Sunday, September 18, 2011

Close your eyes, breath in, and what do you smell but Versailles.


Recently I was shopping at Barneys when I came across the most interesting candles. Weighty green glass things with a beautiful gilt seal, displayed under glass domes that you lift to smell. And the most interesting, creative scents, with names like Roi Soliel, Odalesque, and Pondichery, all inspired by a moment in history.

Cire Trudon is a wax maker and candle company that has been in France since the late 1600's. Trudon was the royal wax maker to the court at Versailles until the end of the Ancien Regime. They also supplied the most prominent churches and religious institution. Trudon candles lit the last hours before the execution of Louis XVI, and at the birth of Napoleon's son, he gave the boy one gift, a Trudon candle. Cire Trudon survived the industrial revolution and the onset of gas and later electricity.

More recently, the company has revived itself into popularity by creating scents that are inspired by their history. I ended up buying five. Roi Soliel, inspired by Versaille's hall of Mirrors, and Carmelite, inspired by cloisters and convents, smell AMAZING by themselves, but when burned together have a scent reminiscent of a beautiful old building, in the very best sense possible. You smell candles and wood and a kind of mossy dampness, as if you are in a castle. Love it! The other three I bought were Manon, which smells like fresh laundry, Trianon, inspired by Marie Antoinette's beloved Petit Trianon, and Spiritus Sancti, which has a churchy incense scent.

The Hameau de la Reine,  Marie Anoinette's "little hamlet"
 at the Petit Trianon. Image from Les Voyages de Lauren.

There are many other scents you can investigate here.

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