Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cire Trudon Candles...

Cire Trudon is the oldest candle manufacturing company in the world. It was founded in 1643. and was the largest wax-producing factory in the French Kingdom during the 17th and 18th centuries.

In 1643, a salesman named Claude Trudon arrived in Paris. He soon became the owner of a shop on Saint-Honore, which provided its customers with wax candles for domestic usage as well as church candles to the neighbouring Saint Roche parish. The candles were "home made", developing and building on a specific manufacturing process. On the eve of the reign of Luois XIV, Trudon established his first family-owned factory which was to bear his name and make the fortune for his heirs.

Claude's son Jacques took over, becoming a grocer and wax producer and joined the Versilles royal court in 1687 as the apothecary and distiller of Queen Marie-Thérèse.

At the time, wax was under high scrutiny. Carefully collected on the hive, it was bleached through a series of pure water baths that washed off all the impurities. Dried in the open air, the wax was whitened by sunlight. When burning, the flame lit the translucent edges generating the glowing aura of the candle.

In 1737, Hierosme Trudon, purchased one of the most famous wax producing factories of the time, which belonged to Lord Pean de Saint Gilles. Pean de Saint Gilles was then the official wax provider to the King. Drawing from the family expertise, Hierosme devoted his skills to the development of a vast factory. He produced a wax of very high quality, collecting it from the best hives in the kingdom and trading directly with the producers. The wax was then treated with the utmost attention: it was washed with the purest water after being filtered with gypsum, guaranteeing the highest quality. The factory also imported the finest cotton to manufacture wicks whose combustion was clean and regular. The Trudon candles, so white and so perfect, could burn for hours without crackling; their flame neither trembled nor smoked.

Maison de Cire Trudon furnished candles to the royal court, cathedrals, and churches over France. More than one hundred people worked in the factory during its height, now protected as an historic building. The company's Latin motto and blazon are engraved on a stone at the factory: a depiction of hives and bees bordered by the saying: Deo regique laborant (they work for God and for The King).

Maison Trudon still keep records of recipes and also the tools for wax whitening: 17th century wrought iron pans. The moulds used to form candles bearing the royal blazons still remain: “cierge paschal pour la Chapelle du Roy à Versailles, Bougies de nuit pour le Roy”… (“Easter candle church for the Royal Chapel in Versailles, night candle for the King”…)

Trudon supplied Versailles until the end of the monarchy. During his captivity, Louis XVI used the candles of his royal wax manufacturer. The blazon and the motto would be hidden under a layer of mortar to avoid the furies of the Revolution. Today it is still the candle provider for many churches, like Saint Roche in Paris, which has burned their candles since 1643.

The manufacture distributes its products in France and abroad. It makes vegetable wax candles for the greatest French and international brands such as (Hermes, Cartier, Dior, and Guerlain) as well as for palaces and high-grade restaurants.

WORLD Store...

We bought our Cire Trudon candle from the WORLD Beauty Store in Auckland. It is the Roi Soleil scent, which is modelled on the fragrance of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles -

"The smell of the vast wooden floors, vapours of wax from the candelabras, blended with the green wooded wake of coniferous trees and the sumptuous dizziness of incense, with a light ray of citrus".

We will have to build a collection, with a different candle for each room. There are 18 different fragrances to choose from!


  1. ps -i obviously meant proletaire scent from cire trudon.

  2. I have a proletaire candle -based on the fragrance of lilies - on my coffee table now. I bought quite a few candles on my Paris trip in the fall and this is the last one unfortunately. I'll either need to find a source in the US or go back to using Diptyque or Tocca candles.

  3. This was so interesting, what history. I was so into it... I like the last candle.

    That's a fantastic gift.

    Thank you.

  4. mmmmm I am also a big fan of cire trudon my favorite is balmoral, but in the library and in the bedroom we have le roi soleil, makes us think about versailles. W elove that place and it's smell.



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