Is all this backed up by the fragrances? I believe not. Essential and Absolute (strange names for Eau de Colognes, is this a borrowing from Atelier's "Cologne's Absolue" concept?) are actually a bit Jekyll & Hyde for me. The former is a decent aromatic citrus, the official notes being lemon, bergamot, aromatic herbs, lavender, jasmine, tonka, cedar, vetiver. There's nothing English about it in style, the most obvious reference to me being Goutal's Eau du Sud (A & E do in fact refer to their scents "recalling summers spent in Italy and France."). Essential pales in direct comparison, both in construction, which shows synthetic tailends compared to the flawless natural impression of Eau du Sud, and oil quality. It's a crowded genre to begin and Essential lacks both the ambition to compete with the very best in the field and a new twist which would set it apart from many similar fragrances. I'd roughly class it with Taylor of Old Bond Street quality-wise, who sell at a third of the price of A&E.
Absolute is a 90s aquatic citrus, pure international style with nothing Britsh or traditional about it. The light bergamot note is overpowered by a generic synthetic cocktail to produce the typical fabric softener effect known from Gendarme and a gazillion other fragrances and "fresh-fragranced" products. If you're a fan of Truefitt & Hill scents, i.e. like the whole Victorian packaging bit but actually prefer a modern aquatic vibe in your fragrance, then this might be for you. As everyone who knows my tastes is aware of, I cannot stand aquatics and this one is no exception. At least it comes cheaper than Serge Lutens' cruel joke, the ridiculously redundant L'Eau.
A & E has chosen a currently very tight market for itself, with every fragrance house and their grandmother having issued an Eau de Cologne in recent years. All I can say is good luck.
Meanwhile, my off-the-cuff recommendations for "fortified" Colognes remain:
Monsier Balmain (lemon/bergamot)
Guerlain AA Pamplelune (Grapefruit)
MPG pour le jeune homme (neroli)
MPG Fraiche Baidane (lime, mandarin)
Annick Goutal Eau du Sud or Detaille Aeroplane (aromatic citrus)
Eau Sauvage (bergamot)
Eau de Guerlain (simply brilliant)