Scandi Dandies: Nordic Aesthetic & Japanese Minimalism with IIUVO Candles

When you first see IIUVO candles you think, “well, that’s definitely Scandinavian!” Great font, minimalist packaging, hand-crafted product; the candles would fit right into a scene of hygge in the most Scandi of homes.

We spoke with co-founder Leo Gibbon about the London-based brand to find out more about their inspiration and production process.


Tell us about the inspiration for IIUVO

When creating IIUVO we wanted to create a world in which function and aesthetic are on complete parity. Creating a world that can evoke emotion and challenge perception by bringing our own memories and visions to life through scent and its various forms.


When did you start IIUVO? What was the process of starting your company like?

We started developing IIUVO in January 2014 and launched our first range of scented candles in May 2015. [Co-founder] Tomi & I started working on the concept and language of IIUVO, from there it was very easy to follow. Everything needed to be linear. When you both have a clear direction and vision everything else falls in to place.

IIUVO Candle Collage | Scandinavia Standard


Please talk about your sourcing and production practices

Everything is made in France. The perfumer is based in Grasse (the perfume region of France) and the candles are poured in a village called Clisson just 10 minutes outside of Nantes. The French have such a brilliant understanding of how to create an olfactory experience. We work very closely with our perfumer to really explore memory and push boundaries. It’s a process that has got a lot easier the more we do it and the better understanding we have of eachother. In order to create the perfect scent, we use art references, color, photography, film and music to aid the notes of choice.


Tell us about your most memorable moment with IIUVO

For me, it was the time we developed our first range of perfume. It’s a moment that will stick with me forever. It was the moment where myself and our perfumer really clicked and we created something that still smells new to this day. From this moment on, the development process became easier and easier because there was a real synergy.


What is your perception of Scandinavian style or aesthetic?

I have always resonated with the Scandi aesthetic and I get why some people say that IIUVO is very similar to this particular aesthetic. My perception of it is minimal, clean and not a lot of noise. That’s something that we pursued with IIUVO. I want the product to do the talking, not the packaging and design. In my opinion, the Scandinavian aesthetic is all about stripping back everything, and delivering something clean and understated – only for the product to speak volumes.

IIUVO Candle Collage 2 | Scandinavia Standard


Do you agree that your brand is a “Scandi Dandy?” Why or why not?

I do agree! As much as we’ve taken inspiration from all over the world, I can understand why someone would call it “Scandi Dandy.” IIUVO has a very clean, minimal aesthetic which allows the product to make its own noise. I have always been a huge fan of Scandinavian design and it’s definitely visible to see in the development of IIUVO at every stage.


What’s next for the company?

Following our range of scented candles, we will be releasing a range of unisex perfumes in 2017. Scent is something that can be translated in many different products and we really aim to break boundaries in how we do this. From personal to home scents, IIUVO will continue to deliver scents that are very personal to me and Tomi. Design is a huge part of what we do and this will eventually expand onto other types of product for people to discover.

This interview has been edited & condensed for clarity.


Do you know of a non-Scandinavian business that has the Scandi-aesthetic or principles of craftsmanship? Is it your business? Get in touch to be part of Scandi Dandies!

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Rebecca Thandi Norman

Rebecca Thandi Norman is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief at Scandinavia Standard.