Let’s talk about Atelier Cologne. For me they are a brand that very much fits into the category of ‘mainstream niche’, which means they are a niche, exclusive brand that has a sort of mainstream appeal and is on the more accessible side of the luxe fragrance world. You won’t find anything particularly challenging there, but you will find quality and luxury. Juliette Has a Gun is another example of a mainstream niche brand, but we’re not here to talk about them.
What I love about Atelier Cologne is that they are successful in their mission to create enjoyable, long-lasting colognes, and it would be fair to say that they do citrus fragrances better than anyone. Scents like Orange Sanguine (basically a shower of juicy oranges – cover me in it now, please), Bergamot Soleil (the closest you’ll ever get to an Earl Grey scent) and Pomelo Paradis (unf, so good) show just how euphorically beautiful and long-lasting citrus can be.
Their latest fragrance isn’t actually a citrus cologne (well, it kinda is but we’ll get there), instead it’s a sunny floral called Love Osmanthus. Inspired by the story of love in a secret garden, Love Osmanthus shines a spotlight on the unique flower from Asia, playing up its fruity, peach-like aroma into a fragrance that creates the impression of an “exotic garden under the moonlight”. Colour me intrigued….
Osmanthus, Lemon and Cedarwood
How Does it Smell?
Juicy, juicy, juicy. Really juicy. Like jumping into a swimming pool of squashed apricots levels of juicy. There’s a sparkling, twist of lemon which captures both the tartness of freshly squeezed lemon juice and the caramelised stickiness of candied peel. This merges with the beautifully fruity and jammy apricot vibe that makes osmanthus such a gorgeous and fragrant flower. The opening had me sold and I couldn’t stop sniffing it, I tell you.
Underneath this gorgeously fruity aria is a subtle wave of greenery and some clear woods. The beauty of the opening feels like a pop song that fades out slowly (perhaps a spot of Kylie?) so the development comes across as much more of a slow disappearance of all facets of the fragrance rather than a transition through different stages. What you end up with is a transparent veil of what you started with, which feels pretty much what you’d expect from Atelier Cologne. They do what they do very well.
What I do miss is a bit of fleshiness and oomph. I’d have loved to see the leathery, unctuous facets of osmanthus come into play, but perhaps this is not the scent for that. No, Love Osmanthus is a fruity, vivacious and lightweight take on osmanthus that plays up the gorgeously luscious nuances of this incredibly unique flower. That is no bad thing, but it does feel more like a citrus/fruity fragrance than a floral or osmanthus-specific scent.
I enjoy Love Osmanthus and it’s the perfect wave of refreshment needed on a summer’s day. It would even make for a lovely reminder of summer when worn in the dead of winter. Do I adore Love Osmanthus? No. It doesn’t compare with the likes of other Atelier Cologne fragrances such as Orange Sanguine, which I will happily drench myself in time and time again, and whilst it has such a fun, fruity opening, it doesn’t quite hold the interest for the entire development. Still, if you like Atelier Cologne, juicy/fruity fragrances or osmanthus, or all of the above, it’s definitely worth a sniff.
Love Osmanthus is available in 10ml, 30ml, 100ml and 200ml Cologne Absolue.
Images are my own. Sample (full bottle) gifted by the brand for review. I was not paid for this review and the brand had no say in the content.