début  1999


about us



My philosophy in life is to be happy. So it is simple, if you don't

like it don't do it!

I started candlemaking over 15 years ago and foundered a company called Enhance Feature Candles. I was taught my art by a purist - a Dutch Candlemaker. After selling the first business and trying something new, I realised candles were my true passion. Notre Vie was created in 2006.

I find this business provides me with all the creative and intellectual outlet that I require. I love it and will be doing this job till the day they bury me in a wax made coffin.


I am one of those really REALLY happy, fluffy people that never seems fazed by much. 

I am inspired by Darren and by beautiful things. I love him, my two gorgeous girls, my friends, sunshine, and wine. We have been married for a long time and find that we keep getting stronger the more we are together.

In 2012 we decided to sell up, leave Auckland NZ in favour of a quieter, more carefree lifestyle in a tiny town on the East Coast of New Zealand. Our girls, then 2 and 8 years have thrived in this new environment.

I have had an ever growing awareness that my passions were not in the industry I had been working for the last 15 years. I should be doing something more creative and design like ...

Darren had spent years telling me we should leave the city, but being born and bred in Auckland it took a while to resonate. I think the planets just all aligned and we started the ball rolling by buying an old unloved bungalow house practically unseen.

I love that we took this opportunity with both hands and am loving life more than ever.

Our Life ....Notre Vie



Our Business


Notre Vie means ... Our Life.

We manufacture in the remote northern area of the Hawkes Bay region, one of New Zealand's most scenic, warmest and beautiful coastal areas - our passion for our business matches its surroundings. The area is abundant with Roses and Citrus Fruits that fragrant the air which in turn, evolve into our creation process.

Notre Vie revolutionised candle fragrances in NZ many years ago with our unique, sophisticated and innovative blends.

We replaced fragrances with Perfumes, specifically designed to blend with our wax formula and have recreated some of the world's most recognised perfumes with a unique twist. 

Notre Vie’s wax has a buttery cream density which lends ideally to heavenly fragrance concentration and an even, consistent burn. Our candles use the most sophisticated and innovative perfumery concepts blended with traditional timeless designs.

A comforting atmosphere created when a Notre Vie candle is lit and enjoyed, which is the carefully-crafted handiwork of me, its founder Darren Rudd with my 15 years' experience and I am an Internationally Approved Chandler. Now joined by my wife Tamara, we continually strive for the finest and thrive on the creation of something special and beautiful for you.

Proudly made in New Zealand, each candle is carefully measured per gram utilizing the purist of natural materials.
Six specifically chosen ingredients combined with alluring scents blended together with a pure cotton wick.

These six specifically blended waxes are designed to ensure a brighter whiter flame using natural ingredients that are a renewable resource. Incorporating natural vegetable oils provides the creamiest opaque colour, Olive Oil provides the richness of the flame and beeswax concludes the aromatic senses.

Our candles have always been seen as the finest of the New Zealand made candle market.

Style and beauty within your home is the essence of what we strive for. We give you products that add a subtle ambience to your interiors. Our products have a supreme blend of natural wax and our signature candles are encased in the luxury of glass.

It is also the quality of the candles that makes Notre Vie an eternally popular commodity.

It is our goal to continue what we do and do it our way, always with simplicity, elegance and of course that
Notre Vie refinement.

Darren & Tamara Rudd