Imagine that there was a candle that could transport you centuries in time.
If the scent of orange blossoms splashed with rose-water could recreate the dazzling, seductive aromas of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s private world. If honeyed figs and exotic spices held the key to unlocking the heady, sun-soaked essence of an ancient Egyptian temple. If a single whiff could convey you to the rippling heat of July of 1575 — as a passionate royal romance blossomed over an extravagant, nineteen-day retreat to Kenilworth Castle.
Would you be tempted to step through this aromatic portal into some of the most captivating moments in history?
That is precisely what sensory history company KLEIO allows you to do. By poring over historical sources and collaborating with leading historians, KLEIO skillfully reconstructs multifaceted sensory interpretations of the past, inspired by iconic figures, famous events, and unforgettable periods, presented through a fusion of bespoke fragrances. KLEIO is dedicated to allowing ‘time travellers’ to immerse in their favourite historical eras — not merely as passive observers, but active participants, experiencing the past through the senses.
It is with great pleasure that we introduce Siobhán O’Shaughnessy, the visionary behind KLEIO, to Tudor Extra. She joins us today to present KLEIO’s latest masterpiece: a collaboration with Dr. Joanne Paul, author of “The House of Dudley.” Together, they’ve teamed up to create the “Elizabeth & Leicester” candle — an exquisite sensory interpretation of Elizabeth I’s summer retreat to the idyllic Kenilworth Castle — set to launch on Tuesday, 25 July, exclusively on ExploreKLEIO.com.
This multisensory complement to Dr. Paul’s “The House of Dudley,” the “Elizabeth & Leicester” candle aims to transport you to Kenilworth in 1575. To imagine the eclectic essence of the grand entertainments, splendid pageants, and breathtaking displays (featuring Italian acrobats, firework extravaganzas, and bear-baiting spectacles) orchestrated by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in July of 1575. Leicester’s aim was to dazzle and, in one final attempt, persuade the Virgin Queen to marry him. So sets the enchanting stage for Elizabeth’s most lavish of summer progresses, scenically illuminated in Dr. Paul’s “House of Dudley”.
Motivated by his unwavering devotion, Leicester left no stone unturned in crafting an experience that exceeded even the most extravagant of Elizabethan fantasies for the Queen and her guests. As the summer blazed over Kenilworth’s blooming gardens, magnificent facade, and glassy, diamond-shaped moat, Dudley spared no expense to infuse its halls with sweet melodies and glorious theatrics, inculcating an ambiance that was as unforgettable as it was magnificent — and ripe for KLEIO and Dr. Paul to create this sensory history experience.
“Elizabeth & Leicester” is inspired by the garden Robert Dudley created to honour of Elizabeth I’s visit to Kenilworth. Fortunately, we know quite a bit the garden because it was described in a letter by Robert Langham, a member of Dudley’s household, in his account of the Queen’s visit to Kenilworth. In his letter, ‘The Magnificent Pageants presented before Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth Castle in 1575,’ Langham captures not only the grandeur and extravagance of Elizabeth I’s stay, but divulges delicious details about the private garden created just for the Tudor Queen’s pleasure: “…Unto this, his Honour’s exquisite appointment of a beautiful garden, an acre or more in quantity.”
Langham goes on to share that this garden was “so appointed, as wherein aloft upon sweet shadowed walk of terrace, in heat of summer, to feel the pleasant whisking wind above, or delectable coolness of the fountain-spring beneath, to taste of delicious strawberries, cherries, and other fruits, even from their stalks, to smell such fragrancy of sweet odours, breathing from the plants, herbs, and flowers, to hear such natural melodious music and tunes of birds, to have in eye for mirth sometime these underspringing streams, then, the woods, the waters (for both pool and chase were hard at hand in sight), the deer, the people (that out of the east arbour in the base Court, also at hand in view), the fruit-trees, the plants, the herbs, the flowers, the change in colours, the birds flittering, the fountain streaming, the fish swimming, all in such delectable variety, order, and dignity; whereby, at one moment, in one place, at hand, without travel, to have so full fruition of so many God’s blessings, by entire delight unto all senses (if all can take) at once.”
‘…the fruit-trees, the plants, the herbs, the flowers, the change in colours, the birds flittering, the fountain streaming, the fish swimming, all in such delectable variety, order and dignity…’Robert Langham
After reading this detailed contemporary account of this private garden, KLEIO and Dr. Paul knew that this was the sensory history moment in time that they wanted to recreate. Dr. Paul and KLEIO worked for months to formulate this experience, not only using Langham’s letter as a guide but also researching the types of flowers and herbs that would have been common in an English summer garden in the late sixteenth century.
The “Elizabeth & Leicester” candle features a sensory melange of roses, violets, strawberries, cherries, herbs, and fresh earth. And, just like the other fantastic candles in KLEIO’s collection, the “Elizabeth & Leicester” candle is meticulously hand-finished with gold leaf and features an exquisite label with Elizabeth and Robert Dudley’s authentic signatures.
KLEIO and Dr. Paul’s eagerly anticipated “Elizabeth & Leicester” candle will debut on July 25th at exploreKLEIO.com. While you await your order, we invite you to delve deeper into the history of Elizabeth I and Leicester’s timeless romance by acquiring your very own copy of Dr. Paul’s “House of Dudley”. We love to see followers of the blog enjoying books we’ve recommended, so remember to tag us once you receive yours!