Free shipping in Canada + 3 samples on orders over $100 Free shipping in Canada + 3 free samples on all orders over $100

Interview With Veronique Le Bihan, the creator of ATELIER MATERI

Interview With Veronique Le Bihan, the creator of ATELIER MATERI

Your philosophy emphasizes the raw beauty of materials and craftsmanship. How does it influence your fragrance and product creation?

VLB : The essence of our creations lies in the transformation of raw materials through human gestures. Just as a cabinetmaker sculpts wood or a ceramist models clay, our perfumer combines, shapes, and tames the raw materials, revealing their inherent beauty. Our approach is reminiscent of a craftsman's art, combining the mastery of gestures and techniques with an artistic sensibility that conveys emotion.

In the creation of each fragrance, we meticulously study the materials, exploring their diverse facets, textures, and potential associations. Our aspiration is to craft fragrances with a minimalist and contemporary aesthetic, allowing the material to express itself in a unique and exceptional manner.

You work with artists and craftsmen to create your fragrances. Why did you make this choice?

VLB: For over a decade before founding ATELIER MATERI, I worked in the cosmetics and perfume industry for both French and international brands. Like most perfumes on the market, these products were developed in very short time frames and mass-produced industrially, often at the expense of artistic creation.

I wanted, and needed, to return to something more sincere and authentic. Our fragrances are created with a deep respect for time, using the finest materials and with a genuine commitment to creativity. Being passionate about design and architecture, I envisioned creating a beautiful object you could proudly display outside of your bathroom. I firmly believe that the human touch gives creations their soul. Entirely handcrafted, polished, and patinated, each of our caps bears the unique imprint of the craftsman's gesture through its differences and roughness. It is the beauty of imperfection, as found in nature, that enhances the authenticity of our fragrances.

What personal characteristics and inspirations shape your fragrances and product designs?

VLB: Modernist art, architecture, and design serve as a constant source of inspiration and influence for my work. Both our fragrances and object embody a refined and understated aesthetic, embracing contemporary elegance throughout.
It's the idea of quiet luxury, as opposed to ostentatious luxury.

Can you tell us more about the design of your perfumes, and the role of craftsmanship in their creation?

VLB: The object embodies the House’s aesthetic and is inspired by Brittany, where I grew up, a region where nature is raw and wild. The deep blue of the bottle echoes the color of the ocean after a storm, while the concrete cap recalls the minerality of the cliffs and takes the shape of a pebble polished by the waves.

Made of concrete, a mineral material with minimalist beauty, the cap is poured, polished and finished with an antique bronze patina entirely by hand. 

What values guided the creation of ATELIER MATERI?

VLB : In creating ATELIER MATERI, I aimed to offer a new vision of perfumery, more human and responsible, by placing nature, craftsmanship and local production back at the heart of the project. ATELIER MATERI is committed to an equitable approach throughout the production chain of its fragrances. We foster relationships with our partners based on exchange, transparency, and fair remuneration. 

We take great care in selecting our raw materials, ensuring that the work of our producers and suppliers respects the environment. The natural ingredients are always chosen with exceptional quality and ecological preservation in mind, never threatening natural resources.

Your vision is to offer "a new form of luxury that takes time to create". Can you tell us more about this?

VLB : The perfumery industry faces the same challenges as any other sector: marketing trends, increasingly stringent launch schedules, and sales and profitability targets. All this often comes at the expense of artistic creation.

We create without the pressure of a launch deadline—the release of a new fragrance is guided by the culmination of its creation, not by a marketing calendar. This process can take anywhere from a few months to several years. For me, this commitment is a philosophy that enables us to maintain our authenticity and sincerity.

Do you have a favorite fragrance in the collection?

VLB : I consider my fragrance collection an olfactory wardrobe, making it difficult to choose just one. Each fragrance corresponds to a piece I wear based on my mood.

One such scent is Iris Ebène, which acts as an “olfactory doudou” for me. When we started working on this fragrance, I provided perfumer Marie Hugentobler with the vision of a cashmere sweater —something soft and enveloping to wrap oneself in. Whenever I seek comfort, this is the frag rance I opt for.

Cuir Nilam represents patchouli dressed in a leather perfecto, exuding typically Parisian elegance. It's a Haute Couture composition that embodies both uniqueness and sensuality. For me, it is the ideal fragrance choice for a romantic dinner.

Leave a comment