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Our History

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LE COUVENT SAINT FRANÇOIS © LAURA STEVENS

The Story of Eau de Couvent

 

An artist, a former convent, an ancient crystal bottle…
 

Eau de Couvent came to life when its creator, Candida Romero, a French-Puerto Rican artist, chanced upon the 13th century Convent of San Francescu on the island of Corsica. The former convent, originally built in 1216 and despite its historic importance in Corsican history, had been left in disrepair. Over two decades later Candida initiated a project to restore the domaine making it the wellspring of her artistic practice and fine fragrance creations. 
 
Located in Corsica's northernmost landscape, whose untamed beauty enchanted Candida, the Convent of San Francescu is nestled among the vineyards and natural maquis at the base of the perched village of Oletta, close to the port of Saint Florent. The convent’s impressive scale allowed Candida to create several art studios and over the past decade to establish an art residency in part financed by the fine fragrance line she created, inspired by the scents of the surrounding maquis plants.
 
By undertaking the challenging renovations of a 700 year old abandoned domaine, Candida sought not only to revive the convent’s rich history and the mysteries reigning supreme over its ancient chapel, but also to contain — and share with the world — the reinvigorating, healing sensuality of the untamed Corsican landscape. Here in this rich wilderness, the maquis, green and leafy despite their arid surroundings, and the fruits, ripening beneath the scorching sun, exude their distinctive scent.

 

Then, one day… 

 

while wandering through the high grass of the Corsican scrub, the artist came across a crystal bottle, from which emanated such a mystical fragrance, at once delicate and sultry, that she felt she must immortalize it at all costs — especially since the legend ran that a nun gave it to a young officer as a token of love. 
 
What more romantic way to reveal the secrets of the Nebbio region than in a fine fragrance?

And so, Candida’s desire to restore the Convent of San Francescu and to share with the world the untouched beauty of the northern Corsica coastline, has given rise to seven artisan fragrances in the Eau de Couvent line, founded in 2010. 
We expand the fragrance and cosmetic collection each year - so stay tuned online or at our Saint Germain-des-Près flagship store.

This Spring, 2024, we launch our Rosa la Rose fragrance marked by Beauty Matter

Our Credo

Eau de Couvent is an olfactory experience that invites you to abandon yourself to passion.
 
We seek authenticity and transparency in our ingredients, their sources, and our ethos. Our products are Certified Ecocert, meaning we use only the highest quality nature-based materials, with 98% of our ingredients sourced naturally in the Mediterranean basin — on the island of Corsica and in Grasse, France. To incorporate scents from rare flowers or far-flung sites, we use small quantities of select synthesized ingredients in our essential oils, thus helping to protect the natural landscape and reducing the carbon footprint of our creations.
 
We believe in spreading compassion for all and protecting the balance and beauty of nature. To that end, Eau de Couvent donates a 15% percentage of our profits to philanthropic associations, and has established both the Corsican Art Project Residency (CAP/r), a non-profit artist initiative aimed at providing a platform for contemporary artists via residency and exhibition space at the San Francescu Convent. The San Francescu Endowment expands the CAP/r initiatives to include planet-positive creative work, such as regenerative landscape and adaptive reuse.
 
We are moved primarily by an artistic experience of the world, by artists and individuals who obscure the line between the sacred and the profane, passion and prayer, art and devotion, demonstrated in our olfactory products. 

Our Founder

Candida Romero is a French-Puerto Rican artist born in Paris. She was raised in La Ruche, a Parisian artist community, where she continues to work in Chagall's original studio. Candida's body of work and solo exhibits reflect her peripatetic, multiracial, and artistic upbringing, combining photography, collage, overpainting and calligraphic notations, frequently inspired by historical texts that explore themes of desire, identity, and loss.
 
In parallel to her work as an artist, Candida had created an artist residency program, the Corsican Art Project Residency, at the San Francescu Convent in order to connect and support contemporary artists from diverse backgrounds, to help artists foster a dialogue with the island and the grounds of the historical convent, and to demonstrate — as she has done in her own life — the critical role artists play in creating vibrant and sustainable communities..

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