The fragrant world of OUM Series’ Maria Marí and Oti Benítez.
Maria Marí, one half of the duo behind Oum Series candles, is reminiscing about growing up on Ibiza. ‘The scent of the sabina pine is the scent of Ibiza. The hot crackle and snap of the branches in summer and the hazy, sticky resin scent of autumn. The scent of sabina transports me home.’ For Maria and her business partner, Oti Benítez scent is the most transportive of the senses, a way to reconnect with our roots or to travel to distant lands.
Travel in fact, is the key that binds these two. Oti, from Gran Canaria, met Ibicenca Maria at university in Barcelona and the pair soon felt a desire to co-create. As housemates, they loved scented candles. Noticing that Spain had no own premium scented candle brand, the girls forged ahead with crafting their own. Oum candles are handmade in Barcelona using soy wax and vegan ingredients and come in limited editions. Their scent library takes inspiration from across the globe, but it’s the Ibiza series that Maven initially fell for. In two distinct scents for day and night, the Ibiza series captures the very essence of our favourite Balearic Island, with a juicy, ripe fig tree aroma for daylight hours and a deeper, more exotic sandalwood to burn as night falls. For Maven’s in-house scent, the girls created an exclusive blend of sabina and almond blossom to distil the natural beauty of the island. Oti and Maria also work closely to develop signature scents for other brands, including interiors stores and fashion brands. Synergy is the key, says Maria, when finding partners to align with. They look for shared values and commitment to sustainability, along with a clear aesthetic vision. Styling is key for the girls, who are design-focused and see the brand expanding into home décor and interiors in the future. ‘We want Oum to encapsulate a lifestyle. It’s about a desire to live in a certain way, and that can involve travel, fashion, food and wellbeing. We’ve only been working on our brand for 18 months. We’re so excited about how far we have to go.’