The Aesthete: Victoire de Taillac-Touhami talks personal taste

Victoire de Taillac-Touhami is co-founder of French apothecary-style brand Buly 1803, whose 15 stores worldwide focus on natural beauty products

Victoire de Taillac-Touhami at home in Paris
Victoire de Taillac-Touhami at home in Paris | Image: Alex Cretey Systermans

My personal style signifiers are my earrings – they define how I dress. My sister Marie-Hélène de Taillac is a jeweller, so I have a huge collection. My current favourites are a pair of milky quartz squirrels balancing on big gold hoops and eating pearl “nuts”. They’re quite heavy, extremely decorative and have travelled to Japan and Korea with me. €8,350; mariehelenedetaillac.com.

Her gold, pearl and chalcedony Marie-Hélène de Taillac earrings, €8,350
Her gold, pearl and chalcedony Marie-Hélène de Taillac earrings, €8,350

The last thing I bought and loved was a tiny Japanese painted porcelain vase that I found in a craft shop in Tokyo. When I was told its function was to collect my tears, I wasn’t sure I liked the idea, but I bought it anyway to add to my personal installation of vases of all shapes and sizes. It’s just big enough to hold a single leaf. £26; Nippon-Ichi, Ground Floor, Takashimaya, Nihombashi, Tokyo.

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is a pair of men’s brogues in navy blue or black. I’ve been searching for a while in stores such as Church’s and JM Weston, but I’m still not sure exactly which ones I’ll buy. I find men’s shoes way more comfortable than women’s and you can walk in them for ages. church-footwear.com. jmweston.com.

De Taillac-Touhami always has a bottle of Drappier champagne in her fridge
De Taillac-Touhami always has a bottle of Drappier champagne in her fridge

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year was Switzerland in summertime. We stayed at 7132 Hotel in Vals, which has thermal baths and rooms designed by architects Thom Mayne, Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma and Peter Zumthor. My mother and sister have been going there for years and it’s a favourite place of my husband’s when he wants to really relax. We’d only ever been in winter before and I was amazed at the beauty of the fields and flowers. Since I love green, it was paradise for me – even more awe‑inspiring than in snow. +4158‑713 2000; 7132.com.

Her skirt by Japanese label Kolor
Her skirt by Japanese label Kolor | Image: Alex Cretey Systermans

And the best souvenirs I’ve brought home are a handpainted ceramic vase that I found for €100 on the Greek island of Milos, and eight dessert plates and dishes, which were €200 at an antiques fair in Parma. I love collecting porcelain.

Church’s leather Burwood brogues, £475
Church’s leather Burwood brogues, £475

The best gift I’ve received recently was an amazing skirt by the Japanese label Kolor. It’s a fabulous mash-up of contrasting prints and fabrics – some Scandinavian-type wool, others like Hermès silk scarves. My husband found it. I have a huge collection of skirts and prefer volume and movement to tight, restrictive shapes, so this is perfect. kolor.jp and see farfetch.com and harrods.com.

The dessert plates and dishes she bought at a Parma antiques fair
The dessert plates and dishes she bought at a Parma antiques fair | Image: Alex Cretey Systermans

In my fridge, you’ll always find raw milk, butter and a host of open jars – it’s a family fridge as I have three children, ranging in age from 10 to 15. There’s the inevitable supply of vegetable broth that I cook every weekend. I’ll also have Drappier champagne and a sweet white wine such as Gewürtztraminer. champagne-drappier.com.

The 7132 Hotel in Vals, Switzerland
The 7132 Hotel in Vals, Switzerland | Image: Global Image Creation

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a bright blue cashmere sweater by Tokyo label Beams that, as well as menswear, makes clothing with a masculine edge for women under the moniker Beams Boy. Unlike more conservative Europe, the Japanese have amazing colour sense, which I admire. For me, colour brings energy, especially if I’m jet-lagged. Besides, blue suits me. 1F 3-24-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8510 (+813-5770 5550; beams.co.jp).

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My favourite space in my house is my balcony. It’s not huge, but it’s a place where I experiment and work. Our apartment is near Le Bon Marché in Paris’s 7th and has stunning views of the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides.

A recent “find” is Ying Jee Club, a very good restaurant in Hong Kong that makes delicious mushroom and pumpkin dim sum and fabulous mango sago soup. Shop GO5, 107-108 Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Rd, Central (+852-2801 6882).

My favourite websites are Brainpickings.org for inspiration, and Rhs.org.uk for plant information and gardening advice.

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