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Luxury

Stacey Chia
Urban, The Straits Times
Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014

Luxury

A nose for the fresh

Urban, The Straits Times | Stacey Chia | Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014

In the world of fragrances, the eau de cologne has long been considered inferior to the more long-lasting eau de parfum.

But niche fragrance company Atelier Cologne has set out to change that by devoting itself completely to cologne, a citrus-rich fragrance created in Cologne, Germany. Most perfume houses develop eau de cologne, eau de toilette and eau de parfum.

Founded in 2009, by husband and wife duo Mr Christophe Cervasel, 40, and Ms Sylvie Ganter, 42, the 17 scents by the brand are said to last longer than the average cologne.

"Both Sylvie and I have worn only cologne our entire lives, as we both love the freshness of it. But very often, cologne has been criticised for not lasting, so we thought a lot more could be done with it," says Mr Cervasel. The Frenchman was in town in May for an Atelier Cologne media event.

Last month, local multi-label beauty store Escentials launched the brand in its stores at Paragon and Tangs Orchard. A 100ml bottle of scent is priced from $170, while a 200ml bottle costs between $250 and $300.

Mr Cervasel explains that how long a fragrance lasts depends on the concentration of essential oils. A typical eau de cologne has an essential oil concentration of about 5 per cent, with the rest comprising alcohol and water. Eau de toilette has between 5 and 10 per cent; eau de parfum has between 10 and 15 per cent; while parfum (pure perfume) has anything more than 15 per cent.

Atelier Cologne blends have an essential oil concentration which is between 15 and 20 per cent, which places them within the pure perfume range. The founders have coined a new category - cologne absolue - for their creations. "Like an eau de cologne, these are citrus-based, but blended with personality and an outstanding long-lasting power," says Mr Cervasel, who has spent 18 years in the fragrance industry.

At the age of 22, he joined Kenzo Parfums. Three years later, he started Selective Beauty, making perfumes for luxury brands such as John Galliano, Jimmy Choo, Sonia Rykiel and Agent Provocateur.

His wife is also an industry veteran, having worked at Hermes Parfums and beauty brand Fresh, which also produces fragrances.

DELICIOUS DIFFUSION

Mr Cervasel says other factors that determine how long a fragrance lasts include the quality and combination of ingredients.

In keeping with the characteristics of cologne, Atelier Cologne scents are packed with a lot of citrus, but he says they are blended with "precious raw materials for perfectly balanced creations". Ingredients are sourced from across the world, including Egypt, Brazil and Haiti.

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