Astier De Villatte Is Reviving Fragrances Lost to Time

Using state-of-the-art technology, the French company offers a contemporary upgrade to ancient formulas with laser-like precision.

Image courtesy of Astier de Villatte

Perfume is often considered an olfactory time capsule, not only capturing the memories of the wearer, but serving as a reflection of the time and place of its creation. As years pass and trends come and go, so too do the given era’s fragrances thanks to the available materials, fashion, and regulations. 

Astier De Villatte, a French company founded in 1993, seeks to revive artifacts forgotten to time, and has most recently set its sights on perfume. To achieve this feat, they enlisted perfume historian Annick Le Guérer and master perfumer Dominique Ropion to resurrect three fragrances from bygone eras. They include Le Dieu Bleu, a reinterpretation of a kyphi, or an Egyptian incense; Artaban, the royal perfume of Ancient Rome; and Les Nuits, the perfume of French novelist George Sand. 

Image courtesy of Astier de Villatte

To bring these fragrances back to life, the duo paired ancient recipes and artifacts with state-of-the-art technology. Le Guérer provided Ropion with the actual formulas for the Ancient Egyptian and Roman perfumes, as well as the dregs of an old vial of Sand’s scent. The perfumes were precisely recreated with a modern approach, replacing ingredients no longer compliant with today’s safety regulations while maintaining each scent’s complexity, depth, and integrity. The distinct collection unearths fragrances once feared lost to time—and offers a new generation the chance to create their own olfactory portal to the past.

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