Inside Cire Trudon: The World’s Oldest Candle Maker

cire trudon candles in cases

Paris, 1643. Louis XIV has just taken to the French throne, starting what would become the longest reign in European history and on the rue Saint-Honoré, Claude Trudon has just opened a boutique, starting what would become the world’s oldest candle-maker: Cire Trudon (as it was later named in 2007).

Supplying the court of Louis XIV, as well as prominent churches in Paris and the surrounding region, Cire Trudon candles soon garnered a reputation for their luxurious white wax and unrivalled burning time. Despite continuing to supply Versailles up until the last days of the Ancient Regime, Cire Trudon survived throughout the French Revolution, became a supplier to Napoleon, and saw out the advent of electricity.

cire trudon candle

Four centuries later and Cire Trudon still carries the same luxury it has been attributed with since 1643. Now it’s known more for its scented candles (any fragrance can be mixed with its unique wax made from palm oil, rice, soy and coprah) than its royal connections but those hundreds of years of experience continue to play a key part in each candle made.

No detail is spared; each candle is still handmade in Normandy, while each glass is hand-blown in Vinci, Italy, by master craftsmen who ensure no two glasses are identical. The distinctive label is produced by France’s oldest champagne label maker, with the original motto of the Maison de Cire Trudon still taking pride of place: deoregique laborant (they work for both God and the King).

Candle pouring

Scents are highly thought out too, with well-known ‘noses’ enlisted to create rich perfumes inspired by individuals that have played a part throughout Cire Trudon’s history. Take Abd El Kader, so named after the Algerian political and religious leader who resisted French invasion in the 19th century – now inspiring a scent of fresh mint, peppery ginger, tea and tobacco. Or Ernesto, which takes inspiration from the revolutionary Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, resulting in a scent made up of rum, bergamot, oakwood, patchouli and tobacco. For a lighter scent, there’s Odalisque, named after those famous French nude paintings from the 19th century – a seductive mix of lemon, orange blossom and cade.

Cire Trudon - factory

On a more contemporary note is Cire Trudon’s exclusive collaboration with Giambattista Valli, who created Rose Poivrée in 2010 (lily of the valley, peppercorn, mandarin, rose, amber and sandalwood), followed by Positano in 2014 (neroli, gardina, bergamot, orange blossom, magnolia and Peru balsam).

Continuing to grow yet still retaining its original values, Cire Trudon candles and accessories are the perfect luxurious accompaniment to any home. Shop Cire Trudon on Coggles >>

Words by Angharad Jones. Images courtesy of Cire Trudon

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert