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Bienetre. The moment I thought about this phrase, sweet memories surfaced quickly: just last Summer we were getting bucketloads of bienetre while cruising along winding roads of Côte d’Azur, and the region of ProvanceAlps MaritimesGrasse included, of course! (if you want to find out more about things to do in Grasse, you can find my travelogues here and here)

I waited for nostalgia to kick in. I knew it would, eventually. Ever since Esxence three labeled transparent vials were carefully placed into a “to-do” box on my desk (thank you, Megan and Jean-Phillipe!). First sniffs in Milan were promising, beautiful blue bottles tempting, sparkles of gold inside like captured rays of sunshine:

Atelier des Ors The Riviera Collection 2019

First, there were transparent bottles with black caps and boxes: the Black Collection (reviewed here: here and here). At Esxence 2018. the White Collection was revealed, featuring Nuda Veritas, Crepuscule de Ames and Choeur des Anges (my personal favorite) – a triptych in bottles with white caps and boxes, inspired by Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze – perfumes that took me on a trip to Vienna in search of inspiration behind the line, before writing my review – here.

This year Atelier des Ors presented bleu, blue, azur! bottles trio in the new Riviera Collection. Perfumer Marie Salamagne paints fragrant postcards from Cote d’Azur that resemble vivid tempera paintings, blending notes seamlessly, with ease and an experienced hand.

Names of the fragrances, bottles and centering around citruses, each with a different story to tell, are in accordance with the concept of relaxed, classy summertime luxury of the French Riviera. This line is inspired by the rich history of the region – more specifically the 1950s,’60s, and ’70s. Years when these beautiful gems – small towns and fishing villages scattered around the coast – became accessible to not only nobility and rich, yet still preserving an air of elegance, hedonism, and, yes, that famous bien-etre.
This wonderful corner of Earth is marked by many dreams dreamed, lovers exchanging kisses, and many a great artist got inspired by just being there.

Almost mythical:

Picture postcards of a bygone era that promise beauty and sophistication along with eternal days and nights.”

I decided to give you my more current postcards and letters from Cote d’Azur:

RIVIERA LAZULI

“Dear Marie,
I feel content and peaceful while looking at miles of sandy beaches, and that specific color of the Sea here, sunshine sparkling on its surface. Waves are rolling in in the late afternoon, turning a deeper hue of blue. Their sound is almost meditative, underlying chatter coming from the beach. It’s after 6 PM, the time of the day which I enjoy the most – Sun is now gentle to my skin, scents of Mediterranean herbs are still lingering in the mineral-salty air. I decided to spend this afternoon in Juan Les Pins (commune of Antibes), taking the short drive from Grasse to get here, turning right on the A8 highway to reach the beach area. It feels so intense to drive with the car roof down through these pine woods, alongside meticulously groomed golf terrains lined with old palm trees, to feel the scent of the sea in the air, getting closer and closer.

I wish you could join me for an apres-beach cocktail, our skin still salty and warm after swimming in clear blue water, feet still covered with traces of sparkling sand. We would just lean back and enjoy sounds and scents surrounding us while waiting for Sun to set.

I’m sitting in a beach bar, and don’t feel like leaving this place before dark. Looking at the boats sailing away, you can hear the wind ruffling their sails.

Will wait for the night to wrap this day up, just want to stay here a little longer, feeling this place with all my senses.

Wish you were here.
Love, E.”


Riviera Lazuli indulges you with refreshing, sparkling, freshly cut lemons at first, soon turning salty and a bit mineral.

The citruses are slightly tarty with added cypress and fir, dry, and make a great introduction for herbal-spicy notes of sage and immortelle, a bitter-sweet refreshment that feels cooling on your skin.

The heart of this perfume is pulsing softer, spicier, even sweeter: it does bring instant memories of the smell of a Mediterranean hillside in the late afternoon on a hot Summer’s day.

As you watch the magnificent gold, orange and red hues of sunset spilling themselves over the surface of the Mediterranean sea, you can also feel your own skin emanating the accumulated warmth: it does smell ever so slightly spicy, even resinous.

The transition is completed with images of driftwood, which could be felt at the beginning, turning smokier and darker in the drydown, touched slightly by incense.

Smooth, classy, easy to wear, easy to enjoy, works perfectly as an everyday scent in hot weather, preferably Spring and Summer.

Notes: lemon, cypress, bergamot, clary sage, cedarwood, gaiac wood, immortelle, fir balsam, incense.

POMELO RIVIERA

“Dear Jean-Philippe,
Good morning! I’ve just finished having my 9 AM breakfast in the garden set below this old house on the hill I’m staying at. You can see the Cannes riviera and sea in the distance, feel the wind bringing salty fresh air before the temperature rises. It’s not too hot yet, and sipping a freshly squeezed cold pomelo juice feels so refreshing, healthy, rejuvenating even. Not needing to rush anywhere feels so good!

I plan to read the local newspapers now (have to practice my French), and later I shall finish reading one of the books I brought with me. There’s a hammock waiting in the shade…I look forward to reading in it: this is going to be a very hot day.

The quality of air here is wonderful: these hills are touched by winds coming from the Alps at night, mixing with winds rolling inland from the sea during daytime: this is exactly the specific climate characteristic which makes Grasse valley one of a kind. Since I’m not far away from the old city, I can faintly feel the scent of jasmine in the air, being sprayed over the cobbly streets of Grasse: this is the season of jasmine harvest, and I do plan to visit one field in the surrounding area.

Tonight I’ll drive to Cannes: La Croisette at night is so lively and vibrant. I won’t stay long: all the buzz and bling there is fascinating but quiet nights in my “castle” on the hill are what I enjoy the most.
Best regards, E.”


Pomelo Rivera might probably become the most popular perfume in this collection.

Nomen est omen: it skilfully combines the freshness of big, juicy grapefruits (very realistic!) with salty-mineral-sea accords, adding a finely measured dose of smooth jasmine and orange blossoms.

The drydown is gently warming up your skin as if it were preparing it for the rest of the day ahead. This is a lovely, subtle and refreshing Summer fragrance with an aromatic-spicy character, quite elegant, and I can see myself wearing it all year round. I enjoyed it the most – this was a love at first sniff!

Notes: grapefruit, jasmine, bergamot, orange blossom, salt accord, rose, cedarwood.

RIVIERA DRIVE

“Dear Megan,
I’ve decided to drive over to Monte Carlo today, taking the longer route across Tourettes-sur-Loup and Vence, driving down towards Nice to join A8 highway, taking me straight to the tunnel leading to Monte Carlo/Monaco. It’s an interesting route, and I look forward to the moment when I drive out of the tunnel: the view of the sea is spectacular.

I’ll drive along the coast, savoring first glimpses of this fascinating city cut into surrounding stones. I intend to follow the F1 route through Monte Carlo (always wanted to do that in my car), visit the parks surrounding Fontvielle later, and just stroll around the town a bit. Hope they haven’t closed the road to the Casino, and that traffic won’t be that bad (those roads in the city seem so steep and narrow).

Shall be “home” in Grasse the same evening, probably visiting Menton on my way back.


See you soon in St. Maxime, will send more photos!
Love, E.”


Riviera Drive feels like a glass of cold champagne upon arrival in Monte Carlo on a bright summer day, the glass still sweating in the heat: its opening is fresh, bubbly and sparkling. The fragrance then calms down, in relaxed elegance: like tamed, meticulously shaped and groomed shrubs of rosemary and tall and elegant pine trees surrounding you in many gardens of Monte Carlo and Monaco.

I love its opening and a splendid feeling of citrusy-herbal-spicy lushness, with a dash of absinthe – very nicely executed, I wish it could last forever! As it develops in time, Riviera Drive tends to turn darker and is the most potent one in this collection: the cedar-musk-cashmeran accords become dominant and long-lasting: I could feel Riviera Drive on my skin the next morning, after applying sparingly the night before, with Cashmeran leaving a very long trail.

Perhaps the most masculine fragrance in this collection, featuring the almighty lemon-herbs-pine needles story, with added absinthe supplement, the thickness of thyme, a pinch of spicy cinnamon, and a noticeable dose of patchouli. Inspired by Hitchcock‘s movie “To Catch a Thief”! I guess any modern, contemporary “Cary Grant“-type of person would enjoy it. Sitting right next to me while I shift gears and drive that F1 track!

Notes: lemon, marjoram, rosemary, cedar leaf, absinthe, patchouli, cashmeran, cedar, musk.

The longevity of all EDP described is moderate to long-lasting on my skin (tested in conditions of extreme heat!), with moderate to strong sillage: noticeable, but never shouting. 100 ml bottles/195 EUR, for points of sale list please check out Atelier des Ors web page here.

Well, thank you Atelier des Ors for bringing back sweet memories: this time I didn’t have to travel far, just down the memory lane. There’s a catch, though: now I wish to return as soon as possible.

Next Summer…see you there!💙

The Plum Girl
Elena Cvjetkovic
Photos: The Plum Girl, Atelier des Ors
Samples were graciously provided by Atelier des Ors at Esxence Milano, opinions of my own.
Disclaimer

“Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Your magic binds again
What convention strictly divides;*
All people become brothers,*
Where your gentle wing abides.” – Friedrich Schiller

Oh, what a joy: Friedrich Schiller for a read, Beethoven for my ears, Klimt for my eyes…and Atelier des Ors White Collection for my nose!

There I was, walking streets of Vienna early in the morning: from Graben, alongside Wiener Staatsoper (Opera House) towards parks surrounding Museumquartier, moving on to Secession Building at Friedrichstrasse 12.

Its doors were closed, at 10 AM temperature was rising above 27C: the building of Secession is currently under construction and small groups of visitors, not larger than ten are allowed to enter and see Beethoven Frieze by Klimt. I waited patiently.

Three months have passed since I first had a chance to sample Atelier Des Ors White Collection! I was selfish, I must admit: I needed to test them on my skin, to get to know them and yes! I became a fan. I smell great, I thought: here you go, my perfume, I am taking you to see the source of the idea standing behind this collection!

When art forms meet…miracles happen! Perfume as an art form? Here we go with that question again. Allow me to quote Mr. Chandler Burr:

“Works of art must elicit emotion, thought and some reaction. At their best they make their audience perceive reality differently than they did before experiencing the work. Works of scent do all these things brilliantly.”

Art, craft or design: whatever your opinion on perfumes is, what is certain is that they engage senses, elicit emotions and that olfactory art is a wearable art form! We are wearing art (in the best cases, yes)!

I first encountered the White Collection by Atelier des Ors during a closed presentation held at Esxence – The Scent of Excellence in Milano earlier this year. As much as I was impressed by a new addition to the previous, „Black Collection“ line – Bois Sikar (you can read my full review here), which left me thirsty, I was eager to discover what stands behind white packaging of the new, not yet disclosed line.

Mr. Jean Philippe Clermont and Ms. Megan Paki were all smiling while talking about the new collection: smiles reaching beyond eyes and stretched lips, genuine smiles: you could feel their joy and excitement! This was contagious! There it was, right in front of me: an idea, a story, a perfumer, fine ingredients and a niche house: all elements you might need for a great new olfactory experience!

I took the samples home, wore and tested them for months on my skin. Even that was not enough: I had to travel in order to research deeper, to get to know my perfume better. I had to see the source of the idea, I had to hear that music, I had to read poetry, preferably in original (German). So I did and when I completed my quest, this is when I can share my review with you.

Nuda Veritas, Crepuscule de Ames and Choeur des Anges, a triptych in white bottles and boxes:

White is where it all starts, which is obvious if you look at the presentation of perfumes. White is paper we write upon, blank is the screen before we start typing. A void we aim to fulfill with our own creation. A new beginning…New hope!

Gold. Klimt painted with gold, gold flakes in bottles are Atelier Des Ors signature detail.
Orange. The connecting element between perfumes in this triptych, created by perfumer Marie Salamagne, is present in citrus notes: mandarin, neroli and orange blossom form the atmosphere.

Joy. The main idea is human quest for joy, inspired by Gustav Klimt’s Beethoveen Frieze (1902.), a monumental work of art, taking its theme from Richard Wagner’s interpretation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Vienna. This is where I went, to see and feel this masterpiece once again, to the Secession Building in Vienna. I walked in, wearing my „Choir of Angels“. This is where it all finally made perfect sense to me, this is where I connected with these three perfumes on a much deeper level.

Joy. Daughter from Elysium (heaven). Aren’t we all in search of joy? Isn’t that the deepest desire of all human beings, happiness? Let’s take a quick look at the protagonists mentioned:

Friedrich Schiller died in 1805. At the age of 45. During his lifetime, Schiller was a close friend with the famous writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. What was his source of joy? If you look at his biography, clearly it is not when he was a young man attending a Military Academy. We can only guess that he was happy when he could do what he was best at writing.

Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” was used by Beethoven for the choral movement of his Ninth Symphony. What made Ludwig Beethoven a happy man?

We do know that he was an exceptional composer who struggled against deafness.

Interesting is that many of his most accomplished works were created during the time he was – deaf. In a note dated October 6, 1802, and referred to as “The Heiligenstadt Testament,” he writes: “O you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you and I would have ended my life — it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me.” Art. Contributing. Creating.

Gustav Klimt. A painter, raised in poverty. Scandalous at his time, a lifelong bachelor with countless affairs. It is said that he fathered 14 children along his way. What made him happy?

I think his most famous quote might hide an answer to this question: “Whoever wants to know something about me—as an artist, the only notable thing—ought to look carefully at my pictures and try to see in them what I am and what I want to do.”

Beethoven Frieze: a starting point for these three perfumes, a monumental work of art. Thirty-four meters wide and two meters high, currently under restoration. A masterpiece of art. Let’s see how each perfume relates to it, the way I see it:

NUDA VERISTAS: The naked truth. This is the beginning on the quest for happiness. She is pure, arms streched out, the floating female Genii. Her eyes are closed as she reaches out to the world, to embrace it, to be embraced.

It opens up with gentle citruses, bright and optimistic. You can almost feel the softness of flower petals touching your skin, cooling it down. I don’t know why but my first thought was: I wish I wore this perfume on my wedding day! What a perfect bridal!

This optimistic, bright opening very smoothly transitions to reveal a bouquet of flowers, dainty white jasmine flowers like tulle of my wedding dress.

Later on, musks and patchouli give a golden touch to all this whiteness, never too heavy, just adding it spice and an aura of glowing skin.

It lasts above average, I would say ten hours on my skin and it retains this optimistic, fresh and translucent glow.

Optimism in a bottle, for sure.
A bright, sunny morning, full of promises: I hear myself singing „What a difference a day made…24 little hours…“
Notes:
Top: Bergamot, Orange flower petals
Heart: Jasmine sambac, Chinese jasmine absolute, Osmanthus absolute, Tiare flower
Base: Patchouli, Tagete absolute, Ambroxan, Musk, Oakmoss

CRÉPUSCULE DES ÂMES: Twilight of the souls. Enter Sickness, Madness and Death! All the „Dark Side“ elements inside us and the Frieze shows images representing our sins and passions which we have to overcome in order to achieve happiness and joy. On the Frieze you can see figures of Lasciviousness, Wantonness and Intemperance (with a large belly).

This twilight can easily seduce you, this is where you can get lost…if suffer I must, may it be from this fine perfume!

Twilight it truly is. What a change of mood, comparing to Nuda Veritas! Yes, a citrusy note is present here as well but this time it is ripe, succulent, seductive.

I feel spices adding depth to it, developing subtly like in all the Atelier des Ors perfumes. There is no abrupt movement here, yet this perfume is strong and dark at its core.

I see the color of deep, dark blue night skies and a full moon, somehow blurred with clouds of hyraceum – giving it almost animalistic masque.

It encompasses me when I wear it, moves and glides on my skin like a heavy dress made of purple silk, giving me that dark womanly feeling although it is the most masculine one in this collection. Bare skin, desire, and hidden strength: temptation and seduction in a most alluring form, drawing you in deeper and deeper.

Notes:
Top: Mandarin, Cardamom, Clary sage
Heart: Hysope, Incense, Pimento berry
Base: Hyraceum infusion, Patchouly

CHOEUR DES ANGES: Choir of Angels. Humanity’s yearning for happiness is fulfilled by arts, thus giving a kiss to the whole world, this is a moment when we all become brothers, as Schiller wrote. A kiss that feels like angels are singing…a dramatic climax of the Frieze!

It simply made me happy, on the first sniff, back there in Milan.

Just like that, simple, childish, carefree happiness – that was my first thought, without analyzing notes or thinking about its structure. I felt like embraced by it, physically embraced, I felt beloved and somehow…safe.

The simple joy of living in a bottle, soothing ambrosia, nectar of gods…Like radiant rays of sunshine, touching my skin with a golden film of honey, making me glow from inside out.

It makes me smile every time I wear it, that kind of smile that generates from my deepest inner self, a perfect smile.

When you first inhale Choeur des Anges, it’s like inhaling a breath of some divine being: orange pulp offering your nose sweet and ripe pears on a golden platter. Honey too, the divine nectar of Gods is served: yet carrot seeds provide it a vegetal touch, making that connection between Heaven and Earth.

Hours after applying it subdued into ambery shades of warmth, still touched by the brightness of mandarines. I enjoyed drydown enormously because it did draw out ambery tones with a fine dose of dry spices.

Should I call it a citrusy gourmand? Fruity floral? Whatever. It certainly is a quite sophisticated and finely crafted perfume.

Happiness in a bottle, this is what I will call it. This perfume is the one that made me hear the melody and words of Ode to Joy when I looked upon the walls inside Secession Building, a perfect match on that day and occasion. Angels were singing: „Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium…“!

I was wearing this beautiful perfume, looking at Klimt’s masterpiece, singing Ode to Joy…I felt the sheer joy of living and gratefulness for everything that made me feel happy on that day.

Notes:
Top: Blood orange, Blackcurrant, Pear
Heart: Orange flower absolute, Carrot seeds absolute, Osmanthus
Base: Cedarwood, Amber, Provencal Honey.

These perfumes made me think: what makes us happy? What gives us the joy of living?

Researches have been made: the most famous and quoted one is the 75 years long Grant and Glueck/Harvard study with two key conclusions: happiness is a feeling of love! Good relations keep us happier and healthier. Simple as that.

You can also take a look at TED Talk „What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness“ by Robert Waldinger here.

The study also shows that everyone is motivated and therefore happier by a blend of:
1. Doing good for others: contributing, 2. Doing things they are good at: self actualisation, 3. Doing good for yourself: physically, financially and emotionally.

Contributing is a great source of joy: artists such as Klimt, Beethoven or Schiller felt the ultimate joy in creating works of art, that was also what they were best at.
Bottom line: happiness is a choice!

As for me, I know one thing: fine perfumes bring me joy and bliss of happiness.

Sharing what I feel, the experiences I have with different perfumes, thoughts, and emotions – makes me even happier…

I hope you will find your daily dose of bottled joy among perfumes from Atelier des Ors Black (read my review here) or new, White Collection.

Follow me for more reviews to come!

The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl, Atelier des Ors Press Material. The modern interpretation of Klimt by street artist Dcypher.
Samples provided by Atelier des Ors
Opinions are my own. Disclaimer

Do you remember your first „grown-up“ kiss?

I do. Not the kiss itself but the very moment when I wanted it to happen, desired to be kissed right there and then and the twinkle in the eyes of the man standing in front of me. Whiskey on his lips.

One perfume is the reason why I remembered this split of a second moment from the past, it brought it back crisp and clear, dug it out of my memory lane, shaking off all those dusty layers of many years gone by.

Bois Sikar.

Atelier des Ors did it again. Incorporating desire and passion of its creators and skills of French Haute Parfumerie, one new perfume was added to the „Black“ collection – Bois Sikar. “Bois” I guess I do not need to translate and „sikar“ is the Mayan word for smoking (to smoke rolled tobacco leaves), one that the word cigar was derived from. Of course, only now can we talk about their „Black“ collection since the new, „White“ collection is revealed, but I am still being very selfish about it: I just want to enjoy the „White Collection“ on my own and test it thoroughly on my skin before writing about it. This makes four new perfumes in 2018. by Atelier des Ors and oh! They are all amazing!

Atelier des Ors is present on the market since 2015. Being a relatively new French niche house, in my opinion, they are doing a great job and I must say that I fell in love with their perfumes instantly. On first testing. Jean-Phillipe Clermont, founder and artistic director and perfumer Marie Salamagne shows consistency in creating perfumes with refined aesthetics, using quality ingredients, smoothly blended and with amazing bouquets. Those bottles! Art-Deco, ray-of-sunshine, 24-K gold flakes infused, my preciousssss. I am not the one to be overly impressed with abundant bottle design and packaging, but I do appreciate it when the presentation level is high and authentic, complimenting the „juice“ in the best possible way. Bois Sikar was simply meant to happen, sooner or later: in case you didn’t know, Jean-Phillipe did come to the perfume industry from the tobacco business!

When I visited the Atelier des Ors team during Esxence 2018. in Milano, our scheduled meeting took place in Hotel Principe Savoia: I entered into a room full of bloggers, buyers coming by, quite a little crowd gathered and Megan Paki did a great job of tending to everyone. This was the premiere of four new perfumes, after all! Jean-Phillipe told us the story about Bois Sikar and a bottle circled around. Not a bottle of perfume, mind you. A bottle of whiskey. Not just any whiskey, either: it was Lagavulin Single Malt, 16 years old, iconic Islay whiskey featuring massively peaty, smoky flavors, lingering sweetness, wood notes and smoke on the finish. An adult kiss.

I do not drink whiskey, I said. Never did. But, in order to pair this perfume with this drink, to make a sensory match – I did take a sip (things I am willing to do to test a perfume, huh!).

Ok, I thought, this makes sense, took some notes and photos but my attention swirled to three shiny new, white bottles. I devoted all the remaining time to the new beauties from The White Collection (I will write a separate review later on), testing, discussing them, getting to know them better.

Maybe it was just too much to process at once, maybe I was not focused enough, maybe I should have tested it only on my skin, not on paper…or maybe everything is just as it is supposed to be. Maybe I just needed more time.

When I returned home and sorted out all the perfumes I brought back, there was just too much to think about. I did not expect Bois Sikar to haunt me at night, in my dreams. The only perfume I didn’t bring back home. There was something about it, strangely familiar and well known, something that I couldn’t stop thinking about, something I had forgotten about. I would wake up in the middle of the night and feel it’s scent deep in my nasal passages, hitting that exact spot of special olfactory neurons, even with no perfume molecules present!

This perfume was haunting me day after day (night after night) and I just couldn’t figure out why! A couple of weeks later, one night when I woke up feeling scent trails of Bois Sikar in my nose, I suddenly remembered.

„I do not drink whiskey.“ That exact sentence I did pronounce once before, many years ago. Now I could remember all the details of that exact moment, the press room I was in, shadows of other people moving around me, scent trails, colors, what I was wearing, my haircut and the most important thing: to whom I said this and where it leads.

I was a 19-year old girl standing in a big conference room and after an important press conference was finished, waiters circled around and offered glasses filled with fine whiskey (never on the rocks, mind you…).

Everybody around me took a glass and so did I, just in order to be able to salute briefly. I simply touched the rim of the glass with my lips, pretending to take a sip. While making small talk, I did notice a man approaching my group from the other side of the room. Bright blue eyes were smiling at me, and I remember his exact words. After saying hello to the whole group, he turned to me and said: „They didn’t offer me a drink.“ and he smiled. I told him that he can have my glass, I do not drink whiskey anyway.

He took the glass from my hands, fingers touching. I remember he looked straight into my eyes while he took a sip, placing his lips exactly on the place where my lipstick left marks at the rim of the glass.

I remember the scent of whiskey on his lips, smell of cigars men smoked around us, the soft red carpet I was standing on, those blue eyes and a big smile and just one thought, an instant desire: I want to be kissed by him, right here and right now! The rush of desire. When a volcano meets a tornado kind of feeling. We were young…

Cheesy or not, what matters is that without Bois Sikar I might have never recalled this moment in my life. I don’t know where this perfume might take you, but let’s see what could trigger your memories or emotions:


Bois Sikar, as its name is trying to portrait, is a fine crafted wooden cigar box or an old whiskey oak barrel and when you open it’s lid the first thing you feel is spices.

Nutmeg and coriander scent trail floats gently to your nose and you do feel smoke, but it is somehow distant at the beginning.

Later on, the smoke gets heavier, denser, it feels thicker and somehow sweeter. Tar thick. Not overly black though, or better said, a different shade of black: the peaty character of whiskey surfaces, melting the woodiness in a quite refined way. Styrax does it’s part definitely, providing warm woody undertones, more leather-like, carefully balanced and beautifully executed.

Projection and sillage are noticeable. I would say that it leans more to be on the masculine side, but since I never cared about this distinction, I would say that it needs attitude and poise: captivating, worldly and mysterious, male or female. It does exude certain sex appeal.

Careless, confident, refined, strong and tan – the balance of being straight edge and a bit crazy.

I, who never drink whiskey, fell in love with this perfume. Utterly and irrevocably. With the power of the first adult kiss. I am long not a 19-year old, the city and the press conference room where this happened were destroyed and bombed to the ground during the war, this sweet memory was lost, yet this perfume managed to bring all these things back to life in a form of a vivid memory.

They say that it’s not so important who do you kiss the first time in your life. It is important who do you kiss last and this perfume…well, it’s a kiss I just can’t forget! (forgive me, my dear Larmes du Desert…)

I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do and I wonder where will it take you…Do let me know!

Notes:
Top: Nutmeg, Precious woods
Heart: Guaiac wood, Styrax, Cedar Leaf
Base: Tobacco absolute, Cedar from Java
Bois Sikar is priced for 225 EUR for 100 ml Eau de Parfum bottle.

The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl and official photos by Atelier des Ors
Special thanks to Mr. Clairmont and dear Megan Paki.
Disclaimer

„Born from a passion for French Haute Parfumerie, Atelier des Ors presents a capsule collection of exquisite fragrances. Dedicated to using only the most precious essences and exclusive raw materials, each eau de parfum presented by this unique boutique brand is an imaginative interpretation of traditional perfumery. Inspired also by the art of gold gilding, each bottle features a breathtaking design glittering with a burst of gold.“

Atelier des Ors is a French niche house, present since 2015. with a debut of five eau de parfums, adding later on two more, six of which I proudly present to you.

Atelier des Ors founder is Jean-Philippe Clermont who is also the artistic director for the brand. The „Nose“ behind the perfumes is Marie Salamagne. These fine perfumes come in glass bottles cut in an Art Deco design and filled with 24k gold flakes.

Ladies and gentlemen, here they are, as presented on my Instagram account, short, emotional reviews as follows:


Day 1: Rose Omeyyade

Just as a lush rose in full bloom needs to breathe in the fresh air, this rose needs your skin. As I sprayed it on a paper strip, pink pepper was present at first whiff, smudged over raspberry in traces. Then rose arose and swooned me away!

Immediately, impatiently, I offered it my skin. On a cold winter day, it made me daydream about a very specific place I’ve traveled to, feeling the soft blow of the Levant wind in my hair and golden rays of sunshine touching my face. (the Levant is specific for the Mediterranean, once you’ve felt it blow, you will know exactly what I’m talking about…

Usually gentle and damp, the Levant frequently brings clouds and rain, you can literally smell the rain coming). Destination: Port of Haifa, Israel…

Gold and a desert rose (I managed to find the one I dug up in desert), this is my visual presentation of Rose Omeyyade!

This rose is plump, ripe, ambered, dusky and sprinkled with caramel thick brown sugar. I would say quite unisex too, it has that darkish woody-oudy touch, sensual sugar&spice/I smell so nice vibe in the drydown.

I definitely suggest that you try it on your skin and let it play its music, please don’t rush this perfume!

Day 2: Iris Fauve

Not the iris you might expect, Aphrodite-like, sensual soft and curvy Iris…
This fine perfume opens with fluffy flowers with a gentle touch of warm spices. I feel Iris but it stirs and sways and mingles ever so gently. It is also much darker, muskier and more complex then I expected it to be. There’s plenty of woodiness and it’s just resinous enough as not to become overly sweet. Like I’m floating on a soft cloud, puffy cotton cloud!

If you are not usually iris-attracted, I suggest you try the Iris Fauve by Atelier des Ors. On your skin, of course. This is not an overly complicated perfume but it is finely blended and quite elegant. And yes, it is definitely unisex!

Did you know that Iris is the national flower of Croatia? On the island of Brac I enjoy watching the wild Irises bloom in May…

Day 3: Cuir Sacre

Destination: Andalusia. I managed to find my souvenir from Sevilla: castanets, palillos, preparing to give my full attention to this perfume.

I tested it on my skin. Green at the first whiff, resembling oleander leaves, dry and sharp, very herbal. I let it breathe for fifteen minutes and soon enough warmth moves in, a creamy vetiver takes over. This is not a Russian leather perfume by no means if we are talking leather – this is suede, well dried and carefully crafted, like a pair of soft cream-colored, goatskin suede gloves I had. It shifts subtly, moves in shadows. Half an hour later, I feel vetiver being touched by smoke, like incense burning somewhere far away from me and the wind carried the traces of incense smoke closer to me. It feels even quite woody, not forest-like, but rather like pieces of shaved wood scattered over the floor you are walking on. Other spices emerge too, not overly prominent, appearing and disappearing into this soft suede envelope. The vetiver I feel is warm, like sunshine on my skin on a late May afternoon… Did I just feel cardamom dance in? Or is it tonka? Or both? Hmmm…Interesting.

This is a close to skin perfume, elegant and not flashy – regarding the projection. Unisex, definitely, I will wear it for a business meeting tomorrow.

I think I will enjoy it most sometime later in May, after sundown, sitting somewhere outside… I don’t know why but I just thought that I’d probably be drinking a glass of dry white wine to go along with it.

Day 4: Lune Feline

Moon inspired, they say…If so, this Moon is completely illuminated by Sun, taking on different shades of red, orange or gold, like the Moon we see during a total lunar eclipse: it opens with a great wave of spices, then splashes of vanilla, cinnamon and cardamon sail in.

Dark, dry woods are in the background of this spicy gourmand fragrance. I don’t know why, but the painting “Red Vineyard at Arles” by Van Gogh is what I visualized. Destination: Amsterdam!

Its breath is warm and furry, like the breath of a large cat resting at sundown…I feel vanilla and amber from start to finish and yes! Just a hint of smoke is present…Three sprays and it remained very close to my skin for hours, tempting me to bury my nose in my wrist every now and then, just to feel that hugging, the golden aura of seductive warmth. Something to wear during Winter definitely!

Day 5: Aube Rubis

Like the dawn of a new summer day, it opens with rays of the light green, fizzy smell of grapefruit, cool and fresh. Then pink and orange colors paint the sky as it gets warmer and I feel smooth patchouli rising, iris and violets adding a refined, luxurious touch.

Light of a new day spreads across horizon, calmly bringing a very gentle touch of saffron. There’s just enough woodiness present to remind you of this note in all Atelier des Ors perfumes. An intriguing dance of sage and vetiver is what catches my attention, sage and vetiver and sporadic puffs of patchouli!

The dry down is a bit quieter, softer although what surprises me is that even after a couple of hours occasional whiffs of grapefruit emerged again, unexpected but very welcome in their outfit made of fruit and berries. An intriguing fragrance, writing its own story on your skin…It reminded me of September mornings in California…

Day 6: Larmes du Desert

Intentionally left to be the last to sample, postponed for days. Expectations were high, I admit. If you know me by now, you also know that I am a desert lover, traveled to many and plan to visit many more. This is why I was looking forward to it. I was a bit selfish, I admit. One day was not enough: I enjoyed it for a couple of days before sharing this.

Larmes du Desert. Tears of the desert…is this what it sounds like when myrrh trees cry? If a desert, then this desert is not scorching, hostile and dusty environment we usually associate with deserts. When I took in deeper breaths, it felt so familiar, like a deja vue. As I recalled all the deserts I’ve been to, a memory surfaced. The perfume took me back down the memory lane, images resurfacing, vivid and colorful. Gold, myrrh and frankincense! Gifts of the Three Kings.

The exact spot? After taking a quite long bus ride on a dusty desert road inside Sinai, a fortification appears upon the hill: the Saint Catharine’s Monastery, Mount of Sinai looking at adjacent Jebal Musa (Mount Moses). I remember it well. I feel resinous notes, a touch of olibanum, dark and seductive amber shot with a whiff of cinnamon. In the Monestery’s shades, a mix of dark sweetness, dry but layered upon forest woods, cedar toned. Sparkles of greenery, a trace of smoke: I remember looking at the „burning bush“ – a bramble (Rubus Sanctus), covering one wall with its lush greenery. The bush that was on fire but not consumed by flames…Rare and scattered Joshua trees can be seen in the distance.

Embracing softness of frankincense rises, dragging me deeper down into clouds of earthy balsamic and spicy tones, soothing as I take off my flip-flops and walk upon this ground with bare feet (anyone entering the chapel is required to remove their shoes…), feeling a warm breeze coming from the mountain and scattered rays of sunshine touching the skin on my arms and feet, adding it a very subtle golden glow…my skin breathes patchouly.

This is why it took me days to get over it, I cherished this memory. There are perfumes that make me cry, and Larmes du Desert is one of them.

As for this photo, I found my silver Hamsa hand pendant: it can be traced back to the people of Phoenicia, some say that it was present even before, in ancient Egypt. An ancient symbol of protection, bringing happiness…so I share it with you, together with my impression of this wonderful perfume!

Thank you, Atelier des Ors!

P.S. See you in Milan next month – Esxence is a place to be! Please email me for appointments as my schedule is quite busy there 🌹

The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl Archives, Atelier des Ors
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