Multi-disciplinary lifestyle brand Earl of East London has teamed up with Charlotte Taylor – an exciting local print artist not yet out of art school, but already in hot demand – on an innovative collaboration that marries a new scented candle with three limited edition prints, each inspired by the so-called ‘palace of in aromas’ in Versailles.

We caught up with co-founder Paul Firmin  ahead of the exhibition, currently on display at Earl of East London’s Bonds Hackney store.

W*: How did the collaboration with Charlotte Taylor come about?
Paul Firmin: We first discovered her work through Instagram late last summer and instantly got in touch to say how much we loved it. Colour is extremely integral, and the tones of her prints mirrored our colour palette for the interior of our store and of the products of many of the brands we now stock. We often display based on colour rather than by product type as we believe the eclectic mix of items that still have a shared attribute is much more compelling than the idea of creating departments.

By fluke Charlotte was already aware of our brand and business and had visited our store. We invited her in for a conversation and we were instantly interested in working together in some way. We discussed the possibility of stocking a selection of her existing works, but from the word go we were keen to find a way to collaborate and tell a story through her work.

W*: Where did the idea for the candle come from?
PF: Jardin De La Lune is inspired by the Grand Trianon in Versailles. As a brand we take inspiration from destinations, with many of our scents being born as a result of a trip to a new place. However, this time around it was an obsession with tuberose that led us to the place. Tuberose was the favourite flower of Louis XIV, imported from the New World, it is a night blossoming white flower with a luxurious – if somewhat overpowering – scent. The king had the Grand Trianon commissioned within the grounds of Versailles as a folly away from the daily pomp of the main palace. The palace overlooks beautifully manicured gardens, in which tuberose would be planted directly in their pots in to the borders. As guests returned to the main palace the overpowering scent would linger in the air.

Our scent has many notes but leads with tuberose and cade, giving the scent a smokey hue. We decided we needed to bring this scent to life with a visual and felt there would be no better fit than Charlotte to recreate famous visuals from the Palace. These prints would not only help to bring the story to life, but would also give us an opportunity to collaborate with this fledging designer, allowing us to create something unique and to support her talent. We will be hosting an exhibition in Earl of East London Hackney Bonds and will be making the prints available for sale.

W*: Do the prints and candle intimately correlate?
PF: Each of the three exclusive prints represents a famous vista from the Grand Trianon. The sage green print is of the ornate geometric gardens, which house the tuberose. The green represents the fauna, in this case the blackberry and fig leaf notes. The pink print is a visual that represents the famous archways of the Peristyle, a central colonnaded gallery, with views to the garden on one side and the courtyard on the other. The sand coloured print is of the Grand Central staircase, representing the juniperous cade. §