Aerangis’ founder, Alicia, and one of its bespoke clients, Chris, were recently interviewed about the story and inspiration behind No. 50 Soirée Noire.
Interviewer: What is the story behind the number?
Chris: Well, the number harks back to the very reason I asked Aerangis to develop a bespoke candle in the first place: I really wanted a customized fragrance for a black-tie event I was hosting to celebrate my big five oh!
Interviewer: Tell us more about this event!
Chris: Fifty isn’t old, of course, but crossing that mile-marker felt like it was a good time to celebrate the important people in my life, even more so than celebrating my birthday. I wanted to host an intimate, black-tie wine dinner with my closest friends and family, which would feature a wine from each of the five decades of my life. While introducing each wine, I would talk about where I was during that decade and call out the people in attendance who I met or came to know during that time, and thank them for being such a meaningful part of my life. I thought it would be special to fill the room with a unique fragrance representative of the affair, as well as allow the guests to take home a candle with this fragrance so they could relive the evening through a scent memory.
Interviewer: What was the inspiration behind the scent, and subsequently, the candle’s name Soirée Noire?
Alicia: The event took place in a majestic, old-school library within a historic private club in New York City. We always envisioned a dimly lit room with sultry live jazz music playing in the background. There would be one long table, decadently, but intentionally simple, set with black candles and black roses (and rose petals) strewn across it, and with large format wine bottles completing the relatively minimalist decor. The fragrance needed to complement this environment and its sophistication, both aromatically and visually (thus the signature black wax in a matte black jar).
Chris: As for the name, as mentioned earlier, the event would be a black-tie affair. Between that, the black roses, black candles, and our love for all things French, the name simply came to us.
Interviewer: Can you tell us about the notes and ingredients?
Alicia: I drew inspiration from the Kir Royale aperitif (Champagne, creme de cassis, and a lemon twist), appropriate I felt for this event, opening the scent with notes of lemon (for freshness) and black cassis. To capture the sophistication of one singular dining table adorned with pressed linen and black roses, I layered in lotus blossom, peony, and Turkish roses. Finally, I added a sense of softness to the finish with cashmere wood and musk, evoking the antiquated leather-bound books in the library. The fragrance was also intentionally created to be genderless since Chris’ invite list included as many female friends and family as males. All is all, we are both extremely pleased with how the essence of the candle – in fragrance, aesthetic, and name – captured the forever-memorable evening.