This was Marie Antoinette's favourite candle company - how's that for celebrity endorsement?
I always maintain that you can't be a die-hard scent lover unless you have scented candles. Spraying scent on yourself is more of a vanity thing - it's for other people to encounter but you stop noticing it on yourself after a while. Whereas fragranced candles are constantly emitting scent so there's no escape from it. The perfect way to surround yourself in perfume and escape. And Cire Trudon are the longest running candle company in history, over hundreds of years, patrons including Marie Antoinette herself (sadly these were the days before candles could be scented).
The shop on Chiltern Street (a stone's throw from that Firehouse) is more like a miniature museum, elegant wallpaper, antique furniture and a chorus line of candles in glass domes for visitors to lift and sniff. There are decorative pillar candles and taper candles in rainbow colours and wax busts of Napoleon (another Cire Trudon customer I'm told) and aforementioned Marie Antoinette.
And the scents themselves will definitely tickle your wick, like travelling around the world in 80 sniffs (or 27 to be exact) - from the laundry rooms of Versailles (Manon) to the Middle East (Abd El Kader). No house in December should be complete without Nazareth that will (for obvious reasons) make you feel like Christmas morning: tangerines in stockings; cinnamon-infused mulled wine; the third Wise Man with a box of Myrhh etc.
But seeing as we're in summer, allow me to draw your attention to Cyrnos - their latest offering. Meaning 'Corsica' it's named after a famous villa built on the French riviera by Empress Eugenie (Napolean III's widow) in 1894. It echoes a peaceful summer retreat, escaping to the shores of Monaco and breathing in lavender, pine, herbs and woods - occasionally getting wafts of fresh lemon from one's G&T.
Elsewhere, the elegant La Promeneuse is a delightful new home-scent contraption designed to be carried about from room to room. Made from emerald green glass it works like those terracotta aromatherapy oil burners - but far more stylish of course. A scented wax cameo is placed in a brass spoon on the ceramic dish, which is melted by a candle underneath it, wafting a good dose of fragrance around the room. It comes with four different scents and four candles*, making it easy to swap around scents if one's mood changes - which I imagine would go down well at a party, a bit like an olfactory playlist maybe...?
36 Chiltern St, London W1U 7QJ / 020 7486 7590 - trudon.com
Also available at The Conran Shop
Mon-Sat : 10am - 6pm
Sun : 12am - 5pm
*RIP Ronnie Corbett