Astier de Villatte


Jerusalem. A wild-smelling pilgrimage through the celestial city, bounded by its ramparts. Following the paths to the sacred sites: The holy Sepulchre, The Wailing Wall, The Garden of Olives. Within the spire of church-incense dissolves the dark and secret emanations of oud, cedar wood and nutmeg, followed by the lighter, more vegetal gum resin and cypress.

Designers of furniture, tableware and ceramic objects for the home, as well as scented products, Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte founded their company in 1996. Without knowing anything about tableware, they started the little company with a group of siblings from the Astier de Villatte family and friends from the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Together they imagined and made ‘objects of dreams’: furniture inspired by bits and bobs found on the pavement at night, by items unearthed at Emmaüs charity shops, the Vanves flea market and thrift stores. Adapting the sculpting techniques they had learned at the École des Beaux Arts, they had fun creating everyday ceramic objects to decorate the table and home. The result was entirely original and exhilarating. The first collections were concocted with the Astier de Villatte family, in the parental home of Alexandre and Benoît Astier de Villatte. Before long, they moved to a basement studio in avenue Daumesnil. Ideas burgeoned, creative talents collided (sometimes fiercely), but the adventure had begun. They set up their first stand at the ‘Maison et Objet’ show in September 1996 and it was a mad, souk-like event. Orders flocked in from all over the world. Thereafter, Astier de Villatte pieces were sold directly from the studio and in a few ultra-Parisian stores.

Little by little, the group disbanded. From then on, Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte were to steer the company’s destiny. With no advertising strategy, its reputation was built by word of mouth.
In 2000, they finally came across the shop of their dreams on the rue Saint-Honoré, close to the Palais Royal and the Louvre museum. Immediately afterwards, they left the constrictively small Daumesnil studio and moved to an enormous production space with natural light on boulevard Masséna in Paris. There, they could manage all the orders flowing in. No question of leaving the city or moving toofar from the boutique. At the time, there were about twenty artisans to work on client orders coming in from across the globe, under the leadership of furniture maker, Alexandre. Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte then enlisted two associates and friends: stylist- designer, Emilie Mazeaud; and webmaster William Simon, who was to develop the website to reflect their style.

Then, in 2008, the novelty scented dishwashing liquid (made for fun and sold in the thousands) propelled them into the magical world of scented products. In collaboration with their associate, Emilie Mazeaud, and Françoise Caron, star perfumer at the Japanese fragrance company Takasago, they launched their Eaux de Cologne, hand care products and the first collection of scented candles, which took on the enchanting theme of an olfactory journey around the world. 



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