relax for a moment to take in the atmosphere. And if you are short of candles and Santa is yet to arrive, maybe there is just time for you to write a quick note to the North Pole and ask good ol' Father Christmas for a very special NYKS candle.

This is not a sponsored post.