Cire Trudon Abd El Kader Candle : Home Fragrance Review


Few things tempt me more than the vibrant freshness of fresh mint mixed in with a sweet-salty lemonade, a drink called limon nana in Arabic or nimbu pani in Hindi. It is a very simple concoction of mint leaves crushed with lemon juice, sugar and a hint of salt to bring out the floral sweetness of the components. Yet nothing can be more rejuvenating on a hot summer day, especially when the heat of the sun makes the asphalt look almost molten. As we trudge through winter here in the northern hemisphere, a beverage of icy lemonade is hardly what I crave, but somehow its scent never fails to delight. Today my cure for the winter blues is Abd El Kader, a candle by Cire Trudon, that is inspired by the scent of Morocco–mint tea, tobacco, and spices.

Abd El Kader smells deliciously bright and verdant when unlit, oscillating from crushed mint and lemon peel to spicy basil and ginger. As the candle burns, the fragrance grows more complex, with cardamom and clove giving the scent a sparkling, vivid character. The warmth of the tobacco and vanilla is very subtle, yet it lends the crisp green scent a velvety, rich quality. Although I bought the candle because I thought it would be a fresh and uplifting home fragrance, I have found that it is wonderfully relaxing. Perhaps it has to do with its allusions to the scents of summer, or perhaps it is because it forces me to slow down and lapse into a daydream of someplace warm and inviting.

Cire Trudon is among the oldest French manufacturers and producers of candles, tracing its lineage to Maison Trudon, which has been the royal wax manufacturer since the 18th century. Currently, under the creative direction of Ramdane Touhami, Cire Trudon is growing once again. Although Cire Trudon candles are on the higher-end of luxury candles, the generous quantity and the superb quality of their scents make the price worthwhile. I find most candles to be strong enough to scent the room even when unlit. When lit, they are among the strongest candles I have tried, easily beating Diptyque and creating strong competition for my beloved L’Artisan candles. Besides Abd El Kader, I am also partial to the patchouli and moss darkness of Carmélite and the marigold and jasmine opulence of Pondichery.

A candle burning tip: most candles should not be burned for longer than 2-3h, otherwise the structure of the candle and the distribution of oil within the wax column changes and the candle’s life becomes shorter.

Cire Trudon candles are available online from Aedes and Barney’s New York. In NYC, Cire Trudon also has a store at 54 Bond Street. Modeled after the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, it carries the full range of Cire Trudon products, from candles to room sprays. 9.5oz candle, $75.00.



  • Violaine: Oh my glad to know this brand; i just read the ORYX article; I like the owner’s vision very much. ciao! February 27, 2011 at 7:39am Reply

  • Olfactoria: Sounds absolutely delicious! February 27, 2011 at 4:07am Reply

  • Nowhereman: Cire Trudon candles are pricey as heck but really fantastic. I’ve got the Ernesto (most masculine candle i’ve ever smelled: tobacco, leather, a touch of wood, and gunpowder/flint), and the *much* more usable Roi Soleil (honey and blond wood with a touch of milky wood polish). This one sounds great too. You’re right though; these things are *strong*. I could never imagine burning one for more than an hour.

    If you want to sniff them in persons, most Barney’s NY stores have them set up in their fragrance sections. February 27, 2011 at 11:08am Reply

  • Susan Webster Adams: I’d love to try that fragrance. We were recently in NYC and it was between that fresh, minty scent and musty, antique wooden floors. We went with Spiritus Sancti (wooden floors) because it reminds us of the antique homes in New England. We have burned ours for long periods of time (4-6 hours) and it definitely shortens the life of the candle. There is no way we’ll get 70 hours out of ours. After 2-3 burns, we’re about halfway through. The mint fragrance sounds perfect for warmer weather. There is a spicy scent that I would like to try in the cooler months. I forget the name. Fun brand! February 27, 2011 at 9:44am Reply

  • sweetlife: This sounds lovely, V., but…marigold and jasmine! Must sniff! Sounds like the scent of an Indian wedding–are there any spices in it?
    I adore that rusty fall scent of marigolds wherever I can find it. (Hooray for Niki de St. Phalle.) And Roi Soleil sounds wonderful, too.

    You know, inspired by your reviews I went out to the one store in Austin I knew carried Mariage Freres, Skeem, Red Flower and other candles yesterday only to find that they had close. Alas. (But thank goodness for my pocketbook.) February 27, 2011 at 3:32pm Reply

  • Victoria: This time I really was torn between Abd El Kader and Roi Soleil. It is definitely a great brand with high-quality products.

    Yes, your observation definitely parallels my own. Plus, I find that these candles are so strong that burning them for longer than 2h is an overkill. February 27, 2011 at 11:09am Reply

  • Victoria: Ernesto is another one I loved. Also Revolution, which ironically is about to be axed.
    You are right about Barneys. That's where I discovered them first. February 27, 2011 at 11:11am Reply

  • Victoria: I like his eclectic background, as the article presents. Well, the scents are so unusual and memorable, they speak for themselves. February 27, 2011 at 11:14am Reply

  • Victoria: It really is! February 27, 2011 at 11:14am Reply

  • Marina: Mint tea, tobacco and spices sound delicious together! February 27, 2011 at 3:58pm Reply

  • Victoria: Pondichery smells green and jasmine-like at first, but then the notes of sandalwood and sweet spices become more obvious. The interesting thing about Cire Trudon. Blends is how complex they are. Even with this mint tea candle… Nothing prepared me for the warmth of tobacco, but it adds such an alluring counterpoint to the green, sparkling notes. February 27, 2011 at 5:07pm Reply

  • Victoria: I would wear this as perfume! February 27, 2011 at 5:08pm Reply

  • Safran: Apart from the moon (something with lune) one, I like all of the Cire Trudon candles. Last year I had the Dada candle, which is also very minty, it smells like the nana-mint tee without the spices. This winter I bought Mademoiselle de Vallise, a tuberose candle, so I could invite Spring anytime I wanted. It’s my first tuberose candle ever and I really wonder why. Maybe because this one is especially beautiful, lighthearted and happy in a way.

    Safran February 28, 2011 at 8:33am Reply

  • Victoria: We have similar tastes, I did not care for Lune either (do not even recall its name.) Dada has been on my list for a while, and it might be my next purchase. I also love the presentation in that dark green glass. Once the candles are finished, I use these glasses for storing my paint brushes. February 28, 2011 at 8:46am Reply

  • Erin T: I love this one, too, V – it just made me sigh instantly with the thought that I could be buying such an expensive candle. There was a white floral I loved, as well, which I’m pretty sure must have been Mademoiselle de Vallise (or maybe Trianon? But I’m pretty sure MdV…) and one with eucalyptus: could be Dada, I guess, but my guess is Chandernagor. I think I’m having trouble keeping track of which ones I liked best, though, because I was so surprised at the quality of all of them. I’m not a home fragrance person, but I really was struck by these. February 28, 2011 at 10:50pm Reply

  • Erin T: Sorry, Mademoiselle de la Vallière, I meant. Although Mme de la Val(l)ise would be a funny name for a mistress! February 28, 2011 at 10:55pm Reply

  • Victoria: It is expensive, but it is actually a great value for the quantity and the price. Most candles are smaller (Diptyque candles are about 6.7oz and $60, for instance.) Ok, fine, I am simply trying to justify another purchase for myself (it was Mademoiselle de la Vallière, just placed an online order for it!)

    The tuberose note of Mademoiselle de la Vallière is wonderful, with a pleasant green note. I love the fact that Cire Trudon scents really do have a top note, which gives them an interesting complexity. March 1, 2011 at 10:41am Reply

  • jana: I LOVE these candles, they’re so chic. I saw Cire Trudon giveaway on facebook March 4, 2011 at 2:04am Reply

  • Victoria: Thanks, Jana! These candles are very nice. March 4, 2011 at 8:28am Reply

  • jana: i love Cire Trudon candles, they are definitely worth the cash!! the new stink bombs are brilliant. Im pretty sure facebook is still hosting a candle giveaway March 9, 2011 at 6:17pm Reply

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