The free samples I graciously received were beautifully packed with postcard still lifes visualizing each scent and a brief prose fragment adding words. A great idea, the photography is well done, while the prose (in the English version) could use a little improvement in my opinion (but those are fine points).
The fragrances themselves,I feel, promise more than they deliver - but I must add that what I seek in an EdC, contrary to other perfumes, is not so much art, but a perfect referencing of nature. That's one reason why I feel the EdCs by Chanel and Lutens are monumental failures, apart from the fact that they smell like cheap bathroom products. But on to Atelier Cologne's foursome:
After a hesitant start, perfumer Ralf Schwieger's Orange Sanguine blossoms into a zesty, mouth-watering, true-to-life blood orange, but a pasteurized-juice feel soon catches up on this beautiful moment and when the florals set in, it becomes pure hotel soap, slightly reminiscent of Roger & Gallet's Extra-Vieille, in fact. That's nice, if you like it, but not what I seek in an Eau de Cologne and also not good enough for the money charged.
|Top notes:||Blood orange, bitter orange|
|Heart notes:||Jasmine, geranium from South Africa|
|Base notes:||Amber woods, tonka beans, sandalwood|
Trèfle Pur: A limey-citrus green with dusky notes. It lacks the purity of something like the body-splash like Extract of Limes by Geo. F. Trumper and will inevitably remind some folks of washing up liquid. It quickly veers into shampoo or beauty-product terrain. I simply expect more from niche, though I know I rarely get it.
|Top notes:||Bitter orange, cardamon, basilic|
|Heart notes:||Clover absolute, violet leaves, Tunisian neroli|
|Base notes:||Patchouli, moss, musk|
Grand Néroli is nice, as most nerolis are, but a bit too musky for my taste. The drydown has some smokey-amber which works well, but the scent is not convincing, becoming too intrusively synthetic as it progresses. Doesn't hold a stick to Xerjoff's Kobe quality-wise, but then virtually nothing else does in my book. Of the four sampled Ateliers, it is nonetheless my favorite.
Bois Blond is so extremely faint I suspect I am anosmic to some key ingredient. I smell pure spirit at the outset, and then a weak synthetic dark wood note. It just doesn't happen.
|Top notes:||Tunisian neroli, pink pepper|
|Heart notes:||Moroccan orange flower, incense|
|Base notes:||Blond woods, musks, vetiver from Haiti|
The Atelier colognes include some nice notes, but it is not one note that bryngeth summer - or maketh good cologne. The feeling of a really high-end, refreshing, natural Eau de Cologne isn't there, while the intensity and duration is not all that great in turn. The idea is great, the esthetic is accomplished, but I feel these scents will only satisfy, if you're looking for rather conventional fragrances on the light, fresh side. Personally, for the genuine Eau de Cologne experience, I'll stick with the classics and a few all-natural scents.