Walking into Masahiko Matsuo’s candle and perfumery store in Yokohama is kind of like climbing into a box of assorted sweets. The cute space, called Becky Candle, is tucked away on a side street not far from Motomachi-Chukagai Station, and is packed with colors, scents and pretty decorations. It’s divided up into two different workshop areas: the perfumery table is where you’ll mix your very own home fragrance, and the center table is where you’ll decorate a ready-made candle and also create your ice-cream sundae candle.
When we visited, we started at the Perfumer Workshop table, which is set up like a mini apothecary at the back of shop and features rows of small bottles filled with different fragrances. All are clearly marked so you can set about breathing in the aromas and choosing which ones you want to blend together. Matsuo and his assistant were on hand to guide us through the steps, explaining that we needed to choose scents for our fragrance’s base, harmony and accent layers. We chose jasmine and French vanilla for the base, wine & rose and Egyptian musk for the harmony, and hazelnut for the accent.
Matsuo provides a “recipe” form which you can fill in as you start to blend the scents together, making sure you record the different amounts you choose to use for each scent. At the end, he lets you dip a scent strip into your blend so you can test it out. He also packages it all up beautifully, providing a container and diffuser sticks so your personalized fragrance is ready to use the minute you get home.
Next, we moved on to the candle making area. On one side, you’ll spot a selection of ready-made candles featuring cutouts in different shapes waiting to be filled with tiny fabric flowers. We chose one with a heart-shaped cutout and opted for a range of blues and whites. After you’ve arranged the flowers, the shop assistant will pour glue in between the flowers to keep them in place.
Shifting around to the other side of table, you’ll find a variety of round containers holding what looks like candy colored ice cream but is actually soft candle wax. Using the supplied ice cream scoops, we set about building our bubblegum sundae: a tower of blue scoops topped with waxy hearts and shells, and sprinkled with “icing sugar.” The end result is so enchanting that we actually haven’t yet managed to bring ourselves to light the candle and melt the ice cream. We’re not sure we ever will.
If you’d like to visit Becky Candle to try out one or all of the workshops, you can pop by any time as no reservations are needed. The Perfumer Workshop costs ¥4,000 for 50ml and ¥5,000 for 120ml; the candle decorating costs from ¥2,000 depending on which candle you choose; and the sundae candle making costs ¥1,200 to ¥2,500 depending on the size of the glass container you choose.
For Beck Candle’s contact information and opening hours, see our Concierge listing.