retail industry

LOOK: Local candle brand Saan Saan opens first physical studio in Kapitolyo

Steph Arnaldo

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LOOK: Local candle brand Saan Saan opens first physical studio in Kapitolyo
Light up your life with IG favorite Saan Saan's handmade soy candles, now available to smell in person!

MANILA, Philippines – If you’ve been a loyal follower of local candle brand Saan Saan’s journey since 2018, I’m sure you’re just as happy and proud to see the artisanal candlemaker launch its first-ever physical studio, store, and in-person workshop laboratory!

Saan Saan’s candle studio, called A Sense of Place, opened to the public on December 3 at the ground floor of Ace Hotel and Suites, United corner Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. The intimate space designed by Arts Serrano of One Zero Design reflects the brand’s warm, minimalist aesthetic and philosophy: giving customers a sense of place, peace, and stillness in a world of movement.

It’s candles galore here, but more than the shopping, A Sense of Place gives you the time and space to just browse and be. I enjoyed leisurely sniffing all of Saan Saan’s handmade soy candles on display and taking an hour deciding which ones I wanted to take home with me (life is short, so I just got them all – Teahouse, Baker Street in Poblacion, Patchouli at the Temple, and Shimizu Island).

Their much-awaited, limited edition Holiday Series is also available at the studio: Christmas Cafe, Simbang Gabi, and Pumpkin and Juniper at P650 and P1,200 for the mini and standard sizes. The best-sellers are too, like Patchouli at the Temple; Linen Room; bergamot-based Kung Tag-araw; sweet Baker Street of Poblacion; and woodsy Campfire. 

SIMBANG GABI HOLIDAY CANDLE. Photo courtesy of Saan Saan

Two branch-exclusive scents under the new Workshop Series are also available here!


Don’t forget the white tea-based Teahouse and fruity Shimizu Island; and the warm Literary Collection of Shrine Hunting; Old Manila; A Reading Nook, and the Archaeologist’s House. The regular candles cost P550 and P950 for the standard and mini sizes, respectively. You can even bring back the recyclable glass jar to the studio for refills!

AMBER CANDLES. Photo courtesy of Saan Saan

I’m an avid candle collector, but it was my first time to try out Saan Saan. As soon as I lit Kung Tag-araw using my candle warmer, I finally understood Saan Saan’s popularity. The clean but strong scent permeated my room in minutes, without it being too overpowering; probably because the all-natural soy and beeswax blend uses only pure fragrance and essential oil blends.

Every variant is available here, so if your favorite candle is out of stock on the website, just drop by. Also available at the studio are reed diffusers, incense sticks, candle snuffers, wick trimmers, long-burning matchsticks, soaps, ceramic dishes, tea light samplers, gift sets, wooden furniture, and hand-drawn postcards by local artists.

Saan nagsimula

Saan Saan is under founder and sole candlemaker Mark Zavalla, who started crafting small-batch, handmade candles in his home in Santa Rosa, Laguna in 2018. He left behind his day job of 15 years to fully pursue his creative passion, and began learning candle-making and perfumery on his own, as well as design-testing, crafting, and blending fragrances.

Each candle’s curated scent is personal, drawn from different places, travels, destinations, memories, experiences, and even Mark’s favorite literature. Inspiration is drawn “kung saan saan (from anywhere and everywhere),” hence the name.

Saan Saan’s A Sense of Place studio was five years in the making, supported by the brand’s Instagram cult following of loyal patrons, local artists, and collaborators. The retail studio promises a multi-sensory experience that is visual, olfactory, and haptic, as well as upcoming candle-making workshops and events with local artists, brands, and the Saan Saan community. 

According to Saan Saan, “an expansion of the product line is definitely in the cards,” including full fragrances, home, and even wearable scents.

Saan Saan’s A Sense of Place studio is open from Tuesdays to Thursdays (11 am to 7 pm) and on Fridays to Sundays (11 am to 8 pm). You can also order for delivery via website. –

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.