Candle Maker. Creative Force. Valley Native.
- Written byHeather David
It’s always been fabric and perfume that I love,” shares Melanie Apple. Those two passions have always served as the guiding force for her career. In the beginning, she focused on her passion for fabric—creating the successful, Lycra-based clothing brand Melanie Apple in the early 1990s. Her line grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise sold in department stores like Barneys and Neiman Marcus. Then in 2001, after a financial misstep, it all disappeared. “Like many designers, I chose the wrong partner,” Melanie explains.
Next the designer, who grew up in Van Nuys, zeroed in on her other passion—perfume. “I loved candles, but there weren’t any fragrances that I liked on the market.” So Melanie learned to pour her own, taking a candle-making class here in the Valley and then heading to the perfume capital of the world—Grasse, France—to develop signature scents.
In 2004, Melanie unveiled her handmade, 100% natural line—the Voyage Candle Collection—and for years sold it from her Sherman Oaks home. But this summer, Melanie opened her first store on Ventura Boulevard. Her hope is that with the mere lighting of a wick, customers will embark on a luxurious journey.
“As a teenager, I spent summers in the south of France,” she says. “I fell in love with the Mediterranean, where every hotel, every shop has its own smell, whether it is fig or limoncello.”
These days her custom-made and labeled fragrances, ranging from $12 to $250, are also sold in Beverly Hills at The Peninsula Hotel and Montage as well as the Four Seasons in Westlake Village. And Melanie shares that Jennifer Lopez is a fan … although she’s quick to point out that you don’t have to be a superstar to enjoy her collection. “Everyone can fill their home with beautiful scents; it just makes people feel good.”
Voyage et Cie
13037 Ventura Blvd. Studio City
Chef-owner Aaron Robins and GM-partner Rory Snipes have built on the success of beer, bourbon and barbecue-fueled Boneyard Bistro by opening SOCA, a second Sherman Oaks, CAlifornia restaurant that captures more global influences and replaces Café Cordiale. “I opened SOCA for many reasons,” says Aaron. “I was ready to grow, and we had been looking […]