KLEIO was created out of a deep passion for history and the ancient craft of candlemaking. As with any company, there is a origin story behind it.
And in the beginning, it started with a muse.
THE MUSE OF HISTORY
In the same catalog as well-known Ancient Greek gods, such as Zeus, Athena, and Apollo, are the nine muses. These muses — or goddesses of science, the arts, and literature — were considered the very source of knowledge, embodied in songs, poetry, and myths. The Ancients believed that the inspiration they required to write poetry, literature, music, or any artistic creation came from the nine muses. And thus, the muses were considered to be the source of all inspired creation.
Among the nine, there is Erato, the muse of love poetry — and Thalia, the muse of comedy — and Terpischore, the muse of dance. And then there is Kleio, the muse of history. In her role, Kleio was considered the celebrator of history, of astonishing deeds, and incredible accomplishments. Kleio (or the anglicized "Clio") is often portrayed in artwork with an open parchment scroll, a book, or a set of tablets.
"Kleio" is the perfect symbol for our company mission: to celebrate history by recreating aromas of a particular time and place. The Ancient Greek muse of history helps us to experience a time and place that we have never known through the power of smell.
Want to learn about how we research the aromas of history?
The founder of KLEIO is intrigued by the concept of anemoia and how it intersects with how many may experience or perceive history. Whether it is stepping into a museum, exploring ancient ruins, or walking through an old place of worship, millions experience a sense of wonder and curiosity about what life must have been like in a different time.
Anemoia is a word from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a creation of logophile John Koenig. He believed that the English language needed new words to describe the vast range of human emotion. One of the words Koenig developed was anemoia, which means a "nostalgia for a time you have never known. " The history books are filled with dark chapters, no doubt, but the longing for times not known or personally experienced has been felt by many — perhaps out of a deep curiosity to better understand the people, places, and events of the past.
So what does anemoia have to do with us? By attempting to recreate aromas of the past, KLEIO activates one of our strongest senses — our sense of smell — to momentarily transport you. By researching primary and secondary sources, KLEIO creates candles infused with the rich aromas, inspired by a particular time and place in history. Be it Leonardo da Vinci's Florentine workshop or the smells of the open ocean aboard a tall ship during the height of the Age of Exploration or the perfume recipe of the world's first chemist in Ancient Babylon, KLEIO aims to recreate the aromas of history for you to experience.
With the muse of history at its heart, KLEIO's mission is recreate the past's aromas. We hope that by activating one of our most powerful senses, fueled by wax, flame, and fragrance, we can transport you through time — to become a time traveler without leaving your home. What adventure will you choose?
Kleio, the Ancient Greek muse of history, is the namesake and centerpiece of the KLEIO brand. Reflective and stoic, Kleio is encircled in classic Greek key scroll, an homage to her Grecian origin. The circle represents history's relationships to past, present, and future.
Did you know that the direction a portrait sitter faces in many paintings is symbolic? You will notice that Kleio is facing left. When a sitter faces left, she is honoring the past. Facing right, the sitter aims to look toward the future.
Gold leaf on the KLEIO candle vessel and brand label is a key feature. The candle is designed to resemble a gilded artifact found in a museum — aged and textured after weathering years of history, yet still luminous and elegant.
Dear Time Traveler:
I wanted to share with you the personal story of how KLEIO came to be.
In February 2020, after more than two decades of working in traditional corporate roles I decided to step away from a very busy position in management consulting. I wanted to spend more time with family as well as take some personal time to figure out next steps. Little did I know that mere weeks after I left my job the world would go into a tailspin. COVID-19 swept the globe, leaving in its wake complete devastation, including a wrecked economy. My "plan" of simply heading back into corporate America by the end of the summer quickly evaporated.
Like so many during the pandemic, I was forced to reevaluate how I spent my time. With this newfound gift of time, I rediscovered many passions and interests. And I had fun — a lot of fun. After experiencing so much unexpected fulfilment, I began to think a wild, nonsensical, preposterous thought: what if I pursued a completely different path, blending a personal interest in candles and a lifelong obsession with history? What if I didn't go back into corporate life? What if I started my own company?
And thus, with passion, determination, and a bit of courage, KLEIO was born. I'm excited to share with you a creation that aims to bring history to life through one of our most powerful senses: our sense of smell.
If you only enjoy the aromas of KLEIO candles, I would consider my work partially complete. But if you also grow a deeper understanding and appreciation for the history behind the candles, I would consider my mission fully realized. I do hope that you find the stories behind the candles as fascinating as I do — and that you feel transported to another time and place when the fragrant aromas travel throughout your chosen space.
I'm grateful to have you along for this journey. Thank you for your interest in KLEIO. I hope to remain connected.
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