When writing about and being interested in niche fragrance sometimes it feels like the history repeats itself. I don’t mean that in any disrespectful way; it’s the same as seeing red lipsticks launched for Christmas. We get to hear pretty much equal stories about how a fragrance brand was founded and why. We hear the talk about love and passion for high quality, a search for rare or unusual ingredients and that the founders obviously wanted to create something that they felt was missing in the market. I don’t have a problem with this at all. In fact, not everything needs to be super unique and run over by the mighty marketing machinery, (so that we consumers no longer can detect what is real and what is sales talk) to be good.
This is the first thing that made me like Atelier Cologne, the small fragrance house that was founded on the idea of only producing colognes to be worn as every day perfumes. Today, the range consist of candles and body products as well but the love for cologne still remains and when you brows through the very fetching website, you’ll see that it provides you with all the cheeky information you’ll ever need but in a smart, non original way. You recognise the story. Boy meets girl. Love happens, the brand begin to develop, the founders present themselves and we are treated to what scents both of them like to wear. I would take this with a pinch of salt, given that they obviously only list perfumes from their own brand and no fragrance lover would ever refrain from the curiosity of venturing out… despite that; feeling at home on the site, feeling safe and being fed with all the possible information needed, I find the (people behind the) brand to be genius. I spend 20 minutes on their site and suddenly I myself feel like I actually knows something about olfactory notes! The site makes you grow and be curious, you are allowed to take a test to see what colognes might be for you and you never need to feel stupid or like a rookie. Atelier Cologne gives you everything you need to fall in love with the world of fragrances and to shop more than you should. I approve!
The second part that makes me love the brand; a part from the familiar story and the fabulous website is the bottle design. Or, the attention to design details. The bottles, whether you go for 200ml, 100ml or the travel size 30ml are ridiculously photogenic. They literally kills it over at Instagram and whenever I see anyone post something featuring a bottle of Atelier Cologne I shall be honest with you – I don’t even care which scent it is, I just stare and drool over the picture. The clean bottle, the leather cap and the multi-coloured leather cases (with engraving, of course) just speaks to me. They have that “Diptyque effect” that makes your life look super chic, organized and poise. A pretty great deal for a Beauty Editor.
Now, let’s talk about Bois Blonds, maybe the cologne by the brand that I’ve worn the very most and (according to the cheerful website) founder Sylvie Ganter’s only choice for the mornings. The bottle, with its pale coloured label and clear liquid mimics perfectly what’s inside. This is indeed a morning fragrance, a lunch date scent. It is sensual but clean, cold but with a pinch of heat (Chinese Pink Pepper plays its part) and utterly unisex – my husband wears it as well, even though it smells different on him than on me.
The cologne opens with Tunisian Neroli Bergamot from Calabria and Petitgrain from Paraguay. Personally I think it’s the last ingredient which sets it apart from every other neroli fragrance on the market.
In it’s heart rests Moroccan Orange Blossom, the already mentioned Chinese Pink Pepper and Incense from Africa. This is where the heat comes alive. The cologne is one of the house’s most concentrated and it shows as the ingredients really stays on the skin for a full day of wear. Paired with a morning shower of Molton Brown Pink Pepperpod shower gel, this is the winning combination that will linger on my skin and make me feel beautiful and well dressed.
The base notes are what made me fall for the fragrance in the first place. Featuring Blond Woods, Musk and Haitian Vetiver it ticked all the boxes for me. I’m not one to like oud or very sweet ingredients but it doesn’t mean that I don’t look for a warm and heavy scent. Just as long as it is clean and has a little bit of cold steel in it. Exactly like the label and liquid shows. Then I’m interested.
Personally, I like to purchase my Atelier Cologne bottles at Galleries Lafayette. This is not a review for PR consideration, but the new counter and corner for niche fragrances in this beautiful department store is exquisite and I feel that the sales people are knowledgeable and active to guide the costumers.
Atelier Cologne is divided into six different collections which, once again, makes it very easy for you to find something you like:
- Joie De Vivre – all the fresh, lively and citrusy scents.
- Chic Absolu – clean, transparent and elegant scents; here you’ll find my Bois Blonds.
- Avant Garde – all the warm, audacious and unexpected bottles.
- Carte Blanche – spicy, exotic and wild; carries two of my other perfumes by the brand: Mimosa Indigo and Tobacco Nuit.
- Haut Couture – powerful, rare and precious blends.
- Bon Voyage – the sunny, bright and colourful collection.
It’s no surprise though, that I would fall head over heels for Bois Blonds. The Perfumer Jérome Epinette happens to be the father of several other of my beloved bottles, namely most of the & Other Stories fragrance line (featured on Instagram @thatluxuriousfeeling) and three of the most popular perfumes by super chic Swedish perfume house of BYREDO: Bal D’Afrique, Byredo and La Tulip.
The more I learn about perfumes, the more I detect a pattern where I find my favourite noses and master perfumers. Just like with any clothing designer creating a luxurious wardrobe, the same goes for my fragrance wardrobe!
Last but in no way insignificant for my love of Atelier Cologne is the fact that they create all of their colognes without using parabens, paraffinum liquidum, GMO, animal derived ingredients, colorants and sulfates. What you see is what you pay for and this makes the quality so high and the longevity impeccable. It’s a beautiful brand which I will continue to explore. ♥