Friday’s Tall Tales #6

Whenever I photograph a door I wonder about its provenance, who and what has happened across said door. I thought I might pick one of my doors from #Thursdaydoors and tell you a bit more about it or……maybe even weave a story about it. This tale combines “Doors, Tall Tales and French Fancies” which has got to be a win, win, win! Hasn’t it? It also has an interesting link to last week’s door.

Sisley Paris, is an independent French luxury cosmetic, skin care, hair care and perfume company. The firm develops products based on active ingredients derived from plants for different skin types and different uses.

This particular door is the front entrance to Sisley’s headquarters in Paris’ 8th arrondissement, on Avenue de Friedland, in a High Quality Environment (HQE) certified building. Since 2017, it has housed the brand’s marketing, digital and commercial services.

In the 1930s, this Art Deco building was the headquarters of the Aéropostale Company of Mermoz and Saint-Exupéry aviators. Aéropostale was a pioneering aviation company which operated from 1918 to 1933. It managed to attract some of the most intrepid aviators of the time, pilots such as Jean Mermoz and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, of “Le Petit Prince” fame. These were not only daring adventurers, but also talented wordsmiths.

How it all began

Hubert d’Ornano (1926-2015), whose father set up Lancôme, (part of L’Oreal since 1964) was the founder and co-owner of cosmetics company Orlane (now owned by family-run Italian cosmetics group Kelémata). In 1976 he took over with his wife Isabelle (née Potocki) a small company, created in 1972 by perfumer Jean-François Laporte and Roland de Saint-Vincent, and re-named it Sisley (after Alfred Sisley) which the couple turned into one of the most important French luxury cosmetics groups.

Hubert d’Ornano re-organised the company and focused Sisley’s research in phytocosmetology – using the best plant-based extracts to create the best cosmetics – relying  on the research of chemist Egmont Desperrois for his products. The company still designs and manufactures all its products in France, the company’s biggest market, followed by China.

Sisley is a medium-sized family-run business. In 2019, the group employed nearly 4,500 people internationally. Sisley’s products are sold in department stores, pharmacies, spas and beauty salons. In recent years Sisley has also opened its own stores around the world.

Under the current head of the company, Philippe d’Ornano, the son of the founder, the Sisley-d’Ornano Foundation was created in 2007 to ” provide a framework for the charitable work and sponsorships led by the company”.



23 Comments on “Friday’s Tall Tales #6

  1. great door and love the history – how cool and I only know of the modern cheap teen clothes and did not know Aéropostale was an aviation company –

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I never would have guessed that it was once the home of an aviation company. I was thinking a bank, maybe. Thanks for the interesting post, Sheree.

    Liked by 1 person

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