Nomad Noé Candles Highlight Forgotten Figures of History


Candles are one of our favorite ways to transform the atmosphere of a room. With the right blend of notes, a fragrance can completely change your mood. But some candles do more than evoke a feeling. Enter Nomad Noé, a new collection of candles that tells the stories of little-known (but totally inspirational) historical figures through scent.

Photo: Nomad Noé

After spending the last decade bouncing around the world as a perfumer for Givenchy, Kenzo, and L’Artisan Parfumeur, Nomad Noé cofounder Corentin Hamon wanted to tell the stories of historical movers and shakers he’d learned about during his travels. “Perfume is so evocative. I believe there is no better way to tell stories,” says Corentin. “By creating the scent around those characters and their stories, we sort of bring them back to life.”

We couldn’t agree more. Ready for a history lesson? Read on to discover the seriously inspirational characters behind Nomad Noé candles.

Qiu Jin (1875-1907)

Poet in Hangzhou, a romantic blend of bamboo, gardenia, jasmine and tuberose, was inspired by Qiu Jin, a Chinese poet, revolutionary and all-around badass. During a time in China when it wasn’t socially acceptable for women to be educated—much less pursue the same rights as men—she helped lead the resistance movement to overthrow the Qing dynasty and advocated for women’s rights. She spoke out against the oppressive practice of foot binding and championed freedom of marriage and access to education for women.

Aida Overton Walker (1880-1914)

Aida Overton Walker, the inspiration behind Dreamer in London, broke down boundaries as a black woman vaudeville performer in the United States. In 1903, she performed for King Edward VII at London’s Buckingham Palace, which catapulted her into international fame. When her husband, a fellow vaudeville performer named George Walker, became sick, she dressed in drag and performed his act on her own—pursuing her dreams no matter what.

James Holman (1786-1857)

A British explorer and author, James Holman made history as the first blind person to circumnavigate the globe. He traveled to every inhabited continent and completed many of his journeys alone—including crossing Tasmania on foot. Pioneer in Tasmania captures Holman’s adventurous spirit with fresh notes of salty sea air, coconut, bay laurel, and tonka bean.

Maria Quitéria (1792-1853)

Maria Quitéria didn’t let her gender stop her from fighting for her beliefs. Born in Bahia, Brazil, she disguised herself in men’s clothing, enlisted in the army, and served in the Brazilian War of Independence. Even after her true identity was revealed, she was so skilled in battle that she was allowed to continue to fight, rising from cadet to lieutenant. Rebel in Bahia is an homage to Maria with notes of neroli, orange blossom, and gardenia. (Did we mention Allison Janney is a fan of this candle?)

Shahanshah (1571-1629)

Visionary in Esfahan was inspired by Abbas the Great, a shah (king) in Iran during the Safavid dynasty. He came to power during a turbulent time, but eventually led Iran to become a major military, political and economic powerhouse. As shah, he moved the capital of the Persian empire to Esfahan, where he presided over the development of mosques, baths and colleges, transforming the city into a cultural capital. With a sensual blend of saffron, rose, musk, and incense, Visionary in Esfahan evokes the glamour of Abbas the Great’s new capital city.