The five senses have always been a source of endless intrigue. Of these, the sense of smell is the most fascinating because of its power to send you to an elusive and almost fantastical zone. From the ancient land of Arabia, across the magnificent churches of Rome, scent has always been captured from life in its purest form and bottled for people to hold and carry. Even today, scent or fragrance is about the lightness of spirit and the intermingling of different spaces, forms and colours. With this in mind, French luxury brand Hermès, which sells leather, lifestyle accessories, perfumes and garments, has introduced a range of chic aroma candles as part of its home furnishing collection. Each candle is priced in the ₹5,000-10,000 range. To give a specific tone to this idea, Jean-Claude Ellena, Hermès perfumer since 2004, selected his daughter Celine Ellena, for the conception of fragrance.
Says Celine, “When I think of home, I think of architecture, space and noise, inside and out. I imagine those who live within those walls, and their friends. The home is a place filled with emotion. It shelters the thoughts of its inhabitants, their memories, their plans and their secrets.” Her five perfumed candle reveries have been designed by Guillaume
Bardet, who imagined these objects as couriers of scents. “I explored several options before coming back to the essence of things: forms, in paper and ceramic, with a certain fragility and pure presence,” he says. The collection comprises five perfumes — or reveries — in five colours: Des Pas Sur La Neige,Temps De Pluie, Fenetre Ouverte, Champ Libre and A Cheval!. Three families of perfumed objects carry these reveries: a paper origami horse, a ceramic pebble and a candle bowl.
Sabbah Sheikh, owner of the store Illuminatii in Khan Market, Delhi, vouches for the transformative ability of candles. Her store stocks a range of luxury aroma candles in the ₹2,500-25,000 range, such as the Mughal range, with photos of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz on the candles, or personalized pieces where anybody’s photo can be printed. “In Delhi, there is a great demand for such candles, since people like to throw parties at home. I have clients across the city and supply to hotels such as Maurya Sheraton and Four Seasons,” she says. One of her clients is 39-year-old businesswoman Natasha Chaudhri, who explains how such fragrances stabilise the energy in the house. Whenever she lights the candles, she says, her apartment looks like a divine space and, sometimes, smells of a French farmyard or a Roman church, deep Indian forest or a village lotus pond, taking her back to her travels, special days from her childhood and even to her wedding day.
“It’s worth splurging money on aroma candles and I do it because it really energises my house and me. I even light candles at the workplace. Anything that is handcrafted and aesthetically appealing means a lot to me. For my wedding, Sheikh had done up my place beautifully with lotus aroma candles,” Chaudhri adds. After all, what better way to instantly travel the world, energise your senses and balance your mind and body than by lighting an elegant candle?