To Carmen Preston, sense of smell is everything. Inspired by Birmingham, Carmen combined recycling wine bottles with her signature candles. The Green Bottle Candle Company promotes conservation, while also spreading its sweet scents.

Candles.What is your favorite scent?

That’s a hard question … There is a difference between our favorite and the one that sell the best. If you put us on the spot, I would say my favorite is Wild Sweet Grapefruit. My husband would probably say Pomegranate.

Why is it important to recycle things like the wine bottles you use to make your candles?

We feel like recycling is an important part of our lives and wanted to incorporate that into our business. It’s staggering to think about how many wine bottles (and all kinds of bottles) end up in landfills. It’s not much, but we do give our bottles another chance to be used after they have fulfilled their destiny of holding.

Why is Alabama the perfect market to showcase your product?

Alabama is the perfect place for our business because it’s ALABAMA. We both grew up in Florida, but moved to Alabama when we got sense, haha. We truly love Birmingham and Alabama and are proud to be a part of the entrepreneurial community that makes Alabama great.

What inspires the candles that you make?

Our inspiration comes from a lot of places. We love to frequent nurseries and flower shops. We also love to eat at all the great restaurants in Birmingham. We sell our candles at The Pepper Place Farmer’s Market and we find inspiration for our scents at the market by smelling all the fruits and veggies. Smell is such an underrated sense (in our opinion) because smells and scents are so immediate. We strive to make our fragrances pleasant and relaxing, and we believe we have accomplished that.

What is your favorite thing to do in Birmingham?

We really love to eat! I admit it; we are true ‘foodies’! So eating out at the amazing restaurants in Birmingham is definitely one of our favorite things to do. We are so lucky to live in a city with such an outstanding food scene. We also love weekends that we can just hang out with our two beagles (Cash and Waylon) at home, as we both have full-time jobs outside of our candle company. Other than that, we love to travel, play golf and drink wine, which fits perfectly with our candle business!