At KLEIO, our goal is to not only recreate aromas of the past but also to share the fascinating history behind each candle.
When you read the mood-setting narrative for Da Vinci's Notes, you feel as if you are standing right next to Leonardo da Vinci as he moves from project to project. The Da Vinci's Notes candle recreates the aromas inside Leonardo da Vinci's workshop in Renaissance Florence.
Leonardo da Vinci is arguably one of the most recognized and studied luminaries in history. He is perhaps best known for his art, with the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper being his most famous works. But he also pursued interests in engineering, science, human anatomy, among other fields—and is considered the quintessential Renaissance Man, a person who is knowledgeable, educated, or proficient in a wide range of subjects.
Leonardo lived in various cities in Italy throughout his lifetime—from Vinci (his namesake) to Milan to Rome to Florence. His work was commissioned by the most wealthy and famous patrons of the day, including the Pope, the king of France, and members of the Borgia and Medici families.
In the final years of his life, Leonardo moved to France at the invitation of King Francis I. He lived out his years there until his death in 1519 at age 67.
Da Vinci's Notes is a double entendre. The first meaning is quite literal as an homage to Leonardo da Vinci's propensity to take notes: everything from sketches of his inventions to intricate drawings of the human anatomy to the banal such as a to-do list. The other interpretation is the "fragrance notes" emitted during Da Vinci's floral and herbal extractions.
Leonardo da Vinci was intensely curious about a range of topics, especially the natural world. He documented his observations in his notebooks, drawing birds in flight, simulating the movement of water, or depicting a horse's muscular movement. He also could claim to be an accomplished botanist for his time. He spent hours drawing local flowers and plants, detailing the delicate leaves and petals.
In creating Da Vinci's Notes, we extensively researched the sights and smells inside Leonardo da Vinci's workshop in Florence, where he spent most of his life. During this time, Leonardo detailed his floral and herbal extractions in his notebooks.
In his notes, he detailed the extraction of essential oils from plants, fruits, and flowers not only for medicinal use but also for perfume creation. Leonardo harvested oils from jasmine, lavender, and bitter orange as well as roses, his favored scent. In fact, he would make rosewater perfume for everyday use:
"To make scent: take fresh rose water and moisten the hands. Then take the flower of lavender and rub it between the hands."
Along with many other artists of his day, Leonardo used rosemary oil for his paintings. The application of rosemary oil would help to enhance visual depth and haziness, especially in landscape scenes.
KLEIO's Da Vinci's Notes candle features fragrance notes of Italian jasmine, Mediterranean rose, garden lavender, neroli, rosemary oil, and Florentine wood.
A Recreation of Da Vinci's Notebooks and Plant Oils