It was a meeting with Françoise Caron, a superstar in the world of perfume, that launched this fantastic odyssey into aromatic cities and convinced Ivan Pericoli, Benoît Astier de Villatte and their associate Emilie Mazeaud to begin creating luxury perfumed products.
Thus, since 2008, beauty products, colognes, incense and a whole collection of perfumed candles have been created, on the unique theme of an olfactory world tour. It’s quite a challenge: capturing the real or imagined perfume of iconic locations in candles made from the best raw materials. For example, the biting freshness of the stall of green herbs in Mantes-La-Jolie, the delectable breath of wild breath of wild jasmine in Algiers, the fragrance of lemon tree leaves mixed with the woody note of the great cedars in the garden of the Villa Medici, all of which are bestsellers.
Today, the fortunate team – on one side the Astier de Villatte group, Benoît, Ivan and Emilie, and on the other the Takasago perfumes and, new to the adventure, Christophe Raynaud, the renowned Firmenich perfumer – are already leading us towards new and enchanting destinations.
Take a tour with us of some of the exotic and marvellous world that is Astier de Villatte.
Rue Saint Honoré. Late afternoon. The boutique door opens on to the asphalt of Old Paris. An enticing scent immediately floods the premises. A powdery cloud, a few delicate green notes and a jasmine rose accord merge deliciously with the amber and leather atmosphere.
Commune de Paris. Gusts of citrus fruit, sharp and alive; lemons from Italy, bergamot and scented geranium all invade the air. Suddenly it’s the calm after the storm. A delicious, warm, sweet and slightly powdery mist rises from the cobblestones. Suave styrax resin and nutmeg are joined by the scent of green almonds from coumarin, the celebrated molecule of the age.
Hollywood. A new mythical fragrance rises over Sunset Boulevard: a delicate dusting of iris and patchouli leads us down the yellow brick road of Hollywood studios, blending with the sunny cedarwood, eucalyptus and vetiver scents of Southern California’s luxuriant vegetation.
Provincetown. Endless sandy beaches and wild vegetation surround the New England artist enclave of Provincetown. Intoxicating fresh air and sea mist combine with the scents of wild berries, beach grass, wintergreen and cedar that have grown for millennia around the dunes and salty marshlands.
Grand Chalet. Lost in Swiss Alpine pastures, at the heart of a small and peaceful village, stands the imposing and magnificent wooden structure of the Grand Chalet. It was here, in this unique landscape with its healing climate, that the painter Balthus made his home, enchanted by the fragrances of milk, honey and hints of citrus from the ancient lime trees that surrounded his studio. Today, like a wonderful memory, his favourite perfume fills this place once again.
Cabourg. It was here, under the flowering arbors of the gardens of the Grand Hôtel, in the heart of this elegant seaside resort on the Normandy coast, that Marcel Proust wrote Within a Budding Grove. A delectable aroma of wisteria and a whiff of creamy jasmine accented by the freshness of ocean spray permeate this timeless vacation spot.
Villa Médicis. Along the length of the artists’ workshops, with their large windows opening over the rooftops of Rome, run the majestic gardens of the Villa. A centre for encounters and for meditation, the residents delight in the subtle fragrances of lemon tree leaves, lavender and oregano flowers. The air thrills with the woody aroma of the tall cedars nearby, and the inexpressible fragrance of the ancient stones in the heat of the sun.
Alger. A North African city with Parisian overtones. Whitewashed Haussmanian facades, Persian blinds painted blue, overwhelming heat, a touch of sulphur in the air. From trembling arcades rise delicious perfumes of white campion, privet flowers, wild jasmine, and bitter orange with its acidic notes spiced with a hint of chilli.
Namche Bazar. Black tea with a touch of tobacco, dry hay, slightly smoky. Patchouli, South American maté and musk can also be identified. The incense vapours mix with the soft, fresh verbena and aromatic lavandin.
Stromboli. An enchanting stop ashore a legendary island: Stromboli, with its rivers of lava and fire, tufts of white smoke and black sand beaches. From the sunny alleys of Ginostra, a small fishing town with dazzling white houses, take a walk uphill towards the volcano, among the lemon, bigarade orange and olive trees: their smell is intoxicating, an intense mix of citrus fruits mixed with warm thyme, coriander, and jasmine, vibrating together in the scorching air.
All handmade and celebrating the beauty of imperfection, Astier de Villatte's collections are something truly special to have in your home. Visit us in-store to experience this most extraordinary world.