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Under Cyrnos’s sun

Under Cyrnos’s sun

Between 1850 and 1914, French Riviera is the place to be for the intellectual and political elite. Ruling families, intellectuals, aristocrats and artists go there to enjoy the sun during wintertime. Empress Eugenie, Napoleon the 3rd’s widow, also falls for the small corner of paradise. In 1894, she builds a villa – named Cyrnos – in Cap Martin, located near Monaco. The name, which means Corsica in ancient Greek, is a tribute to the Bonapartes’ homeland, her late husband’s family. Drenched in sun, and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the villa is set in an idyllic stage. The land on which it is built is the only downside, however. The limestone rock makes the garden’s construction particularly difficult, only achieved through strong will, and lots of dynamite. The Empress’s ambition is to create a park that looks like it has always been around. She has taste for barren, mineral, and contrasted landscapes, full of multiple scents. The final result is a vindication of the Empress’s vision: mature pine, olive, and palm trees are planted, while wide-ranging flowerbeds bring color to this arid landscape, typical of the region. A scent of cyste, myrtle, mastic, and rosemary exudes from the garden. Though she lived mostly alone, the Empress hosted in this peaceful setting a number of prominent monarchs at the time, such as Queen Victoria, as well as avant-garde intellectuals like Jean Cocteau. Cyrnos, Cire Trudon’s latest creation conjures the solar beauty, the dazzling scent, and the art of living of this truly unique place.