With beginnings that can be traced back to 1643, Cire Trudon has been the illuminator in French history ever since. Makers of the highest quality candles, the company "kept the lights on" so to speak at the court of Versailles starting in 1687 and Maison Trudon was named the royal wax manufacturer in 1719, supplying Napoleon et al their candles during his reign. With bloodlines like this, you know these must be something special.
In 2007, renegade Parisian designer, Ramdane Touhami, was asked to create new scents in a marketing move that would "reintroduce" Cire Trudon to the world of home fragrance. Taking images from France's past, he developed 12 fragrances that transport one back to a moment in France's history and brings it back to life.
Yesterday, I took it upon myself to do a little nosing around and ended up at Barneys here in Chicago where they sell them. The display was simple, yet elegant. Beautifully crafted bell jars covered each candle as one must inhale the scent trapped in the jar, not the candle. My daughter and I went through all of them-some of the more curious scents being Carmalite: "the scent of old stone walls in the shade of cloisters and convents", Revolution: "a liberal urge moved by a childish appetite or Trianon: evoking, "the country like dreams of Marie Antoinette". My personal favorite was Abd el Kader: "a wind of freedom coming all at once from the Mascara coast". Beautiful usage of words that really tells you nothing at all but does conjure up the idea of what you will experience I suppose. Their website will tell you what you are really smelling.
All this history does not come cheap. Each candle retails for $75, apparently they burn forever and evenly which is why they need to cost so much. There was some sticker shock on my part and I chose not to buy one. Imagine that. Barneys is just down the street and I can get my fix from the bell jar any time I want.
Photo credit: Cire Trudon