Alejandro Buxton’s mom had a headache, and she couldn’t figure out why. After some investigating, Alejandro and his mom, Patricia, realized she was allergic to the scented candles they burned in their home. But Alejandro knew how much his mom loved the candles. He didn’t want her to ditch them altogether, so he decided to make his own.
Alejandro, who was 9 years old at the time, researched waxes and essential oils. As a fan of protecting the environment, “I was really looking for a wax that was completely natural,” he says. Wax made from soy got great reviews, and he liked the fragrance of orange mixed with peppermint. A few purchases later, he got to work setting up a lab in his kitchen. With help from his mom, he melted the wax, mixed in the scents, and poured the mixture into a glass container with a wick (the part that burns). He named his first candle Jurassic Orange. It smelled great—and best of all, it didn’t give his mom a headache!
After that day in 2019, Alejandro began creating new scents and named his company Smell of Love Candles. Alejandro started selling his candles at markets around Washington, D.C. He even met Vice President Kamala Harris, who bought an allspice-and-leather scented candle called The Gentleman (a best seller) and another named Cinnamon Buns.
Today, Alejandro has a lab where he and his employees make up to 700 candles a week, with more than 20 different scents. They include candles like Alexa, Clean the House, which has notes of lemon and sugar, and The Wizard’s Library, which smells of cedar and sandalwood.
The best part of the business is meeting people, says Alejandro, who wants to be an engineer when he grows up. “I enjoy showing people what products we have and making them really happy,” he says.