Atelier Cologne, the purveyors of the modern eau de cologne, have launched a brand new collection of five fragrances entitled ‘Collection Orient’. Oriental fragrances, and oriental collections for that matter, are a dime a dozen in the world of perfumery and so often they present nothing more than the same notes in the same dense manner and in the same black and white bottles, but not Atelier Cologne’s Collection Orient. No, this collection is something different altogether. For a start, the bottles are white, hinting at a look at the genre from an entirely new angle, whereas the scents themselves are entirely unexpected and refreshingly unique, subverting one’s ideas of oriental scents rather marvellously.
I haven’t sniffed the entire collection yet (we did give Tobbaco Nuit a good nose in episode one of Fume Chat), but the clear standout from the Collection Orient fragrances I have smelled is Mimosa Indigo. Now, I like me a mimosa, but good ones are hard to find, so it’s always reassuring when a respected brand such as Atelier Cologne gives the note a go. Mimosa Indigo is described as a “velvet and addictive” cologne, taking inspiration from the story of a three am trip home after an evening spent in a New York jazz club whilst wearing the most amazing purple dress, you know, as you do. This is Atelier Cologne shaking up the genre and doing it exceptionally well.
Top: Italian Mandarin, Calabrian Bergamot and Indian Saffron Flower
Heart: Indian Indigo Mimosa, White Leather Accord and Lilac
Base: New Caledonian Sandalwood, Vanilla from Papa New Guinea and Musk
How Does it Smell?
Mimosa Indigo starts out juicy and dewy with citrus notes so dazzling and bright they verge on creating an olfactory whiteout. The familiar smell of mimosa peeks out from behind the silk curtain of bergamot and mandarin, dancing in a lively manner with accents of creamy, almond-like lilac. In comparison to a full-on mimosa fragrance such as Jo Malone London’s Mimosa & Cardamom or L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Mimosa Pour Moi, Mimosa Indigo feels entirely more measured, offering up an a pastel-shaded take on this vivid flower. To me, the mimosa note here smells like the flower through grey smoke, meaning that the almond, milk and pollen facets are dispersed and expansive, rather than creamy and dense.
This fragrance is not just about mimosa though, it’s also an essay on leather – blond leather to be precise. I have gone on record a number of times to say that I struggle with most leather notes because they’re so tarry and dry, they seem to catch in my throat. This leather though, is the supplest, most soft and luxurious leather there is. This leather is as smooth as butter – so smooth in fact, that it feels that it would almost melt in the hand. Smelling the leather and mimosa together makes one wonder why nobody has explored this combination before. Together, they bring out the powdery and floral characteristics in each other, resulting in the most couture mimosa on the planet.
Things are relatively linear in Mimosa Indigo’s development, that said, the light of the mimosa dims as the leather takes hold. In the base, the mimosa and leather are still prominent however, the weight shifts slightly to a creamy base of plush sandalwood and gauzy vanilla (which is on the dry side, it has to be said) that intensifies the overall smoothness. Honestly, it smells really good and this sumptuous base is inflected with the most luxurious hint of mimosa-soaked leather. It’s beautiful.
Fragrances that boast a prominent mimosa note are few and far between, and that’s a shame because mimosa is one of the most ethereally beautiful ingredients out there. Mimosa Indigo does a fantastic job of putting the mimosa front and centre in all of its pollen-y, powdery glory, using lilac to emphasise its milky almond facets and surprising notes of leather to bring something entirely new to the party. Mimosa Indigo is a luxurious mimosa that begs to be paired with a killer leather jacket and something vividly purple, perhaps a lipstick or a McQueen scarf, or both! Yes, why not both!
Mimosa Indigo is available in 200ml Cologne Absolute (Pure Parfum) for £220.
Sample, notes and quotes via Atelier Cologne. Images are my own.