Friday, November 12, 2010

Cire Trudon: The oldest candle maker opens a shop in NYC

It has been very well established that I have an obsession with history and culture before the twentieth century. The romance of bustled dresses and gilded chandeliers has always had an overwhelming hold on me.

Candles have had an incredible influence over the history of humanity. From lighting the courts of kings and emperors and overseeing the prayers of countless to perching on the paper hat of one of the greatest sculptors of the western world (Michelangelo would often mount a candle on his head to continue working through the night,) candles have enabled innumerable historic events and progressions.

In 1643, a salesman named Claude Trudon arrived in Paris. Thanks to a fruitful marriage, Trudon became the owner of a shop on Saint-Honoré. In addition to groceries, the shop offered a variety of waxes and candles for domestic and clerical use. In the dawn of Louis XIV's reign, Trudon opened his first family based manufacture of candles. Cire Trudon's business exploded through Louis XIV's dynasty and his candles were a staple in Napoleon's studies, embossed the halls of Versailles and the bed chambers of Marie Antoinette and overseen the prayers of an entire nation for countless generations.

Expanding and improving with every decade, Cire Trudon candles sport a vegetal mix wax, which combined with the best of imported, home woven cotton wicks provide an incredibly clean and smooth vehicle for a collection of beautifully imaginative, high end perfumes. The candles are famed for burning clear and never dripping.

The 54 Bond Street shop is the first Cire Trudon location outside of Paris, an incredible resource for Trudon's many American connoisseurs. After spending an entire day dutifully picking out the candle of my dreams online, my dear friend Tamar and myself arrived at the brand new Bond street shop, thrilled to be in a room with so much history. I found myself in tears being told in a cool Parisian accent that the store I was looking forward to visiting all day was closed. I am sure I looked quite a mess, since Robert, cigarette and wine glass in hand, offered to give us a tour of the small shop and allowed me to buy my candle.

Smelling each flavor, hidden under a shimmering bell jar, I was surprised at the delicacy and uniqueness of each of the signature flavors. A light citrus cent with a woody undertone, named Odalisque, won me over.

"Enclosed in citrus and wood bark, the orange blossom weaves a painter's dream from which escapes the pale volute of smoke from a narghile. As an orientalist painting, furiously romantic, the vigorous scent of hte cade, and solar splinter of citrus fruits, come out as a thin blade in the silky shadow of vanilla."

Every night I fall asleep to the peaceful scent of citrus flower and the undeniable hint of a rich and flourishing history.

(Credits to HypeBeast for many images Cire Trudon for historic information.)

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