Blog post by Gwen
Photo: permission Astier de Villate
As the temperature increases, so does my desire to wear colognes. Colognes have always been popular in Europe as a way to beat the summer heat. Still, they’ve been enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the last few years, with more and more niche houses introducing them into the market each year.
Colognes have been tested heat wave after heat wave over the years because that’s what they are designed to do. Colognes follow a straightforward formula: alcohol that contains a mixture of citrus oils, herbs and/or flowers, with a light base of woods or musk. The formula might sound confining, but there’s enough wiggle room in there for a talented nose, such as Françoise Caron, to put her mark on the category, and she has done it beautifully with the colognes she has created for Astier de Villatte, like Eau Chic.
Astier de Villatte is a French luxury homeware brand started in 1996 by designers Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli. Designers of furniture and artisanal ceramic white glazed tableware, borosilicate glassware, and titanium cutlery, their unique creations have developed a devoted following in Paris over the years.
I remember visiting their first boutique at 173 rue St Honoré when they introduced their scented candles, erasers and a trio of eaux de cologne in 2008. I remember buying one of the colognes: Eau Chic, and developing a slavish devotion to it so strong that I vowed never to live through another summer without it. Ha! That was more easily said than done. I could only find one place to buy it, which was at the Paris boutique. And then, in 2013, it disappeared. Poof. Gone.
I thought it was gone forever but over the years, Eau Chic had reached cult status. Astier de Villatte and Pericoli noticed people were getting itchy, and in 2016 it was back in all its distinctive hand-blown glass bottle glory, and the villagers put down their torches and pitchforks. Well, I have, anyways.
So, why all the fuss? Eau Chic opens with a note of tart, vibrant lemon. Its sunny summer brightness softens and fades as the cologne blooms, revealing a gorgeous aromatic note of rose. The rose is light and romantic, not dark and brooding, and it’s balanced beautifully with creamy, white creamy flowers: heady tuberose, banana-nuanced ylang-ylang and sweet orange blossom. Every once in a while, I get a whiff of gentle soapiness from aromatic lavender, which keeps the creamy whites from taking over. The flowers sit alongside fragrant herbs – I smell rosemary, basil and thyme – which gives the flowers a fresh bite. Petitgrain, with its soft, woody aspect, is at the base.
The drydown is upbeat, refreshing and surprisingly complex for a cologne.
Eau Chic lives up to its name. It’s stylish and elegant and the perfect antidote to summer heat. Now that’s worth making a fuss about.
Check out Eau Chic in our Shop.