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Eau Chic - upbeat, refreshing and très chic – June 6, 2018

Photo: permission Astier de Villate

As the temperature increases so does my desire to wear colognes. Colognes have really been popular for the last few years, and that interest isn’t waning anytime soon as more and more niche house introduce them into the market each year.

I love exploring new fragrances, but there’s something to be said for the old faithfuls – those trusty, dependable, reliable colognes that have been tested heat wave after heat wave over the years, bearing witness to countless BBQ’s on the back deck, summer cocktail parties, pool parties, the occasional wedding, Caribbean cruises and, if I’m honest, more than a few, ahem, assignations, and have proven themselves up to the task of being refreshing while still representing.

That’s because colognes are built to do the job. Colognes follow a very simple formula: alcohol that contains a mixture of citrus oils, herbs and/or flowers, with a light base of woods or musk. Formulas might sounds boring, 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 it opened in 2001, and I remember 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 be without it. Ha! That was more easily said than done. I could only find one place to buy it and that was at the boutique in Paris. And then in 2013, it disappeared. Poof. Gone.

I thought it was gone forever, but I wasn’t the only one who missed it. Over the years, Eau Chic had reached cult-status. “We received our fair share of anxious emails from loyal clients asking for more Eau Chic,” said Astier de Villatte and Pericoli in an interview. By 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. Petit grain with its soft, woody aspect is at the base.

The drydown is upbeat, refreshing and surprisingly complex for a cologne and I think it is perfectly unisex.

Eau Chic lives up to its name. It’s stylish and elegant and, to me, it’s very Parisian. Eau Chic is très chic and it’s the perfect antidote to summer heat and that’s worth making a fuss about.

Eau Chic is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.