Love in irregular places

By Jo Phillips

There is something quite special about fragrance. A spritz of scent changes everything. It can instantly add to an outfit, transport you back to a fond memory and brings a memorable touch to a first encounter. As you can tell, fragrance is extremely personal so when you find your fragrance match it feels great. However just like your wardrobe, it’s likely you will have more than one favourite. There are so many choices- eau de parfum, eau de toilette and cologne. Below we are introducing you to the cologne brand Atelier Cologne, a French brand who have taken the very essence of Cologne yet approached it like a eau de parfum.

What is a cologne?

Cologne was first created in 1709. Having originated in the city of Cologne (Köln) in Germany, the fragrance was made from the water of the city, hence the term eau de cologne meaning ‘water of Cologne’. The two people most associated with the origins of cologne are Paul Feminis and Italian perfumier Giovanni Maria Farina. Although there are conflicting sources about who created cologne first, both are known to have made what we now call cologne. Feminis created a blend of citrus and herbal essential oils with grape alcohol which he named Aqua Admirabilis (wonderful water in Latin). The base of grape alcohol meant that the mixture could be consumed, and was often used as a mouthwash and it is said to be used in Cologne today. Similarly, Giovanni Maria Farina created his own mixture of lavender, lemon, bergamot and orange essentials and distilled alcohol and is credited with naming the fragrance Eau de Cologne after his new hometown Cologne, as an expression of gratitude for his new citizenship. Centuries on and cologne still remains popular.

The biggest difference in cologne, as opposed to perfume or toilette is in its concentration of essential oils. Typically, it has the lowest concentration of pure perfume around 5% to 7% essence, mixed with water and alcohol. They tend to be light, citrus-based and fresh scents.  Eau de toilette is usually up to 10% essence, eau de parfum being between 15 to 20 %  and finally  parfum being the highest concentrate with anything from 25% to 40%, hence the difference in price scale.

The Birth of a Brand

Atelier Cologne was founded in 2009 by husband and wife duo Christophe Cervasel and Sylvie Ganter who both share a passion for fragrance. The brand is said to be ‘born out of our encounter and our love’ and the story goes that Sylvie wanted advice from Christophe and he agreed to help her, on the condition that she married him! Both founders share a passion for cologne and wanted to create a perfume house solely dedicated to unique, long-lasting fragrances that are full of character. Armed with this mutual love and passion, Atelier Cologne was born.

Their range of Colognes Absolues brings the freshness of colognes to pure perfumes (which are concentrated at 15- 20%) and is available in scents for women, men and unisex. The collections explore different scents, ranging from the light citrus scents of Originale then developing into stronger, heady scents of Métal. The fragrances tell and are inspired by a story and invites the wearer to create their own. Each bottle is beautifully designed in its simplicity with the rounded rectangular bottle and trademark leather cap.


The collections available in the UK are:

Originale – ‘Citrus elegance, exceptional lasting power’

Orange Sanguine – With notes of blood orange and bitter orange, jasmine, black pepper and tonka bean this scent perfectly captures the scent of summer.

Grand Néroli – The freshness of Moroccan neroli, oakmoss, birch leaves is balanced with Madagascan vanilla to create this classic fragrance.

Bois Blonds – Neroli, bergamot, pink pepper, incense and blond woods make up this seasonally appropriate, warm blend that welcomes the wearer into winter.

Trèfle Pur – With notes of bitter orange, cardamom, basil and cedarwood, the scent evokes the smell of the outdoors, in particular the familiar smell of the rain on freshly cut grass.

Oolang Infini – Inspired by a private moment of inspiration this scent includes notes of bergamot, oolang tea, blond flower and tobacco flower.

Cédrat Enivrant – A green scent with notes of cedrat, lime, mint and vetiver.

Pomélo Paradis – Described as a ‘sunny sparkling and juicy cologne’, it includes notes of pink pomelo, mandarin, rose essence and amber.

Bergamote Soleil – Based around a story of the founders finding a line of bergamot trees during a drive, the fragrance is based around bergamot with other notes of jasmine, cardamom and heart of vetiver. A warm, sunny scent for an equally warm moment.

Matières – ‘Mythical essences reinvented’

Vanille Insensée – A unique blend of coriander, lime, jasmine, vanilla and amber.

Ambre Nue – With notes of tajetes, orchid, cinnamon and amber, this fragrances evokes an air of mystique.

Rose Anonyme – The feminine floral notes of Turkish rose essence and rose absolute are offset with velvet oud accord and papyrus in this scent.

Vétiver Fatal – Bergamot, heart of bigaradier, violet leaves and heart of vetiver are included in this green fragrance with a special heart note of fig.

Jasmin Angélique – Inspired by a personal moment of love, the delicate jasmine heart note is complimented with pepper, lemon, incense and white amber.

Métal – ‘Rare, precious and unexpected’

Gold Leather – Described as ‘powerful and charismatic’, this fragrance contains notes of saffron, rum, davana, gaiac wood and leather accord.

Blanche Immortelle – Inspired by the immortelle flower, this blend includes notes of mimosa, immortelle absolute, patchouli and sandalwood.

Silver Iris – Created with the ‘ultra-feminine woman’ in mind, with notes of pink pepper, blacurrant, iris, white amber and tonka bean.

Santal Carmin – Revealing the richness of this perfume is bergamot, saffron, white musk, cedarwood and vanilla.

Oud Saphir – A blend of ambrette, violet leaves, suede leather and dark oud accord is both dark and captivating.

Orient – ‘Inspired by Asia and Middle East’

Encens Jinhae – Lemon, pink pepper, incense, cherry blossom and elemi make this romantic fragrance.

Philtre Ceylan – Infused with notes from Ceylan black tea, Sri Lankan green tea, bergamot and cumin.

Poivre Electrique – ‘Electric, spicy and luminous’ with bitter orange, incense, pimento, myrrh and cedarwood.

Mimosa Indigo – Mandarin, saffron flower, indigo mimosa, leather accord and vanilla make up this fragrance which represents special, spontaneous moments.

Tobacco Nuit – Inspired by a night in jazz club, this fragrance includes notes of clementine, tobacco flower, incense and tonka bean for the perfect balance of warm and smoky.

The New Additions

Atelier Cologne introduces two new fragrances to its Métal collection. Once again they bring the personal touch to their fragrances – the two fragrances is inspired by the life of explorers and tells the story of this couple. Two fragrances that on the surface may seem female and male yet are totally exchanageable!

Christophe Cervasel and Sylvie Ganter say of Camélia Intrépide – “She wanted to challenge the sky to her own route. Aviation icon and queen of the elements, she loved more than anything to feel the power of the wind. He, magnetic and solid as a rock, was the only one able to bring her back to earth… ”

Top Notes: Lemon from Sicily, bergamot from Calabria, nutmeg from Java.

Heart Notes: Camellia leaves from China, iris butter from Morocco, violet leaves from Grasse.

Base Notes: Turkish rose absolue, white leather, amber.

This fragrance is at once delicate and bright with its varied blend of notes from all over the world. It represents a woman ready to lead her own destiny.  However this fragrance is very subtle and can be easily worn by any sex.




Christophe Cervasel and Sylvie Ganter say of  Emeraude Agar – “He loved her beyond reason and would travel to the end of the earth to be with her again. Wild explorer and eloquent author, his life and passions advanced at the same pace. She, free as the air, inevitably brought him to new heights…”

Top Notes: Bergamot from Calabria, angelica from Siberia, black pepper from Vietnam.

Heart Notes: Geranium from Egypt, Turkish rose absolue, eucalyptus from China.

Base Notes: Agar wood from Malaysia, santal mysore from India, gaiac wood from India.

Described as ‘bold and powerful’, this fragrance reflects an explorer, ready to forge ahead and take on the world. As with Camélia Intrépide this can also been worn by both men and women.



Atelier Cologne is available at Harrods, Liberty, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

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