Think luxury scented candles and, sure, there are a few brands which might be front of mind. Likely to be up there are those by the masters at Cire Trudon. Lit and loved in hotels and homes the world over, LuxDeco’s Jonathon Warren narrates—or rather, waxes lyrical—about the storied French candlemaker whose beginnings can be traced to the royal court of none other than Louis XIV.
Cire Trudon candles—a brief history
Not many luxury candles can say theirs is a pedigree with centuries of prestige behind it. But then again, Cire Trudon candles are no ordinary candles.
Founded in 1643 on Paris’ Rue Saint-Honoré, one of its earliest ‘customers’ was none other than French royalty, namely the court of The Sun King (aka, Louis the Great or Louis XIV), with some of France’s greatest churches an established part of its original clientele too.
Traditionally made then and now in the very same handblown-in-Tuscany signature green glass vessels, each candle continues to be hand-poured using vegetable wax in the same Norman factory as it always has been. And its reputation too remains unchanged, deservedly not wavering at any point as the world’s candle-appreciating audience continue to perceive it as one of, if not the, finest candle maker there ever was.
The secrets of scenting—a sensory experience
Forget fragrances entitled simply fig, amber or musk, Cire Trudon’s candles have far more of a narrative behind them.
Their scents are intended to transport you to someplace familiar or to compel you to visit the setting that inspired it so that you can appreciate its aroma first-hand.
Take its Solis Rex fragrance that diffuses the same woody notes that strike you upon entering Vienna’s State Opera. Or Cyrnos that blends black fig with myrtle and lemon which has something so distinctly French about it that you can light its wick, close your eyes and pretend you’re in the Belle Époque villa in the south of France that inspired it.
Notable followers and couture collaborations
From Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer’s go-to home fragrance brand to supermodel Cindy Crawford’s candle of choice (as she revealed to British Vogue earlier this year), Cire Trudon is no stranger to celebrity clientele.
Neither is it new to the catwalk with its most revered collaboration being with fellow French design powerhouse, Balmain. Described by Vogue in September of this year as ‘the most couture candle of the moment’, it features a gold leaf striped vessel (inspired by Balmain’s iconic striped sweaters) and a powerful fragrance that combines gunpowder, cigar tobacco and black rose.
This was not the candlemaker’s first brush with couture however, having created a special edition Rose Poivrée candle in tandem with Giambattista Valli to mark the opening of its first store on Rue Boissy D’Anglas in Paris.
From oldest candlemaker to formidable fragrance house
Did anybody ever doubt that Cire Trudon would stop simply at candles? Those at court in 1643 might not have been able to quite put their finger on where the French candle brand’s future might take them, but might they have conceived something bigger, broader, richer but just as resplendent?
With fragrances that are potent, powerful, intoxicating and with incredible throw, followers of the brand describe using its creations as almost ceremonial. They transport, they transfix, they transcend what other candlemakers and fragrance creators have long tried to achieve.
Today, its reed diffusers (based on an 19th-century ostrich egg no less though theirs is ceramic and sits on a wooden black perch) are celebrated far and wide. Its travel candles provide die-hard fans a bit of Cire Trudon on their travels or serves as an entry point for newcomers. Its perfumes act as the signature scent for the well-informed and its room sprays are spritzed and savoured in modern-day versions of Marie Antoinette’s chambers (another known customer of the prestigious candlemaker).
Diversified as it might have done, no effort can ever distract from the true Cire Trudon backbone. Deo Regique Laborant as its motto reads, translating as, the bees work for God and the king. For it is wax that always has and always will be the brand’s beating heart.