Clutching a styrofoam cup precariously full of mulled wine, I strolled up and down the Champs-Élysées on Friday evening searching the Christmas Market for unique gift items to share with you. Amongst the chalets offering hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts and crepes, I noticed the ubiquitous glass ornaments with glittery Eiffel Towers, colorful scarves and pop-up Christmas cards, but nothing extraordinary.
Disappointed by my unsuccessful quest, inspiration arrived on Saturday morning when I read Steph's post, Chandelle versus Bougie: A Brief History of Candles, that reminded me of a boutique I had been intending to visit.
As soon as I walked into Cire Trudon, the world's oldest and most prestigious candle manufacturer, I knew that I had hit the jackpot. With the aroma of roses, lemon and mint wafting through the air, I watched as other customers discussed their candle needs with white-gloved salespeople using complex terms normally reserved for fine wine. An elderly man and his adult-aged son carefully sniffed the glass domes covering several scented candles before selecting the "Empire", a heady mixture of pine, sage and hay reminiscent of a Napoleonic camp, while a young boy chose a bright red Advent candle over the objections of his mother and grandmother, who kept telling him that the gold ones looked more festive.
|Trudon candle extinguisher|
Knowing that Cire Trudon candles had illuminated the royal boudoirs of Versailles and the imperial court of Napoleon, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Advent candles are a very affordable 4 euros. That's a much better deal than anything that I saw at the Christmas Market. With the expert assistance of a very friendly saleswoman, I sniffed my way around the boutique before settling on "La Marquise", a verbena and lemon scented candle that "rekindles the sharpness of Madame de Pompadour's conversations and the voluptuous charms of the Rocaille chic". As the burn time is 55 to 65 hours and the price is 6o euros, I quickly calculated that 1 euro is a reasonable price to pay for an hour of scented illumination during the long Parisian evenings. Additionally, Cire Trudon candles are 100% paraffin-free and devoid of any secondary minerals derived from petrol chemicals.
78, rue de Seine
Open Monday to Saturday from 10 am - 7 pm
Closed on Mondays during August
During the weeks leading up to Christmas, I'm going to be on the lookout for other unique gift items. As I'm not normally much of a shopper, please let me know if you have a favorite boutique in Paris that I can share.
To get the most out of your scented candles, here are some helpful tips from Joseph the Butler.
|My purchases: La Marquise candle in a hand blown Italian candle glass, a gold Advent candle and 2 cream-colored column candles.|
|The 20 cm column candles are 1.80 euros per candle.|