The bow of a Spanish sailboat reaches the amber shores of Hispaniola,
propelled by a soft, wood-tinged breeze that spreads a message of
peace and calmness across the lush Caribbean island.
Its scent is golden, rich in spices with undertones of wood.
The top notes are saffron and nutmeg,
the middle notes, cypress, carrot seed and liquorice,
and the base notes are cedar, vetiver, vanilla and amber.
Anonymous Portrait of Bartolomé de las Casas.
This original creation draws inspiration from Bartolomé de las Casas,
a Spanish missionary turned Dominican priest who, in the 16th century,
stood up against the colonialist practices of his country.
Arriving as a coloniser on the small island of Hispaniola, he was shocked
by the acts of violence of his fellow settlers.
In 1512, Bartolomé became chaplain of the conquistadores in Cuba,
slowly taking a stand against the massacres taking place on the island.
Despite this, he remained the owner of an Encomienda, a plot of land given by the Spanish crown to its conquistadores on which natives have to work without pay.
It is only in 1514 that Bartolomé launched himself body and soul into the humanist battle
travelling multiple times to the continent to raise awareness against forced labour,
and spread a message of peace and fair evangelisation.
Finally, in 1542, Charles V granted him an audience and as a result,
decided to introduce a series of laws to ease tensions.
Unfortunately their implementation met with epic failure,
triggering widespread rebellion in South America.
This situation shows how hard it was for this Dominican priest to be heard at a time
when colonization was driven by huge economic interests.
However, Bartolomé did not give up and continued fighting until his death,
ultimately becoming one of the most passionate defenders of the native cause.
The Bartolomé candle brings back to light this courageous man’s lifelong journey
between the continent and Native American countries.