Friday, January 25, 2013

Fragrance Friday

Nope, still not Solstice Scents, because I got distracted by some Atelier Cologne samples I got from Aedes (my perfume heroes––I know I talk about them all the time, but seriously, $15 for 7 niche perfume samples? Is incredible. And there's apparently no limit on how many orders you can place, because I'm on my, like, 10th, and they have yet to yell at me). Enjoy!

Atelier Orange Sanguine (Citrus: red orange, bitter orange, jasmine, geranium, amber, tonka bean, sandalwood): This was the first Atelier I smelled, provided as a free sample from Sephora. I expected to be underwhelmed, since citrus perfumes are usually kind of bleh, either too sharp or too dishsoapy. Orange Sanguine, however, is perhaps the happiest, cheeriest perfume I have ever encountered. It's sweet but not cloying, citrusy but not soapy, bright but not grating, and complex enough to remain interesting. It smells like freshly peeled oranges in a room full of flowers and sunshine, and in this dark and dreary time of year, that is so very delightful. It's one of the stronger Ateliers, and lasts several hours before fading. The ultimate pick-me-up!

Atelier Grand Neroli (Chypre: neroli, lemon, bergamot, petit grain, galbanum, moss, birch leaf, musk, amber, vanilla): This is also a citrus, but is quite distinct from Orange Sanguine. Grand Neroli opens with a blast of green, followed by some soapy orange blossom and rind. It's not nearly as bright and sweet as Orange Sanguine, and unfortunately does not work all that well on my skin, pulling sharp and bitter. It seems more masculine than OS, but I think both could be worn by either sex.

Atelier Vetiver Fatal (Woody Aromatic: bergamot, lemon, orange, orange blossom, violet leaf, plum, vetiver, cedar, oud): Smells like vetiver, which is not my favorite note, I think because it smells quite masculine to me. I only dabbed on a little, and vetiver isn't a note I have much experience with, so I don't really have much to say. Smelled like vetiver/man, the end.

Atelier Rose Anonyme (Oriental Floral: bergamot, ginger, rose, opoponax, oud, patchouli leaf, papyrus, benzoin): Boozy rose. I kept thinking I'd spilled a cocktail all over myself while I was wearing this, only to (repeatedly) remember that it was not 10 o'clock on a Saturday night. Reminds me of Bond No. 9 West Side, though not as suffocating, but still, not my kind of scent. I prefer my roses to be crisp and green, a la Diptyque L'Ombre Dans l'Eau, or oriental and spicy, like L'Artisan Safran Troublant or By Kilian Rose Oud. Ah well!

Atelier Oolang Infini (Woody Aromatic: bergamot, neroli, oolong tea, leather, tobacco blossom, guaiac wood, vetiver): Liz and I are on the hunt for good tea perfumes, so I of course had to try this one. The closest I've come to finding a perfume that smells like tea actually does, Oolang Infini is a picture-perfect representation of oolong tea, similarly light (it's gone within 2 hours) and dryly bitter. Oolong is not my favorite tea, but I really like Oolang Infini, just for the novelty's sake! Other tea scents: L'Artisan Thé pour un Eté, which is green and light, though not as fleeting as this one; Amouage Lyric, which has a hefty tea note in the first 10 minutes that tragically never reappears; Serge Lutens Five O'Clock Au Gingembre, which is Earl Grey and gingerbread (and smells friggin' fantastic––I rewore it this week and it made me so happy); Hermès Osmanthe Yunnan, which combines the soapiness of osmanthus (soapy to me, anyways) with the dryness of black Yunnan tea, giving a similar feel to Oolang Infini but at 4 times the price. I've also heard Bath and Body Works' White Tea and Ginger is a nice one, though have yet to try it myself. Other tea perfume suggestions are more than welcome!

Atelier Trefle Pur (Chypre: bitter orange, cardamom, basil [I wasn't able to smell this when I wore it, sadface], clove, violet leaves, moss, patchouli, musk): This smells like dirt, unsurprising given the name (truffles taste like dirt, y'all, I don't care how uncultured that makes me sound), but it's actually very likable, earthy and rich rather than unwashed and dank. It pulls masculine, but an outdoorsy woman could certainly enjoy it. As a bonus, it's one of the longer-lasting and stronger Ateliers.

Atelier Ambre Nue (Oriental Floral: bergamot, mandarin, tagetes, cinnamon, orchid, benzoin, labdanum, patchouli, tonka bean): I love amber perfumes, like, a lot, but they tend to be on the expensive side of things. Ambre Nue is almost affordable ($70 for 1 oz, which is still about 3x more than I can pay, lolz), and smells great. It opens with a lot of citrus, closer to that of Orange Sanguine than Grand Neroli, but that fades after half an hour or so to leave the lovely floral and spicy-tinged amber base. Ambre Nue is lighter and less spicy than Serge Lutens Arabie or Ambre Sultan, heavier/richer than Prada L'Eau Ambrée and Chanel Coromandel, and less gourmand and more citrusy than Dior Ambre Nuit and Hermès Ambre Narguilé. If you like your ambers friendly, relatively light, and not too gourmand or spicy, Ambre Nue is well worth trying. The citrus makes it very appealing!

After going through the notes list for these, I notice that Atelier really has a thing for bergamot, which I realize is not all that surprising, given that they're all colognes––with the shorter lifespan that implies. I still need to try Bois Blonds and Vanille Insensee, and they're coming out with a new one this year, Mistral Patchouli. My experience so far has been very positive, though, and I definitely recommend checking out the brand if you get the chance! And as long as you don't mind a more fleeting fragrance experience, as they are all, to varying degrees, light and airy (Ambre Nue is the longest-lasting, Oolang Infini the shortest). I think they would be excellent summertime scents, and should appeal to those who don't want their fragrance to be the first thing people notice.

Have you tried any Atelier scents? What did you think?
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