Who: Véronique Le Bihan, founder and art director of Atelier Materi, a premium French perfume house created at the end of 2019. After twelve years in cosmetics and fragrance product development, Véronique decided to launch her own brand, one that aligned with her own ethical, social and environmental values.
Inspired by the desire to work at a pace that is respectful of the rhythms of creative process, craftsmanship and nature, she created Atelier Materi as a new style of fragrance house, one which works at more thoughtful tempo and one which she hopes will offer an ‘honest, sincere and authentic luxury that takes the time to perfect itself’. This ‘slow style’ method of design will, she hopes, ensure that each fragrance launched is as best it can possibly be, with all aspects of the design – from the minimalist bottle with its hand-cast cement caps shaped like beach pebbles to the fragrance composition, which she has worked on with perfumers Marie Hugentobler, Lucas Sieuzac and Céline Perdriel – absolutely perfect. It’s very much ‘less is more’, and all the better for it.
Each of the seven fragrances has been composed around a hero raw material, with a distinctive, minimalist and contemporary olfactory signature. There’s Narcisse Taiji, a wonderful take on the narcissi floral, Poivre Pomelo, a spiced citrus, Bois d’Ambrette, constructed around the vegetable-based, ambrette musk note, Santal Blond, a velvety sandalwood, Iris Ebène, a stunningly textural iris leather and the newest, Rose Ardoise, a warm woody rose. We caught up with Véronique recently to ask her what she was wearing…
Today I am wearing our newest creation, Rose Ardoise. There are a lot of rose fragrances on the market so I wanted to explore unexpected facets of the rose and chose to reveal its spicy and mineral notes.
Rose Ardoise is a daring interpretation of an urban and contemporary rose blooming from a concrete ground in the middle of a city centre.
The perfumer of Rose Ardoise, Céline Perdriel, plays on ambiguities, combining femininity and masculinity, transparency and texture, minerality and sensuality. The fragrance opens with fresh, spicy notes of schinus molle and nutmeg that reflect the clear, crystalline vibration of sage. Then, the rose expresses itself entirely before progressively melting into an overdose of ambroxan.
Since a very young age I have always been attracted to smells in general. I grew up in Brittany and my memories are linked to a strong and powerful nature; the scents of the salty seaside air, sun-warmed sand and fresh-cut grass. But I didn’t really imagine working in this sector. When I started working, I was developing skincare and I came to perfumes by chance. It was a real revelation ! It’s a much more creative universe, linked to memories, feelings and emotions.
Fragrance is very important in my daily life. There is not a single day when I don’t wear perfume, even if I am alone at home. I pick up my perfume according to my mood. The fragrance finishes my outfit, as an essential accessory. I spray it on my wrists, neck, hair and clothes every morning.
I like to scent my home. I use room spray on my curtains and sofas and also love to burn candles for the scent but also for the beauty of the light they diffuse. The fragrance depends mainly on the season. I like the warmth and comfort of the woody notes during fall and winter. For spring and summer, I prefer fresh, clean and musky notes.
I definitely used fragrance during lockdown as I mainly wear perfume for myself and not for others. I have worn Iris Ebène a lot during this period. It is a contrasted composition with a blend of iris, woods, musks and soft leather. It’s very sensual and comfortable at the same time. This fragrance is like a cashmere sweater in which I come to snuggle when I need cocooning. Perfect for this difficult time.
I love the very particular smell of the concrete floor after the rain, especially in summer when the ground is warm. I also like the scent of the paper from old books. I like when objects have a history, have already had another life, it makes them more poetic.