Tapping into the boundless medium of scents, Rebecca Lazar and Cynthia El Frenn established CYRE, a candle company offering exquisite products bolstered by creativity. Taking its name from the archaic spelling of “cire”, the French word for wax, Lazar and El Frenn’s aromatic concoctions unearth hyperreal experiences augmented by carefully chosen notes. S/ recently spoke with Lazar and El Frenn about their unique sources of inspiration, the universality of scents, and the brand’s platform for various forms of creativity.
What is your creative process when creating scents for your candles?
“Every scent starts with a concept—we build a virtual landscape, playing with the surreal or intangible facets of our experience. We ask ourselves: ‘how do you want to feel?’.
“Once the concept is clear, it becomes the touch point for experimentation with notes. We take inspiration from medicinal planting, ritual practice, and ancient indulgence. These elements have their own histories and carry a collective memory with them. We try and remain conscious of the masculine or feminine associations of different elements and walk a line between them, blurring those boundaries. It’s a process of experimentation, but as long as we’re holding the concept clearly in our minds, we know when we’re getting close.
“We’re 100% committed to high-quality natural ingredients because we truly believe that is the best way to produce clean, complex, and evocative scents—everything is sourced from nature.”
Why did you choose candles as a medium of your creative expression?
“When it comes to scent, we can think of perfume as something very much about the individual, but a candle plays with the built environment—it creates a landscape, it’s about mood and atmosphere.
“Candles also gave the opportunity to play with the object itself. For example, our vessel is inspired by water, a nourishing and essential substance that, like wax, shape-shifts and encourages us to flow. Every piece is hand-blown by artisans so they’re all unique.”
How did you come up with the names for each scent?
“Our names are a bit tongue-in-cheek—we like to think of them like characters in a play, and they also speak to conceptual worlds behind the scents.
“MONK reminds us of a spiritual asceticism; EROS is the Greek god of passion. They’re yin and yang, two sides of the human experience. One profile devised to heighten clarity, allowing us to name the world, and another designed as an intoxicant that softens its boundaries. VIRGIN is a category in itself, a memory of the virtual, we wanted the smell of potentiality.”
Memory of The Virtual
Can you describe the contextual impetus informing the unique visuals that accompany your candles?
“We decided early on that it was important for CYRE be a platform for artists and designers, a space to experiment. We’ve invited creatives that inspire us to interpret the scents through their lens.
“For the launch, we worked with fine artist Linnea Skoglosa on an experimental film where the space between reality and dreams becomes blurred. We’ve also just published the first issue of the CYRE Journal, featuring work by Michele Aoun, a brilliant photographer, and Yara Hanna, a talented young graphic artist. It’s important to us that as a brand that we can continue to be reinterpreted and reimagined.”
Memory of The Virtual
What is next for Cyre? Are there any avenues you would like to explore as the company matures?
“We have an exciting physical collaboration coming up before the end of this year and a new scent dropping. Looking into the future, the sky is the limit, we love to explore. We’re the type of people that have a million ideas a day, and newness is so exciting, so sometimes we do need to remember to slow down and enjoy the experience of what’s happening now.”