At PSquare Scents in Bellevue, you’ll want to take time to smell the Roses. And the Buttered Popcorn, Snickers Latte and… Graveyard Dirt? With their recent move and expanded space, customers will now have 208 scents to choose from for many of the products offered. The shop, which moved two storefronts down the block to 411 Lincoln Ave, doubled its space to 3,000 square feet. Their
grand opening was Monday, March 1st. “I hope the community will enjoy what we offer,” said co-owner Paul Barnard, of Avalon.
In addition to increased retail space, Paul especially looks forward to the expanded Scent Bar, Waste Free Bar and back-room production. The Scent Bar boasts a large L-shaped counter with
seating for 8. Customers can create their own candles, bath salts, after shave and more using any of the 208 fragrance options. “I want customers to be able to live the experience, to do what I do,” Paul explained.
At the store’s former location, the Scent Bar was small and candle making parties, for example, had to be held after hours. The new location is large enough that custom-made items can be made at any time. The Waste Free Bar has also expanded. Customers are encouraged to return empty bottles
and glass for refills at a discounted price. “We’re all about paying for the product, not the packaging,” Paul said.
Paul credits a marginal candle making kit 17 years ago as the impetus for delving into his line of work. During a cold winter in Michigan, Paul was bored and made 8 votive candles from a craft store kit. The end result? Migraines. He found he’d also get migraines from burning candles bought from Yankee
Candle Stores and Bed, Bath and Beyond. He was intrigued and wanted to learn why. Research taught him to avoid use of paraffin wax. Paraffin is made from petroleum and can cause an allergic reaction. Also, he adds no coloring and no hidden ingredients to his products. “We try to stay as clean as possible,” he said. This restaurant manager’s hobby expanded into sales. He sold candles, incense and soaps on Ebay and Etsy. He was a staple at local popup events including Picklesburgh, Lumaze and Friday Night Market. His basement, and then garage, were overrun.
In June 2019, he and partner, Paul Morack, opened their first location at 405
Lincoln Ave. Appropriately, the two Pauls named the store PSquare Scents, after themselves. Barnard operates the store. Morack is employed by Stitchfix but does the store’s merchandising and marketing.
Paul has grown the business to include a bath and body line as well as household cleaners. Castile Soap, for example, is an all natural liquid soap with many uses; face wash, shampoo, detergent and floor cleaner. Body butters, colognes, linen sprays and natural deodorants are also available. “A lot of people call us the candle shop but we’re a fragrance company,”Paul said. His 3 employees help in production and sales.
Paul is self taught and follows nearly 50 groups online to stay current and learn more tricks of the trade. “No matter how long you do it, something is going to change,” he said. With the increased space, he looks forward to creating even more offerings. “I’m super excited about what I do. I just get to do my hobby,” he said.