After 374 years making some of the world’s most amazing candles, France’s Maison Trudon has launched its first perfume range.
The new five-piece Maison Trudon perfume collection has been soft-launched in department stores Bon Marche in France, Harvey Nichols in London and Barneys in New York City, along with the company’s own candle boutiques. This week, it was Hong Kong’s turn.
Making its foray into perfumes after 374 years in candles, the company realised it needed to launch with more than one variant.
“We realised that if we had three or five perfumes our displays would be bigger and more visible,” said director, Elodie Herreria.
The company worked with two perfume designers, Antoine Lee and Lyn Harris for three years before the range was complete. The scents are considered niche, decidedly genderless and bold and brave. Each has a story. For one, Bruma, Lee was blindfolded and led into a Paris museum after closing time and assisted into a relaxed, meditative state by a therapist. He describes the experience as his “best brief ever” as a perfume creator. The result, in his words: “A noble figure leaves the comfort of her rooms on horseback at night to discover a part of herself in another, nearly super- natural place. Her appearance is evoked by the notes that transcribe her femininity as well as her elevated rank. The rider crosses a clearing, passing from the half-dark into the nocturnal light, shrouded in mystery, enigma and a distinguished sensuality that is almost animal-like. Her beauty is suddenly revealed by a spiritual energy.”
Another of the perfumes, Revolution, by Harris, has a deliberately strong ‘smoky’ scent.
“Revolution captures a moment in history, a period when smells were raw and prevailed everywhere,” explains Harris. “History is alive in this composition where smoke, wood, leather and incense reign. Yet modern elements in the formula let the scent breathe. A form of harmony is born out of these contrasting notes, leaving an elegant, clean, smoky wood-scented backdrop that remains on the skin.”
Each 100ml glass bottle of perfume will retail for about €180 – or in Hong Kong, $1900.
Maison Trudon has more than 700 retail sales points worldwide, including five flagships operated by itself or local distributors in Paris, London, New York City and Seoul.
The company has a total offer of around 150 candle products representing 29 scents. Prices range from €12 for a box of six table candles through to €400 for a giant 3kg centrepiece. The top-selling product is a 270gm candle selling for about €70.
The brand was founded in France in 1643 and in its early years supplied royal family members prior to the French Revolution. To have survived so long is astonishing when one considers it originated as a candle maker to provide light. Its point of difference back then was its composition of beeswax which burned clean and bright, unlike cheaper animal fat-based candles which stank when burned and emitted black smoke. But with a Trudon candle costing the equivalent of an average day’s pay back then, its customer base was limited.
After the revolution, when having previously been associated with the royal family was something of a disadvantage, the company was allowed to continue in business, due to its public service outweighing any perception of luxury.
Then came the advent of gas and later electricity, meaning candles were no longer an efficient source of light for home or office. It could have spelt the end, but instead Maison Trudon shifted its focus back to premium scented products, working with perfumeries to achieve memorable, lasting scents.
In subsequent years, the company’s ownership passed through five different families, but it always remained privately owned.