As you may have noticed, here at StyleZeitgeist we are comfortable with both modernism and tradition, as long as it’s done well. And so it should come as no surprise that in the olfactory world, we love Cire Trudon’s golden crest on handmade Italian glass vessels of their storied candles as much as we love say the black iron cylinders of Mad et Len’s earthy odors.
Cire Trudon is the oldest candle maker in the world, and it has a fanatical following. Fans’ begging for perfume versions of Trudon candles is a long-standing tradition, and so earlier this year, the company finally released a new line of scents. Kudos to Trudon for waiting long enough to release something well considered, as many companies would go straight into a “market opportunity” mode. Unsurprisingly, the five unisex scents come with stories of their own, those of religion, royalty, and revolution, all good old French stuff, and the tricky aim Trudon set for itself with the fragrances is to somehow both embrace and transcend them. Perhaps the line does so in presenting fragrances that we found to be complex but unfussy, pleasant without trying to be pleasing, and unpretentious without being simplistic.
This starts with the bottle design, whose classic cylinder shape is topped with a grass-green rippled glass cap. The inset for the label is a subtle touch that gives the bottle that “just so” feeling.
For the scents, Cire Trudon collaborated with three esteemed noses – Lyn Harris of the Miller Harris fame, Antoin Lie, who has concocted some of the Comme des Garcons fragrances, and Yann Vasnier, the most commercial of the trio.
Harris created three of the five scents, including our favorite, “Olim,” which we found quite opulent between the bergamot, lavender, anise head, pink peppercorn and clove heart, and patchouli, benzoin, myrrh, musk base. It smells incensey, but not musty or too earthy.
The rest of the scents, except the very green “II,” also remind one of incense, especially the smoky “Revolution” and “Mortel,” and there is an expected continuity between the perfumes and Trudon’s candles. None of these scents are olfactory breakthroughs of the kind the fragrances avant-gardists seek, but they are not meant to be. They are reliable but unique enough to be daytime workhorses that can continue perfectly well into the night. And often one needs just that.
Complete scent notes below
HEAD: Black pepper, lavender, galbanum
HEART: Violets, purple peony, iris, jasmine sam- bac
BASE: Labdanum, Haitian vetiver, tonka bean
HEAD: Bergamot, lavender, anise
HEART: Pink peppercorn, clove
BASE: Patchouli, benzoin, myrrh, musk
HEAD: Green leaves, orange bigarade
HEART: Pines, pepper, juniper
BASE: Cedar, incense, Ambroxan, Cashmeran
BASE: Cedar, papyrus, patchouli, cade, incense, pure cistus, opoponax
HEAD: Black pepper, pimento, nutmeg
HEART: Somalian frankincense, Mystikal, Virginia cedar
BASE: Pure cistus, myrrh, benzoin