When I first started exploring the world of perfume I only really had time for scents that were loud, proud and downright fabulous. But now, as I get older and my approach to perfume is increasingly more seasoned, I find myself appreciating the art of subtlety and the application of a ‘dab hand’. Now that’s not to say that I no longer enjoy scents that are loud, attention-grabbing, weird and even confrontational, but it does mean that a perfume doesn’t have to possess these characteristics for me to sit up and pay attention. In short: as long as it smells good it’s on my radar!
One particular genre this shift in focus has allowed me to appreciate is cologne. When done right, colognes and citrus scents can be infinitely beautifully as well as having the added benefits of being refreshing, undemanding and thirst quenching. French perfume house Atelier Cologne is one brand that gets the idea of colognes spot on, having created the ‘Cologne Absolue’ – concentrated colognes that “celebrates the elegance of citruses” and possess the perfect trifecta of; longevity, freshness and intensity.
The latest addition to Atelier Cologne’s ‘Collection Originale’ is Cédrat Enivrant (‘Intoxicating Citrus’) – a cologne that takes inspiration from the French 75 cocktail and merges the world of perfume and mixology in a haze of mouthwatering citrus. Created by perfumer Ralf Schweiger (Frederic Malle’s Lipstick Rose and Etat Libre d’Orange’s Fils de Dieu and The Afternoon of a Faun) in a Cologne Absolue concentration of 15%, Cédrant Enivrant is described by the brand as being for lovers of “lemon and gin notes”. Count me in as one of those!
“As the sun set on the beach, they were all together again. Full of emotions, they could not stop talking. Had it really been so long? They shared many memories and another round of French 75s with laugher and tears in their eyes. No one wanted the night to end. As the sun rose, it was a sparkling moment of absolue friendship.”
Top: Moroccan Cédrat, Lime from Mexico and Bergamot from Calabria
Heart: Mint from China, Basilic from Egypt and Juniper Berries from Macedonia
Base: Tonka Bean from Brazil, Vetiver from Haiti and Elemi from Philippines
How Does it Smell?
I’ve never tried a French 75 cocktail but I as sure as heck want to after sniffing Cédrat Enivrant – it is infinitely drinkable. This ode to citrus and gin opens with a joyful burst of lime accented by sweet lemon and the cool menthol tones of mint. To my nose it’s all a bit ‘mojito’ for the first few minutes (never a bad thing, trust me) but the sharpness of the gin-like juniper becomes present quite quickly and the whole thing lacks any sugar syrup to give it that sticky cocktail vibe. It’s wonderfully fresh and as I say, utterly drinkable.
I’ll say now that Cédrat Enivrant is nothing wildly new or unique, but that’s not really its purpose. As it shifts away from the lively top notes into the warm heart, the fragrance displays a smooth sour quality that blends rather nicely with the vibrant citrus and the aromatic herbal feel of basil. At this stage in particular, Cédrant Enivrant feels like it would be the perfect compliment for a crisp white shirt, displaying the wearer as someone smart and fashionable but not too sensible. After all, life’s too short to be fashionable and boring, right?
It would be fair to say that after the initial 30 minutes or so, Cédrat Enivrant loses a good degree of its tenacity and intensity, settling to a gentle citrus cologne that really does last on the skin. The base is a mildly mannered blend of vetiver and cedar topped off with a very dry vanilla that is applied in an exceptionally thin layer. The effect is smooth, subtle and simplistic, making for a straightforward end to a perfume that really is entirely effortless when it comes to wearability.
Cédrat Enivrant is an excellently crafted cologne, possessing that much sought after combination of; longevity freshness and intensity. It’s also an absolute pleasure to smell and wear, bringing constant joy with its upbeat character and it strikes me as a perfume that will be an absolute blinder in the summer months. I have read that it is similar to other fragrances within the Atelier Cologne line but my experience of their back catalogue isn’t strong enough to comment, however I will say that it displays a nice balance between sour lime and warm woods that is worthy of a sniff for anyone who is looking for a contemporary citrus scent that is unfussy. Thumbs up from me!
Atelier Cologne’s Cédrat Enivrant is available in 30ml, 100ml and 200ml Cologne Absolue. A soap (200g) and candle (190g) are also available.
Sample, images, notes and quotes via Atelier Cologne.