Established in 1643 by Claude Trudon, Cire Trudon supplied candles to French royalty, right up to the revolution (they developed a more elegant and tapered candle especially for Marie Antoinette). Claude and his heirs collected the finest wax from the best-kept beehives in France, and washed it with the purest water at their factory in Normandy. To this day the process involves only vegetable oils, no paraffin, and the wicks are made of unbleached cotton.
It wasn’t until 2006, under the creative direction of Ramdane Touhami, that Cire Trudon introduced scents to their candles. They are contained in hand-blown glasses crafted in Italy, with embossed gold labels produced by the oldest maker of champagne labels in France. Some of the fragrances are inspired by tales from French history, from the Hall of Mirrors in the Château de Versailles, with its polished wooden floor, to the manly comradeship of a Napoleonic camp, and Parisian laundry maids wafting warm, clean sheets.
Other extraordinary fragrances include Odeur de Lune, suggesting whiffs of a spacecraft’s metallic surfaces and hot engine oils; Ernesto has notes of old leather, tobacco, cigars and gun barrels, transporting you to shady Havana. Right now, we like Spiritus Sancti, evocative of altar candles and high church, and Nazareth, which is heady with clove, cinnamon and orange. The house’s new limited-edition offering is Melchior, a myrrh-laced candle in a gold-leafed, hand-poured glass. Read on for tips from Laurent Delafon, Cire Trudon’s managing director on how to scent your house luxuriously this Christmas.
Five steps to a perfectly scented house, from Laurent Delafon of Cire Trudon
- Place your candle away from draughts, open windows and doors – it will burn more evenly and for longer.
- Burn your candle for no more than three hours at a time. This is ample to fully perfume any space.
- Instead of blowing out the flame, which will produce smoke and an acrid smell, drown the wick in the liquid wax. Do not forget to cock the wick vertical again.
- Before lighting the candle, trim the wick to roughly 5mm, to ensure that the flame isn’t too big, which can blacken the glass vessel.
- The first time you light your candle, keep it burning until the whole top is liquid (about three hours). This will ensure a regular and even burn.