As you know, I have been a very, very good girl this year. While not yet perfect, I have shown great improvement in many areas. I clean the lint out of my dryer on a more regular basis; I remove the foil from wine bottles before opening them (most of the time); and I have greatly reduced my consumption of salted butter. If I had to do a self-evaluation for the year, I would definitely give myself an “exceeds expectations”. Of course, those expectations would be my own, and I have always been good at managing my expectations of myself. I just need to train others to manage their expectations of me, and we would all be happy. I will work on that for next year.
So, the reason for my letter is to ask a favor. If you have really deep pockets in those cute red pants of yours, would you please go to a famous candle shop in the 6th arrondissement and get me some candles for Christmas? The shop is called Cire Trudon, and is special because it is the oldest wax manufacturer in the entire world. Even cooler than that, the company began providing candles to the court of Versailles in 1687, and continued to do so until the end of the monarchy! They still make high-quality, gorgeous candles today, and you don’t have to be royalty to get them. The candles are all vegetal material, with no paraffin and no petrochemicals. Cire Trudon sells them here in Paris at their beautiful little shop on Rue de Seine in the tony Saint Germain des Pres neighborhood. I checked it out for you, Santa, because that’s the kind of girl I am.
It’s not very big, but beautifully arranged, with very stylish displays. And the smell….
This sign with the beehive should reassure you that you are at the right place. Isn’t it pretty?
When you walk in, this lovely case of perfumed candles in hand-blown Italian glass will be on your right. I was kind of overwhelmed as I looked at them, and the nice young man who worked there asked if I would like to sample some of the fragrances. I said yes, and wondered if he were going to wave the different candles under my nose. Main non! We walked to the other side of the store, where two rows of these lovely dome-covered candles sat.
Beside each dome was a card describing the fragrance held within. He asked me what kind of fragrance I tended to prefer, and I told him green, fresh, and not overly floral. He then chose six fragrances he thought I might like, and carefully lifted each dome with his white-gloved hands and allowed me to smell the inside of it. Before lifting a dome, he told me the name of the fragrance and what its essential ingredients were. Interestingly, the scents tended to be unusual, such as “the inside of a convent” or “the floors of Versailles”. They were musky and old and often reminded me of incense and smoke from an ancient church. After much deliberation, I chose Dada, which is described as follows:
With a touch of tea and vetiver, dressed up with crumple mint leaves and eucalyptus, this clever scent confuses the mind. Sharp and expansive, it opens us to the magnetic field of the Dada movement, to the artistic dizziness and surrealist experiences.
Each fragrance has a framed illustration on the wall. Here is Dada’s.
Cire Trudon also makes unscented tapers for elegant table tops. Check out this wall of candles!
I bought two of these for my Thanksgiving table and was thrilled with how nicely they burned. More, please!
Cire Trudon is well-known for its cameo pillars, which come perfumed or not.
So French, oui?
Merci beaucoup, Santa! I’ll keep working on my list, in case you don’t think this is enough. You just keep checking back with Mais Oui Paris so you don’t miss a post.
Kate in Paris