“I want to do everything, and I think I’m able to,” declares Ramdane Touhami. The ever-energetic 35-year-old entrepreneur has certainly spread his talents in the course of his career. He’s worked in fashion, launching several of his own brands, including skatewear marque King Size (the first such in France) and the more recent Resistance by RT line in 2005. He’s made his presence known in publishing, as editor-in-chief of car culture magazine Intersection France. And he’s had a go at catering, opening L’Africain restaurant in Tangiers with his wife Victoire de Taillac in 2008 (he’s hoping to open a new couscous restaurant in New York next year). Since 2003, he has been the brain—and a significant "nose"—behind classic artisan candlemakers Cire Trudon, creating a line of unusual wax-based luxuries. Taking inspiration from environments, his concoctions variously evoke the wooden floors of Versailles, the libraries of the Carmelites, and, in the tea, vetiver and crushed mint-infused “Dada” candle, a more abstract sense of “artistic dizziness and surrealist experiences.” Here Touhami conveys his olfactory wanderlust with his hit list of favorite-smelling places around the globe.
The Amalfi Coast, Italy
Citrus is everywhere there, in the trees—which flower before they bear fruit—and also in the food, so you can smell the lemon in every different direction.
I love the smell of oranges in the north east of Morocco. My family is originally from Berkane and has a field of oranges there. As a child we used to go in December when the oranges are ripe, and I always remember the smells.
Weligama Bay, Sri Lanka
On the beach in Sri Lanka you have jungle 100 meters behind you, and you get a mix of jungle and sea that’s a crazy smell. I had my first big natural experience when I was learning to surf in Weligama Bay. The water is very hot there and when it starts to rain, the rain is very cold. The feeling was great and the smell impossible to explain.
It depends on the season, but in spring there’s a flower in Sydney called frangipani that is amazing. I could smell it all day.
I haven’t missed the cherry blossom in Tokyo for the past ten years. I love it!