Atelier Cologne has debuted the olfactory version of Variations on a Theme with their collection of Cologne Absolue. Each of the five fragrances plays like its own individual movement of music with the unifying notes of neroli, bitter orange, mandarin, and bergamot running through them like a recurring melody.
The collection begins with the outright citrus of Orange Sanguine, a cheerful blend of red orange, bitter orange, jasmine, South African geranium, amber, tonka bean, and sandalwood.
Atelier follows with the lady-like chypre, Grand Neroli. As the name suggests, it opens with Moroccan neroli, lemon, Sicilian bergamot, and continues with a green heart of petit grain, Persian galbanum birch leaf, and moss to finish with musk, white amber, and Madagascar vanilla.
The contemplative Oolang Infini comes next, with its beginning of bergamot, Tunisian neroli, and oolang tea giving way to the surprising mid-notes of blonde leather and tobacco blossom before grounding itself in Guaiac wood and Haitian vetiver.
The adventure continues with Bois Blonds and its wanderlust by combining Tunisian neroli, pink pepper, and Moroccan orange blossom with incense, wood notes, musk, and Haitian vetiver.
Earthiness ends the cycle with the fifth installment of Trefle Pur. Bitter orange, cardamom, and basil take the top while clover absolute, violet leaves, and Tunisian neroli follow, and patchouli moss and musk close off the scent.
The globe-trotting collection retails for $145-165 at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and www.ateliercologne.com.
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– Katharine McKenzie