INNOVATIVE French perfume brand Atelier Cologne have launched a pair of fragrances, Camelia Intrepide and Emeraude Agar – the latest additions to the brand’s Métal collection. Founded in 2009 and based in Paris and New York, by French husband-and-wife team Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel which, perhaps, partly explains the brand’s fondness of creating complementing pairs of scents. Although, as fitting for these gender-fluid times, all the Atelier Cologne fragrances are unisex.
Master perfumers themselves, Ganter and Cervasel worked in the fragrance business where they met, fell in love and subsequently married. As youngsters they loved eau de colognes for their freshness, splashiness and effervescence and so decided to set up a fragrance house based on the best of colognes but using unusual, rare extracts and ingredients with signature citruses bringing up to date and reinterpreting the traditional citruses used in colognes of the past.
However what Ganter and Cervasel didn’t love about colognes was how quickly they faded on the skin – their perfumes would have to be long lasting. So they created a formulation they call Cologne Absolues which are very dense and rich formulas containing 18 per cent perfume – in other words, pure perfume. Usual colognes usually contain five per cent perfume and a rough approximation, eau de toillettes contain 8 per cent and eau de parfum around 15.
Each fragrance by Atelier Cologne tells a story of “treasured emotions and powerful memories”, and are packaged in chic custom-blown high quality glass bottles (often metallic) and the latest launch are no exception to this. Camelia Intrepide and Emeraude Agar, part of Atelier Cologne’s Metal range, and developed by the renowned nose Jérôme Epinette, (the creator of many of the line’s output as well as fragrances for Byredo and Frapin) are inspired by the American pioneering aviator and adventurer Amelia Earhart – the first female pilot to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean – and these colognes tell the story of an independent – yet passionate – couple. As Atelier Cologne put it, (and the brand loves a dramatic and expressive tag line), “She is an aviator, high in the sky; he is a wild explorer, earthy yet eloquent.” And as in all the best relationships, “he brings her down to earth, while she inspires him to new heights”.
Camelia Intrepide and Emeraude Agar have been cleverly created to share olfactory connections of harmonising notes of Calabria bergamot and rose. The “female partner” Camelia Intrepide – where the citrus comes from lemon from Sicily, bergamot from Calabria as well as contrasting ingredients camellia leaves, rose, white leather and amber – opens with an Earl Grey-like and citrus flash and then settles to entrance with a beguiling rose and amber giving a spicy warmth and depth. This is a long-lasting perfume which delights and intrigues.
My spills (test strips of thin card) still retain the scent which hasn’t faded five days after spraying. Cervasel explains their staying power is due not only the high concentration of ingredients but as well all their colognes are uniquely structured like an hour-glass shape rather than a pyramid (as most scents are) so the top notes are as robust and as long-lasting as their lower ones.
The “male” of the pair, Emeraude Agar, is composed of angelica, black pepper, geranium, eucalyptus, agarwood (a kind of oud), sandalwood and gaiac wood. On first spray, it opens up powerfully – leathery, rich and deep. The oud here, however, is a cleaned up one which is very easy to wear yet still packs a punch with the bergamot lightening it up. This is a supple and masculine cologne – subtle, lingering, refined but not overbearing (as some ouds can be).
This is a distinctive, sophisticated and intelligent cologne – and would, I think, if we want a partner for Amelia Earhart, travelling forward in time is personified by the America actor Sam Shepard (who embodies a deep intellectual with a rugged pioneering spirit) which he could wear in the film The Right Stuff where he starred as the American hero Chuck Yeagar – the first pilot to break the speed of sound.
These distinctive colognes would make great gifts for distinguished wearers who appreciate high quality fragrances which are somewhat out of the ordinary.
by Caroline Simpson