Elise Pioch Balzac of Maison Balzac

Good taste is hard to learn, it comes innately - the little details, the nuances are what makes good taste so hard to imitate. Often it's following your heart, being a true creative, not following trends and taking notes from those who've walked before you. This is why Maison Balzac candles have had a special place in our heart for the last couple of years in store. They are undoubtedly luxurious, adventurous, true and although others have tried impossible to emulate...just like their creator Elise.

Where do you call home?

I have 2 homes: France (Beziers) and Australis (Sydney), they both own my full heart!

Have you always made candles? 

I had never made candles before I had the idea to launch Maison Balzac. I trained myself in the evening for about one year until I felt ready to do it in bulk.

Why is your business called Maison Balzac?

Balzac is my family name, on my mother's side, and Maison in french means "house". I wanted the brand to embody the elegance and way of living of my mother and grand mother. They always had that talent to create warm, homely and interesting interiors which have influenced my sensibility. They also ran a perfumery in the South of France, they were the first to obtain the licence to sell Chanel perfume and beauty products in that area, in the 70's. I grew up smelling the finest scents and meeting the most sophisticated clients. Maison Balzac tells this story through every object we create.

What was the last great book you read?

I have just finished the autobiography of Axel Vervoordt, the best antique dealer in the world, and his way of thinking really moved me.

What would we find on your playlist in your studio/office?

I adore the random playlist that Spotifiy creates for me every week, it opens up my music knowledge which is quite limited. I am very specific and fussy about the music I like and thanks to Spotify I have discovered amazing songs that really suit my taste, like Chilli Gonzales, Solo Piano, Gogol.

If you weren’t creating candles & homewares what would we find you doing? You would find me being a Fashion Buyer, which is what I used to do before I started Maison Balzac.

Doctor Cooper Studio

Dream holiday destination?

Cadaques, on the Costa Brava of Spain.

If an out of towner was visiting you where would you take them?

I would take them for a swim in Little Bay, then for lunch at Three Blue Duck in Rosebay and do the Bondi to Bronte walk by the ocean. We would end the day with a cocktail at Iceberg and have dinner in a very classic Chinese restaurant.

What are you currently coveting?

I am not coveting much, I have to say that I pretty much own everything I could dream of...

Describe your style in 3 words.

Androgynous, Black, French.

Favourite Instagram feeds? 

@matteau, @ateliervime

Do you collect anything and if so what?

I collect hands (wax, wood, marble...), antique vases and mid century furnitures.

Summer or winter? 


Favourite Restaurant/Cafe?

Oscillate Wildely (Newtown/NSW) and Compartir (Cadaques/Spain)

What takes your breath away? 

The beauty and serenity of nature.

Favourite Australian product....  

I know it's very trite but Aesop is simply always making perfect products.

Why shop local?

Because as humans we thrive in connecting with other humans, and shopping local provide just that. Happy human connections.

Do you have a signature scent?

Yes, freshly brushed thyme or Joy by Jean Patou (my grand mother Jeanine Balzac overtire scent too).

Favourite Artist? 

Doctor Cooper and Jean Cocteau

Favourite Cocktail? 

Pina Colada and Violet Kir

Favourite Flower?

Peonies and Garden violets

Use one word to describe Jim & Jane.