Irish candle maker Max Benjamin plans launch into US market

Family-owned company based in Enniskerry makes candles and fragrances using three brands

Max Benjamin, the family-owned Irish maker of candles and fragrances is planning to launch its products into the United States later this year.

Managing director David Van den Bergh said: “We are doing our first trade show over there in July called Atlanta Market, which is the main gift fair in the US. It’s the first time we’ve gone into the US ... we’ve been so busy in other areas. We’ve decided to branch out there now. It will be a slow burn, building the brand from the ground up. It’s a huge market and what we’ll be doing is approaching it with a focus on our car fragrances, which is a bit more unique.”

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Based in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, Max Benjamin employs 22 staff and exports to 50 countries, with Germany, the UK and Italy being key markets. It uses 100 per cent natural wax in its candles and operates three brands: Max Benjamin, House of Ilum and Danny the Dog, a volume car fragrance line.

About 45 per cent of its revenue comes from outside Ireland. The products are made at its studio and factory in Enniskerry while it has a warehouse in Greystones for distribution.


The company has annual revenues of close to €5 million and is targeting growth this year of 10 per cent, said Mr Van den Bergh.

“We had a tough couple of years with Covid but thankfully that’s in the past. We had our best year ever last year and we’re looking for 10 per cent growth in the business this year. It’s a hugely competitive market. We would launch new collections twice a year based around the two main trade shows in Europe ... so you have to be on top of developing your collections. That’s something we’ve always done.”

Set up by his sister Orla in 1996, who brought the idea back from her summer travels to the US as a student, the business also involves his brother Mark as brand and creative director.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times