The fragrant story of Atilier Cologne

fashion February 08, 2018 01:00


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Citing global influences, the first has found a way to make its scents last longer on the skin

AS IF heartstrings weren’t already singing at the approach of Valentine’s Day, there’s a lovely new scent in the air – Atelier Cologne – with a wonderfully romantic story behind it. 

Christophe Cervasel, who with his wife and business partner Sylvie Ganter co-founded Atelier Cologne, was in Bangkok recently to introduce the line of colognes. 

“Sylvie came for a job interview at LVHM, the perfume company where I was working,” says Cervasel, “and at the end she said, ‘Au revoir.’ I said, ‘You speak French!’ She said, ‘I am French – you didn’t read my resume!’ 

“She looked at me like I was the stupidest man in the world and then left, not happy. I thought I’d probably never see her again, but she called me to say she was no longer interested in the job and planned to start her own company instead. 

“She asked for advice, but I convinced her to work with me – start her business, but with my money, which would be easier. And finally she accepted. Christophe Cervasel and Sylvie Ganter co-founded Atelier Cologne

“We were colleagues for one year, then I decided I needed a change and left the company, and then she left too. But we both love cologne and wanted to really concentrate on our passion. When I proposed to Sylvie, she became my partner in business and in real life. 

“Sometime it’s crazy when you do something without thinking it through, but if your heart is really in it, it only makes you happy.”

They launched Atelier Cologne in 2009. 

“The world has many countries and cultures,” Cervasel says, “but everybody likes cologne, which we find very reassuring, because shows that all people have something in common. An Italian man living in Germany made the first cologne and it was popularised by the French. Over the centuries, the eau de cologne formula has remained simple – citrus, such as orange, lemon or neroli, plus alcohol and water.

“We decided to keep the citrus in all of our products. It’s very important to feel fresh and clean when we’re working mentally a lot. 

“The citrus essential oils in cologne are fresh, lively and elegant, but unfortunately they are also very volatile and don’t last long on the skin. After years of research, we managed to create a formula that stays fresh, elegant and transparent but is exceptionally long lasting, like pure perfume.”

The innovation entails high-quality natural essential oils rendered as concentrated as possible. Each variant of Cologne Absolue has an average oil concentration of 18 per cent, whereas traditional eau de cologne is usually 5 per cent or less. Each Atelier Cologne creation can be described as “pure perfume in the air”.

“We also make sure our cologne is unisex, because they are natural on the skin and will change from one person to another,” says Cervasel. “We recommend trying it on the skin before buying. It’s so interesting to see what men and women choose – sometimes it’s very surprising!” 

Powerful memories and treasured emotions are the genesis of each Atelier Cologne perfume. Stories are the basis for each |creation and offer a unique approach to the choice of a Cologne Absolue. 

“By nature, Atelier Cologne’s influences are wide-ranging and multicultural. Our adventure began in New York, our perfumes are 100 per cent made in France, our collections are inspired by travels around the world and our natural ingredients come from more than 50 different countries. This diversity makes our stories universal,” Cervasel says.

Orange Sanguine was the first cologne produced at Atelier Cologne. 

“Everyone was here, gathered on the terrace for breakfast, and the scent of fresh oranges was diffusing in the yellow heat. A symphony of their laughter and waves hitting the cliffs played in the air.” 

Of Oolang Infini, the back-story goes, “His breath fogged the window while he watched new snow wall upon the frozen lake. He came here to catch up on his writing and escape the city. At that moment, the fireplace crackled, ice settled in his glass and his thoughts made their way back to the ink.”

The choices in perfumes can depend on mood, clothing, the occasion or the weather. “The richness and refinement of our Colognes Absolues help each individual reveal their own character, and the endless facets of their personality.” 

The Atelier Cologne boutique at King Power Rangnam also offers an engraving service so customers can personalise their purchases. 

Clients can also choose leather cases in more than 15 different colours and have their name, initials or short message engraved on the leather. The process takes less than five minutes.