From the people’s revolution and Napoleon post-battle, to a powdered boudoir, Marie Antoinette’s white floral obsession and the intangible scent of the moon, historic and abstract themes are inspiring the renaissance of Maison de Cire Trudon. The legendary house founded in 1643, once the official suppliers of candles to the court of Louis XIV and later Napoleon – and now the producers of candles for Hermes, Dior, Cartier and Diptyque, have revolutionised their product by staying true to their entrenched history of innovation with the recent introduction of avant-garde scented candles.
“It’s exciting to take care of a company like Trudon,” says Cire Trudon’s visionary Creative Director Ramdane Touhami, known for his Parisian fashion line, Resistance R.T. “Knowing that this company was actually a part of French history makes it quite magical. Trudon took orders from Napoleon, Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette… the interior worlds of these great people were lit by our products.” Supplying candles to royalty as well as to the majority of churches and cathedrals of France (still supplying to over 80 percent of churches today), Cire Trudon has experimented and diversified over the centuries, living up to its motto, ‘The bees wax for God and for the King’. The company, despite its ties to the aristocracy, lived past The Terror to invent the modern Paraffin candle in 1889, “as it was truly the best wax maker in the world and couldn’t be extinguished,” asserts Touhami. “Maison Trudon simply told the revolutionaries, ‘If you destroy us, you won’t have light.’”
Interested more in conveying a mood than producing easily accessible perfumes, Cire Trudon’s collection of 18 scented candles have taken unconventional, mostly historical, cues to create various effects; a sensory assault of burnt leather and gunpowder with ‘Revolution’, the contemplative warmth of Catholic-inspired ‘Carmelite’ or the calming metallic notes of ‘Odeur De Lune’, a captivating scent derived from NASA moon soil analysis interpreted by French artist Philippe Parreno. “I don’t like candles that smell like perfumes – it’s too easy and too personal. I like the idea of scents being reminders of other times and places. Creating for the future, you have to look in the past,” explains Touhami of his process. “All the answers for the scented candles were in Trudon’s archives; the smells, ideas, the design of the glasses. I used only traditional techniques – from the production of the vegetal wax to the unique, hand-blown glasses from a small factory in Italy, everything came from our vast history.”