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Vanities: Byron candles by Cire Trudon

An ode to things you don’t need but must have

Byron candles (each candle, $95 or around Rs6,175, is available on
Byron candles (each candle, $95 or around Rs6,175, is available on (Byron candles (each candle, $95 or around Rs6,175, is available on

Scarcity of time and paucity of attention have robbed this wretched world of many things. Genteel graces have been mothballed in remote corners of our homes. Candles have been the biggest victims of these villainies. Not for me though.

Some men like to light up their Gurkha Black Dragon cigar after a hard day’s work. Others find unadulterated joy upon sipping their 25-year-old Bunnahabhain single malt.

I find solace in lighting up a candle.

Vera Wang (I am just not a fan of her clothes) once said: “My evening really begins when I take a long, hot bath. I light a candle, and I turn on the news and try to catch up. It’s when I can breathe from the day to the night, and that means a lot to me." I absolutely agree with her, barring the bit about turning on the news. That, in this country, is the perfect way of ruining an evening.

I have a refrigerator for my candles. They are wrapped in foil to ensure that the wicks don’t absorb the moisture. Keeping them in the refrigerator makes them burn longer. This is a contentious point. But I do not expect any of you to write a letter to the Editor challenging this. That would be churlish.

And I don’t burn any candle. I have a new fragrance every day. It must shadow my state of mind—a distinguished doppelganger so to speak.

I love the candles by Bougies Rigaud. Jackie Kennedy lit one in the White House every evening. Byredo does some outstanding ones. Hygge is also lovely.

But on days when my heart is brimming with joy, I light up a Cire Trudon (each candle, $95 or around Rs6,175, is available on Their Cyrnos candle is like a cruise in the Mediterranean. The Trianon is majestic.

But what is poetic, a fragrant poem, is the Byron. Wood, Cognac and spice notes in a tempered threesome. The headnotes are those of black pepper, Cognac, saffron and mugwort. The base notes are that of labdanum, leather, sandalwood and opopanax.

But there’s more than fragrance. The wax is of an exceptional burning quality, none is left on the glass’ sides. Tended with love, the wicks are perfectly centred and no smoke ever walks out on a Cire Trudon.

Swapan Seth is CEO, Equus.

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