LONDON — When teas and candles meet.
French candlemaker brand Trudon has partnered with Yu Hui Tseng, the only female tea master working outside of China, on a limited edition collection of candles.
“I first met Master Tseng in 2019. A few years ago, I sat down with her for a tea tasting and that experience was a deeply revealing moment for me. What I discovered about tea was unexpected and almost unbelievable to me. I discovered that a single harvest from a single tree, if masterly aged, could produce the most intense natural scents and aromas,” Julien Pruvost, creative director of Trudon, told WWD.
The decision to collaborate occurred shortly after in 2020; however, Pruvost emphasizes that he didn’t want to create a collection that replicated the scents of tea directly.
“Without betraying tea, I wanted to tell a story through three scents that spoke of the world of Master Tseng,” said Pruvost.
The three candle names are associated with nature: “The Spirit of Water,” “Earth to Earth,” and “Under a Sky of Petals,” and the candles use natural ingredients such as juniper, frankincense oil, black pepper, elemi oil, patchouli, cypriol, musk, bergamot, lemon and many others.
“The delicacy of tea notes cannot be replicated. I did not want to try to copy, I rather wanted to explore facets of Master Tseng’s life. The story here is about the journey of water, the revealing ingredient of tea,” said Pruvost, who used calligraphy scrolls painted by Master Tseng’s mother, a master calligrapher, for the candle holder.
Chinese tea, unlike Japanese tea ceremonies, isn’t about rituals or aesthetics, but about the “quality of the ingredients and how a true master can reveal them. It is very similar to wine. Just like wine is all about the terroir and the transformation of the raw material, the same goes for excellent tea,” Pruvost said.
The scents were produced with perfumers Mylène Alran, Benoit Lapouza and Vincent Ricord. The candles will be stocked at Harrods and Selfridges in the U.K., and on the brand’s own website.
Trudon has stores in New York and Shanghai. For 2023, the brand’s focus is on fine fragrances, with a new scent launching in September.
Since 2012, the company has abandoned the usage of beeswax in their products because they were not satisfied with the industrial harvesting methods.
“We believe in protecting the bees by not exploiting them. That is precisely why we have become in 2018 the sponsor of a Dark Bee Conservatory in the region of our factory,” said Pruvost, who helped Trudon become a National Living Heritage Company in France in 2021.
“It probably stemmed from my years in Japan and my love for what is made by hand, with care, precision and passion,” Pruovst added, referencing his college years studying in Japan.