After a decade of living in various countries, and working behind-the-scenes at fragrance houses including Kenzo and Penhaligon’s, Corentin Hamon finally took the leap to create his own candle brand prompted by a move to New York City. Today, his Nomad Noé, collection embodies seven scented candles, each one inspired by a different personality and location, from POET in Hangzhou and DREAMER in London, to REBEL in Bahia we love these bold scented statements. New to The London Candle Store collection, we caught up with Corentin for our ‘Scents of Style’ series to delve more into his love of storytelling and how to spend 24hrs in his hometown…
Like many founders, you have spent most of your career working within the industry before taking the plunge to launch your own brand. What inspired the leap? Was there a lightbulb moment?
Having lived and worked across multiple continents, we've discovered many incredible stories that were completely unknown in our common pop culture. And I always thought that it could be a great concept to share these inspirational stories by associating perfume (which is something I knew very well) to bring them into people's homes. The idea only existed in my mind for a long time but when I left London in the fall of 2016 to relocate to NYC, I just felt that it was the perfect place and time in time in my life to bring this idea to life. From that moment, it took roughly two years, working non-stop, behind-the-scenes before being ready to launch the first collection. I’m extremely proud that we designed everything in-house, from the fragrances and packaging to the porcelain vessel. It’s been a dream come true!
Tell us more about the collection - your storytelling aspect is really intriguing. Also, what does Nomad Noe mean?
We set out to create products that inspire moments of tranquility, resilience, and magic in people’s homes, and these three guiding principles are at the core of everything we do. Through each candle, we invite you to join us on a journey to experience the essence of a unique transformative figure we admire from the past. Yet, these incredible stories have been lost over time, yet they now continue to live on through our fragrances. We truly believe that life is a series of physical, emotional, and spiritual journeys, and so, with that in mind, we think of ourselves as nomads, continually searching for a sense of peace. “Noé” is the French translation of the Babylonian “nukhu,” which means repose or rest.
The entire collection is vegan – why was this important to you?
As committed vegans, it was vital that we created a collection that respected and reflected that part of us. From the very beginning, the collection was created using clean, plant-based, responsibly sourced ingredients and it’s something we’re really proud of.
For someone discovering the brand for the first time, what fragrance would you suggest?
If you lean towards a warm, slightly smokey scent then you will love DREAMER in London. Familiar notes of softly worn leather books and tobacco leaves, are blended with delicate hints of violet and vanilla. This beautiful scent has an incredible ability to instantly comfort and soothe. MUSE in Wyoming on the other hand is a beautiful, full bloom floral bursting with rose and magnolia blossom. Fresh and uplifting, this fragrance gently floats though your home, filling the air with an abundance of perfumed flowers.
As one of the brand creators, I love all of them – how could I possibly choose a favourite? That said, I rely on particular fragrances throughout the day to help positively affect my mood. For instance, I light REBEL in Bahia, every morning in my bathroom and usually let it burn long after I’ve showered. The fresh, crisp burst of neroli gives me that boost of energy and motivation to kick start my day. Finally, if I want a cosy night at home, I’ll disconnect from electronic devices, pour a glass of wine and scent my apartment with DREAMER in London. Smooth, seductive and smokey, it feels like being transported to a beautiful boutique hotel.
When you start creating a new fragrance, what influences you?
Fascinating stories inspire everything we do, and I truly believe they have the power to connect us. Appreciating that we’re told mostly about people, places and events linked to our own pop culture, and we find it extremely exciting to imagine and create scents that will reveal stories of the unknown ones.
The NN packaging is incredibly vibrant – is this a reflection of your personal style or home décor or the opposite?
I love the contrast between a chic interior with neutral tones and a few bright objects that stand out and inject pops of colour. The vibrant tones of our candle lids and the bold letters accentuate this contrast and bring a modern, happy touch to any interior space. Beyond the scented aspect, we wanted to create decorative objects that will last long after the burn.
We’ve all been spending more time at home over the past year. What does that sense of home now mean to you vs before?
For me, home is a place that I fill with objects that bring me peace and stimulate inspiration. I don’t believe you have to get onto a plane and travel to the other side of the world to feel creative and alive. Home should be a place of happiness where we allow ourselves to dream, to create and to just be.
You’re based in New York, what do you love most about living in the city? Can you share some of your favourite places – maybe some insider hot-spots?
I love walking around the city with my partner. Most of the time, the sky is blue and there is always something unexpected happening including lots of cool pop ups. We live in the NoMad district, North of the Flatiron building, which means a large part of Manhattan is within walking distance.
If you had only 24 hours in NYC, start the day with a fresh coffee from Maman on 25th and 5th and walk over to Madison Square Park, then head for lunch at Hangawi, an incredible Korean plant-based restaurant and order the crispy mushrooms. I highly recommend shopping at The Conservatory for new trends, Kith in Soho to find the latest sneakers, perfumes and candles and a must-visit is Clic in Tribeca if you love design. Finally, make sure you book a table in advance for a delicious dinner at abcV.
What are you working on right now? What’s next for the brand?
We’re launching a new candle fragrance this September that will take you to Hollywood. We also have an exciting project planned for 2022 – my lips are sealed!