There is nothing more magical than the perfect scent. The right scent can take us on a sensory journey through cherished memories. Ever smell the scent of a fresh baked pie and you are immediately transported back to being a child in your grandmother’s kitchen? Or the smell of coconut instantly brings on thoughts of a romantic Caribbean vacation? A scent is a powerful thing.
This is the idea behind Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel‘s (formerly of Hermes and Fresh) new line Atelier Cologne. “The master perfumers of Atelier Cologne blend unexpected and rare extracts with signature fresh citruses to create Colognes Absolues, concentrated formulas with distinctive long-lasting silage.”
The collection depicts five moments, five characters:
1. Orange Sanguine: “A zesty and energizing burst of crushed ripe fruit, plays off sweet blood orange juice against bitter orange peel and sensual notes of geranium.”
2. Grand Neroli: “Elegant orange blossom flower around layers of clean herbal notes, warm musks and addictive brushstrokes of vanilla.”
3. Bois Blonds: “Entwines unique and precious woods and incense with sensual orange flower and vetiver.”
4. Trefle Pur: “Violet leaves in green woods,freshly cut grass and dewy earth.”
5. Oolang Infini: “Captures blue tea and bergamot in the warmth of smoke and leather.”
“Each scent captures treasured emotions and powerful memories.” The classic looking bottles have enchanting short stories on the back that describe the moment in time that the particular scent captures.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sylvie and Christophe at their Neiman Marcus event, where the charming French duo discussed their line, inspiration and the type of person who would wear each scent.
Haute Living: What inspired you to create this line?
S: It is actually an idea that has been in our heads for a very long time. Christophe and I have always worked in perfumes but we actually don’t wear perfumes, which may sound a little bit unusual. We have only worn, for our entire lives, cologne. Cologne here may mean different things, it may mean a fragrance for men or a light concentration scent, but the true meaning of cologne is a citrusy smelling scent. We like Citrus because its fresh, easy and energizing but usually they don’t last. So we wanted to create a line of concentrated unisex colognes that would last.
C: We like to refer to scent pioneers. Cologne was first created more than 300 years ago by an Italian perfumer established in Cologne, Germany. He blended fresh citrus oils which reminded him of his homeland and offered a revolutionary alternative to the heavy perfume scents of the time.
C: We found some interesting colognes with famous fragrance brands but too many were lacking personality. We have talked to many people who have told us want they want is a fresh fragrance with personality that lasts, no one wants a fragrance that doesn’t last. So the magic formula would be to create a fragrance or line of fragrances that are light, fresh, with personality and that last. This is what we have tried to do with our line.
S: Each scent should bring a olfactory memory of a nice moment.
Haute Living: What kind of person wears each scent?
S: Orange Sanguine is an energetic, lively, playful, person with a happy spirit.
C: Trefle Pur is the one I wear, it is probably in appearance a gentlemen. A nice, easy going, Irish guy but inside he’s a bit crazy.
S: Not as classic as he shows. Bois Blonds I would say is probably the most sensual. It’s not a fragrance that you wear so much for the outside or for others to smell. It is something that is close to you and others only get to smell when they come close. Very much the scent of the skin. An adventurer. Confidence.
C: Oolang Infini is the artist, writer, crazy scent. Tobacco, blue tea, something smokey and mysterious. Grand Neroli is probably the most romantic.
S: It’s feminine, classic, pretty.
C: It’s easy to jump into our world because we really tried to have each scent with a very different atmosphere.
Haute Living: There is a growing trend in scents to use a higher ratio of synthetic essences than pure/natural essences. What is your opinion on this?
S: It’s like everything. You need both. A balance. We can’t say only naturals are good or only synthetics are good. Without synthetics there is alot we couldn’t achieve. It’s true for us that is was very important to have as many naturals as possible. High quality naturals. We scouted the world for the best vanilla, the best neroli, the best citruses and orange trees but we also need synthetics like everyone else. Our proportion of naturals is really really high but building today a repertoire of fragrances just with naturals restricts you a lot. There is alot you cannot do from a creative standpoint and a lasting effect standpoint without them. So we don’t want to say synthetics are bad, but for us naturals were very, very important. Christophe is right. It is easy to jump into their world. The amazing stories on the backs of the bottles are a perfect prelude to the scent you are about to smell. The vivid descriptions combined with the scents transport you to a magical and mysterious place. More than just an amazing smelling and long lasting cologne Atelier warms the heart.
I am definitely an Orange Sanguine girl. I wore the scent all day and it lasted! In a nice soft comforting way, not a overpowering “I’m wearing perfume” kind of way! I think I have found my new signature scent!
All five of the Atelier Scents can be purchased exclusively at Neiman Marcus. (Neiman Marcus at Fashion Show Mall, 702.731.3636). Stop in today and pick your scent personality.
You can find more of Christie Moeller’s columns at icanstyleu.com/blog.