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Our history

The COTTAN house emerged for the first time at the confluence of formulatory art and art nouveau, two disciplines magnifying nature in the service of beauty. Today, it is reborn with the deep conviction that the inspiration and know-how of this beautiful era, combined with contemporary science, will be able to illuminate the future of beauty.

Paris, 1840.

The metric system was adopted, Balzac introduced Vautrin, Zola and Monet were born, and Jean-François Arsène founded the Hygienic Society of Doctor COTTAN .

In the middle of the 19th century, this pioneer became aware of a disturbing fact: the vast majority of cosmetic products intended for skin care were in reality too often composed of harmful species, more likely to harden and soften the skin. dry out, than to preserve its beauty.

Driven by the hygienist movement of his time, he summoned the knowledge of medicine and pharmacy, and created the very first collection of healthy and natural products, free from compounds of animal origin , truly guaranteeing radiance, softness and health of the skin.

Success was not long in coming, and on May 10, 1842, it was with two patents in his pocket that JF.A. COTTAN settles at n°5 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. From the heart of Paris, it reaches that of the ladies of France , then of Europe, and even of America. A second emblematic perfumery takes place on rue de Châteaudun and the range develops through successive innovations to cover all aspects of toiletry, facial care, makeup and finally exceptional perfumes still very popular with collectors today.

After his death in 1869, his work passed into the hands of his associates who did not fail to increase the prestige and notoriety of the house .

"The successors of Dr. COTTAN, while following the progress of science, have always carefully observed the principles of the founder of the house , this is how in the more recent creative articles, such as the violet milk cream, the kalodermal fluid, makeup, etc., only products with the most effective hygienic qualities are used."

Extract from: French Perfumery and art in Presentation , 1925.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the house opened on rue de Rivoli, and became an essential address for elegant Parisians , alongside big names like Coty, Molinard and Guerlain. Unfortunately, the factory and workshops located in Courbevoie burned during the First World War, and despite the release of a few luxurious perfumes before the crisis of 29, this harsh historical context destroyed the last hopes of the COTTAN house.

His memory will be diluted over the years, despite the scientific heritage and the sensory imagination that his name still carries in our memories. Yet this original know-how, at the basis of contemporary cosmetics, contains so many advantages in the face of today's challenges :

"Without going too far into the past and with miraculous recipes, a particular period focuses attention: the second part of the 19th century. Indeed, it is during this period that cosmetics will become an industry replacing the artisanal and traditional approach of the previous period. This period will see the emergence of brands which will offer numerous products whose modernity is still astonishing ."

Extract from: Jean-Claude Le Joliff in Legato n°1, 2021.

While Clean Beauty and veganism question the foundations of cosmetics, it seems obvious to us that the innovative spirit of Doctor Cottan is more than ever in tune with the times.

In the wish to exalt his heritage, we decipher his most marvelous preparations , and, with the precious help of our master formulators, we give a second wind to the aspirations of Jean-François Arsène, in the light of the ultimate advances in dermocosmetic genius. French , to reveal all their modernity.

Our first collection, Arsène, is inspired by the greatest successes of the hygienic society: beauty vinegar, authentic evanescent cream, and dulcified soap. A daring rewriting of the original recipes, motivated by the definition of the codes of a new formulatory art.

Discover our collection and its inaugural box.

The new formulatory art, for the future.

This philosophy, inherited from the original know-how of the master formulators of the 19th century, guides each step of the Cottan house in order to offer, for today and tomorrow, another approach to the design of cosmetic products.

Indeed, the master formulator has no need for a miracle ingredient, or an INCI list of several pages. Two extremes between which marketing issues cause the good balance of products offered in the field of beauty to falter.

The relevance of a formula is measured by the accuracy of its proportions, and the ingenuity implemented to offer the best performance using the purest, most balanced compositions.

A living art that is learned through practice, and defines the elegance of your cosmetics.

Thus, each of our products is developed according to these precepts, to fully meet its promise of efficiency, equal to the pleasure of the senses. Welcome to COTTAN.