The World in a Glass Vessel

Cinnamon’s post on her Cire Trudon candle got me reminiscing about the brand, and a poke around on their website (I guess they’re now called just Trudon? Can I type it like Trvdon because it amuses me? and oh, yeah they have a perfume line) … where was I? Their website triggered some thoughts, so here we go.

I didn’t grow up with luxury candles (or luxury anything else, for that matter) and by the time I ran across Cire Trudon in the Washington, D.C. area I was a tad more worldly. But “luxury candle” to me was the ubiquitous Rigaud, which I saw stacked up at Neiman Marcus and smelled in the homes of fancy folk my parents’ age – candles designed to make your nice home smell nicer by obliterating the fug of wet spaniels and musty Aubussons and indoor smokers at parties, still a thing in those days. Rigaud candles were strong and smelled old-money expensive to me, a big step up from the Yankee Candle store at the mall but still recognizably candle-ish with their parfum d’ambiance fruit or musk or woods or green notes. Rigaud was the familiar with a pedigree.

A Cire Trudon candle on the other hand conjured up its own little world. I loved to linger over them at various boutiques – their mysterious alchemy in gorgeous green class with that luxe gold label, often under those huge glass cloches (and maybe that’s part of the standard display?) which not only looked awesome but made it a lot easier to take in the fullness of each scent by inhaling from the cloche. I thought they all smelled amazing, but (and I had to go check the names) the ones that made the biggest impression on me were Abd el Kader which is the mint-tea one Cinnamon mentioned, Balmoral with its grassy green wildness, and (I think) Spiritus Sancti, the one that smelled like an old church, right down to the candle wax and wooden floors. (Hat tip to Ernesto, the library-in-Havana one with cigars, leather and rum which smelled fabulous but not as exotic as the others.)

Candles that purport to capture a particular place are much more common now at every price point, which makes it hard to credit just how shocking and strange those Cire Trudons were for me at first sniff. I’m not a candle expert and I don’t have any measure or opinion of their quality, but there’s a place that carries some of them here and I still think they’re stunning.

They also have a set of fragrances, none of which I’ve tried  — Yan Vassnier or Antoine Lie are listed as the creator for several of them, so they could be pretty great. (LuckyScent has some too.) At $48 for 15ml travel sprays and $240 for 100ml on the Trudon website, that seems … more like a bargain all the time, I guess. I thought these sounded particularly nice:

Bruma – Galbanum, Lavender, Iris, Violet, Leather, Labdanum (Antoine Lie)

Médie  – Mandarin, Grapefruit, French Cypress, Sambac Jasmine, Frankincense, Vetiver (Yann Vasnier)

Mortel Noir – “suggests skins heating up against one another: the strength of black pepper from Madagascar blended with incense from Somalia, myrrh and benzoin reveal the erotic spell of pure Cistus.”  {fans self} (Yann Vasnier)

I wish Trudon did some kind of fragrance discovery set like Cinnamon posted yesterday so you could try a bunch of them out – if they do, I couldn’t find it. (Of course Lucky has its usual sample program.)

Have you tried any of these? Patty did a review of them awhile ago. How do you feel about the candles?

  • cinnamon says:

    Love candles. And the Trudon Abd el Kader from the dog is now up at the top my collection. Beautiful and very strong.

  • Tom says:

    I want to like candles more than I do. But while they smell nice they aren’t really effective in removing smells, which is the issue in my apartment. Unlike my old one, which had windows in the bathroom and kitchen (and a kitchen with proper doors) my new(er) place relies on fans which are less effective. So I am usually spraying the place with some sort of doubtless poisonous stuff to get rid of the odor of fish or (excuse the expression) flatulence. I am also paranoid about people leaving them lit and wandering off, which has caused fires, recently in a building next door (nobody hurt thankfully) and down the street, where the owners dog died.

    So please people, don’t leave them unattended. The best way to use them it to light them, let them get a good puddle of wax going and then blow them out. You’ll release the scent, they’ll last a hole lot longer, and you won’t set fire to the curtains.

    • Musette says:

      I remember your lovely friend violetnoir teaching you that trick, Tom, which you then passed on to the Posse – and I have used it ever since. I, too, get nervous with candles. Love ’em…but Nervous.


  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I have a ton of Bath and Body Works candles that I am slowly working my way through. I mostly stick to cheaper candles for some reason.

  • Dina C. says:

    I aspire to own those high end candles, but so far I’ve enjoyed the middle rank kind like Thymes and Nest. That Trudon Bruma scent sounds right up my alley. Need to sniff that one.

  • Portia says:

    We now have Trudon stand alone store in Sydney March. All very ra sha sha in that wood panelled shelving kinda way on a dark char wall.
    I like to buy the busted box candles at the annual warehouse sale. No one cares what it comes in when they then have a Trudon candle to display.
    Revolution is my favourite from the perfume set but Bruma is also gorgeous. They did have a sample set over the Xmas season if I remember rightly.
    Portia xx

    • March says:

      A stand-alone store?! That sounds GLORIOUS. And you’d mentioned their annual warehouse sale (I didn’t connect the dots) I would be ALL over that — yeah at those prices I’m sure regular buyers would want perfect appearance lol. Tara below says they do have a sample set on their website, I must have missed it somehow…

  • Musette says:

    Barneys used to have the Whole Enchilada display, with the cloches. In fact, I remember my first foray into Cire Trudon Sniffage, with Lydia instructing me to sniff the cloche! Stunning way to capture the scent.

    That Yann one with the skins sounds sublime! It’s damp and a bit chilly (not cold – it’s in the mid-30s but damp makes it seem way colder) – the idea of skins rubbing against each other sounds very…warm. Yes. Warm.

    Goin’ with that.


    • March says:

      I’ve seen other less-fancy candle displays occasionally with smaller cloches (and smaller candles) and that’s just so much fun. I’mo need to go back and sniff some more … I think I said this in Cinnamon’s post but when I feel guilty enough about my no-buy sniffage at That One Store here next to the hotel, I’m thinking I’ll buy a Trudon candle, which would be my first.

  • Tara C says:

    They have a travel spray coffret set on their own website. I own all three of the scents you mention and enjoy them a lot, as well as many of their candles. Spiritus Sancti is great. I find they burn well and don’t tunnel like Diptyque sometimes does. Of course for that price they should burn well!

    • March says:

      Thank you — I somehow missed that travel set. I’ve never bought a Trudon candle for as much as I love them and as many times as I’ve smelled them — I should fix that lol.