Shopping by Candlelight in Nolita


Iconic French candle maker Cire Trudon has just arrived in Nolita to open its first boutique since 1884 in Paris. But calling Cire Trudon merely a candle shop is like calling Christian Louboutin just a shoe store. These are candles for champagne living!

Posh is in Cire Trudon’s roots. Started by entrepreneur Claude Trudon in 1643, these wax creations have illuminated Versailles, Paris’s historic Saint Roch parish, and Napoleon’s palaces. In the early 20th century, luxury perfume houses like Dior and Hermes called on Cire Trudon to produce candles as vehicles for their legendary fragrances.

Though the Manhattan outpost is new, it still reflects a certain old world, French sensibility. The space channels a Parisian curiosity shop with aged mirrors, handmade furniture, antique candelabras and snuffers. Also for sale: Cire Trudon’s 22 original scents in various sizes and forms. This is not your typical scented candle fare. Instead, you’ll find fragrances like Roi Soleil that recall the parquetry of Versaille’s wooden floors. Notes of coniferous trees and citrus give a smoky, atmospheric smell that reminds me of a cathedral.

Here are my ultra-extravagant picks from this ultra-extravagant boutique:

Le Grande Bougie (from $375)

The largest available size of Cire Trudon’s scents, Le Grande Bougie takes perfumed candles to a level of luxury that’s off the scales. Literally. It weighs in at a whopping 6.8 pounds! Despite its enormity, it is still made of the highest quality vegetal wax with wicks woven from pure cotton. Even its glass container, like that of its smaller counterparts, is mouth-blown by Italian artisans. I’m told that it’s a very unique addition to a fireplace. Le Grande Bougie comes in your choice of five original Cire Trudon scents: Abd El Kader, Ernesto, Roi Soleil, Odalisque or Spiritus Sancti.

Cierges Camees (from $100)

This line goes beyond the typical pillar candle and comes in a range of colors, including some unexpected shades (think chartreuse). Each candle is decorated with a contrasting colored cameo medallion at its base. My favorite is turquoise with a cameo in a sharp teal shade called Empire. The pairing of modern color with a traditional design feels very edgy.

Busts (from $60)

Sure, there is a wick for burning the candles from this amazing line, but it feels more accurate to call them sculptures. Creative Director Ramdane Touhami was inspired by the industry custom of forming busts from candle wax. Pastel colors make these tradition steeped pieces totally fresh and current. I love the movement captured in L’Esclave, pictured above, but the line also includes historical heavyweights like Napoleon, Marie-Antoinette, and Alexander the Great.

Cire Trudon
54 Bond Street (at Bowery).

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