I’ve never been a fan of destination shopping. Good exercise it may be but schlepping halfway around town to one shop and then having to hoof it three miles to the next isn’t my idea of retail heaven. But some shops are worth the extra walk and the new Cire Trudon boutique, hidden away on up-and-coming Chiltern Street in Marylebone, is certainly one of them. It may have only been open a matter of weeks but the boutique, selling some of the best scented candles in the world, has already been visited by the likes of Kylie Minogue.
Cire Trudon itself has been around since 1643, making it the oldest candle maker in the world, so you can safely say it’s doing something very right. For me, their longevity probably has something to do with the fact that the scented candles burn beautifully and every one of them has an enchanting story behind it.
The brief for Roi Soleil, for example, had its creator nose-to-the-vast-wooden-floor in Versailles attempting to capture the smell of the famous Mirrored Gallery. To be honest, it’s worth visiting the shop just to have a smell of Odeur de Lune, based on the smell of, you guessed it, the moon. Not some romanticised idea of the moon, though, but the actual way the moon might smell, based on Nasa reports and its mineral compostion. It’s truly extraordinary (and delightfully bonkers) although in fairness its pungent metal-meets-burnt-tyres aroma won’t be to everyone’s taste. The fact that it exists at all is still rather fabulous in my book.
My own personal favourite, though, is Empire – a great candle for men who want their homes to smell good but not like the Tuileries Garden. A warm, smoky and herby fragrance it has notes of pine, sage, thyme and rosemary along with laurel, juniper and grassy hay. Cire Trudon themselves succinctly describe it as the scent of ‘burning bushes’ – bringing it right back down to earth but making it no less magical.
Cire Trudon can be found at 36 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7QL. Tel 0207 486 7590