Leather, Cedar, Pine, Vanilla: The Scents of Franklin – An Inside Look at Amber Vale Home
Article by Kellie Walton Benz
Photography by James Williams
Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle
Has a smell ever transported you straight into a memory? Maybe cedar sparks visions of Christmas time, or florals carry a reminder of a beloved relative. No matter the scent, a burning candle can bring waves of welcomed nostalgia.
Upon moving to Franklin from Colorado, Michele Huff was ready for a new passion project. She began pouring herself into researching and designing candles that stood apart from the rest, vowing to create a clean, toxin-free option she would be proud to burn in her own home. “I just started thinking, ‘I wonder if I could do this but where everything is a really clean, great fragrance,” Michele shares. “I began researching and landed on what I wanted to do: I wanted to create a brand where we could feel good about what we were putting in our homes.”
With that, Amber Vale Home candles were born. The name itself was also inspired by the move, with “amber” nodding to Franklin’s breathtaking sunsets and “vale” recognizing Tennessee’s rolling hills. Behind the name and every inspired scent are memories and moments packed into an amber glass jar, ready to be reignited in-home.
Amber Vale Home candles have become favorites among buyers, with best-sellers including Tennessee Backroads reminiscent of evergreens and deciduous trees, and the nostalgia-inducing Camping Trip, where lighting the wick sparks memories of a crackling bonfire and roasted marshmallows.
“Most of our candles include scents of trees,” Michele adds. “I adore tree scents – they are relaxing, inspiring and pure. For me, trees remind me of my childhood spent climbing trees in the yard.”
Beloved locally, though gaining popularity nationwide, is a candle simply called “Franklin.” During development, Michele spent time strolling Main Street noting every scent she experienced while wandering. “Franklin is a love for our downtown,” said Michele. “I went to different shops, took in the leathers, the cedar floors and the sweets. I tried to take all of those notes and stuff them in a candle.” The candles caught the attention of two area hotels, leading Michele to design the signature candle scents for both The Harpeth Hotel in downtown Franklin and Holston House in Nashville.
At The Harpeth, notes of bourbon and vanilla welcome guests with warm, Tennessee-inspired aromas as soon as they arrive, and those notes are now bottled into a swoon-worthy candle. Now Amber Vale Home also provides fragrant bath salts for the property using naturally-sourced ingredients.
Amber Vale Home candles are available in storefronts across Franklin, Nashville and nationwide, and online at ambervalehome.com. Looking for the perfect gift? Consider an Amber Vale Home candle subscription, available in 30- or 60-day increments. AmberValeHome.com