Champagne and chicken pot pie: catching up with Carol Han Pyle

The founder of candle brand Nette sheds some light on her daily routines, her inspiration and the best meal she’s ever eaten

Written by Clara Strunck September 22, 2021

If you’re anything like us, you’ll know that a good scented candle is one of life’s most indulgent little pleasures. Unfortunately, so many look and smell the same, use harmful ingredients like paraffin wax and come in cheap pots that are hardly inspiring. So thank goodness for Nette: a clean and sustainable candle brand that uses coconut-soy wax, the best fragrance houses in the world and Italian blown-glass vessels you’ll want to keep long after the wick has burned down. New Yorker Carol Han Pyle founded the business (without outside investment) as she felt the industry was due a shift to something better – and we have to say, she’s nailed it. Here, she lets us in on the secrets to her success, including good family, a tip-top morning routine and chocolate every day. Now that’s something we can get on board with…

What’s the most used object in your kitchen?

A cast iron Dutch oven by Great Jones.

Is there one cookbook you think everyone should own?

I love Alison Roman’s cookbooks – her recipes work really well and are unfailingly delicious, and her newsletter is both useful and highly entertaining. I also love all of Julia Turshen’s cookbooks.

What could we always find in your fridge?

A cold pressed green juice and whatever fruit is in season. I want to say homemade bone broth, because that’s always the goal, but I’m working on that one!

Tell us about your most memorable meal…

I spent my birthday in Napa, California a few years ago and went to SingleThread Farms for my birthday dinner. It was so incredible – the farm has three Michelin stars, so I knew the food was going to be outstanding, but the staff made it extra special. Every single person signed a gorgeous birthday card for me and sent me home with seeds, so that I could plant wasabi arugula in my own garden.

When you sit down at your desk, what’s the first thing you do?

Take a sip of coffee, light a candle, and start responding to emails.

What is no celebration complete without?

A great bottle of champagne!

What are you making for dinner tonight?

I’m staying at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles as I type. I’ll probably have dinner here at their restaurant tonight and order their chicken pot pie, which is one of the best iterations of that dish I’ve ever had.

What’s the one thing you’ll never order?

When I was in Tokyo a couple of years ago, we went to a very renowned sushi restaurant where people were ordering the live shrimp. I won’t eat anything that’s still moving!

If you could invite anyone to a dinner party, who would you ask and why?

Oprah – I think she’d be the life of the party and the most interesting conversationalist, obviously!

What (or who!) inspires you to get up every morning?

My family (including my two pups) and my friends. I got so lucky with the people and animals in my life – they’re what I cherish most.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Chocolate – I have it every day. And instant ramen, which I never eat, but think about often.

Do you have any party bugbears?

A host who doesn’t seem to be having fun!

What’s your proudest achievement?

Launching Nette with no outside investment.

When you’re invited to dinner, what do you always take?

A great bottle of wine and, of course, a candle!

What would your perfect Sette-Up include?

I love a woven placemat in a pretty shape, so the Conchita placemats are heaven to me. I’d pair them with a pretty tablecloth, like this olive-printed one, for an al fresco autumn lunch. I’m also obsessed with objects that look like other objects. I have these genius potato bowls that actually look like little baked potatoes, in which I serve mashed potatoes topped with caviar. The Sette’s famous croissant box falls into that category – I would use it to hold jam and butter and style it in a pile with real croissants.

Ready, Sette, Go: Our Quickfire Questions

Jet-sette… what’s your favourite holiday spot?

The south of France – my husband and I got engaged at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc! And I love the Amanemu resort and onsen spa in Japan.

Sunrise or sunsette… what’s your favourite time of day?

Sunrise!

Heart sette on… what’s on your wishlist?

A vintage two-tone men’s Rolex with a ghost dial.

Sette store by… what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

When times get tough, keep going.

Sette your mind to… what’s something you’d like to achieve in the next ten years?

The dream is to make Nette the ultimate go-to for fragrance.