perfume addict


„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

I outed myself. I am a perfume addict.

To be precise, I am a niche perfume addict. Not a hoarder of bottles, mind you. I collect olfactory experiences…

As far as I can remember, I noticed scents around me. I have vivid olfactory memories. Even as a little kid, I smelled intensely the world around me. I remember the scent of my first big plastic doll. The olfactory Madeleine’s of my grandmother baking Christmas cookies. The scent of a field of wildflowers and high grass near a cold creek on a hot summer day in June. Sea and sunshine on my hair and skin during the summer holidays. The scent of snow in the air, before it starts to fall. Wet autumn multicolored leaves on pavements. Little, daily entries in the “scent library“ section of my brain.

Then came perfumes, my mother’s, aunt’s, grandmother’s, grandfather’s, friends, people known and unknown. I explored classics, for many years: Chanel, Dior, Lancome, Este Lauder, Guerlain, all that I could get my hands on. Nose on, to be exact. First thing I do when meeting someone? I sniff them. I remember people and places by scent.

Niche perfumes? I can even pinpoint when it all started. The one that got me down that rabbit hole is famous Comme Des Garcones and it happened in London, 1995. I will never forget that moment when I held that little vial tightly in my hand after being exposed to it (I had no money to buy that specific bottle of perfume. I never did buy it.). That’s yet another story, kind of happy and sad and I will write about that episode as well, as soon as I gather some courage to do so because it is a very personal story. I realized that nothing ever will be the same again. My hunger for strange and unusual perfumes grew, it became more and more sophisticated and demanding.

I have nurtured my addiction carefully, fed it, yearned for some specific perfumes, cried over the impossibility of online ordering, spent money on it. I have grown comfortable with my addiction over the years, learning how to control the impulse of hoarding, insisting on quality over quantity. Taking it slow, constantly trying to train my nose to do better, to explore ideas and stories behind the product, styles, and handwriting of various perfumers, all that jazz. Art. It is art, you must be aware that it is! Like all art, it elicits emotion, thought, and reaction. And face it: your scents memory IS so much stronger than sight or hearing, for instance! I could ramble on and on about artistry of perfumes, but for now, let’s just come to an agreement that there are masterpieces of art in perfumery. For instance, anyone can learn how to play a musical instrument. You produce notes, right? But to compose music? To perform beyond mastery of reproducing notes? Now, that is what for me niche perfumes are. Art. Furthermore, I do cry over great pieces of art. I cried over some ballet pieces, I cried at the piano and classical music concerts, I shed tears at Ermitage, Louvre, Prado…just to name a few. I stood for half an hour in front of Tutankhamun’s Mask in The Egyptian Museum of Cairo, crying, sobbing – amazed by its beauty. I cry over some perfumes as well…the ones that touch my soul. Ok, so I am an art addict. That sounds better.

Many people consider smell as the lowest sense of them all, a mere animalistic drive. Some even think that perfumes are either a trivial luxury or an utterly unimportant part of their lives. If you ask around which sense people would give up first, it is mostly – the smell. Well, precisely that is one of my greatest phobias: to become anosmic!

The issue with this addiction is that you don’t easily find “soulies”. You shy away from Muggles, appreciate groups and people with whom you can easily share, discuss, debate, argue, learn, grow. I found a group of perfume enthusiasts, on Facebook. It is called Eau My Soul, it is international and a safe place for many of us. There is even a perfume named after this group! Group hug scent, how amazing!

Just recently I asked members of this wonderful and supportive group of people from all around the world what are their greatest phobias. Fifty members wrote about their greatest fears, commented and shared.

These are our 15 most common perfume addict phobias, more or less in order of importance!
1. Discontinuation. (Perfumes disappearing into the „dead perfume black hole“!)
2. Reformulating.
3. Missing out. (Not buying, holding yourself back and then the fragrance gets discontinued! Fear of not being at home when a package with samples arrives…and many more that fall under the same umbrella…)
4. Perfumes and decants evaporating (and that you are not wearing them…)
5. An empty bottle. (50% is a warning sign!)
6. Not being able to afford a beloved fragrance. („My fear is always having champagne tastes on a beer budget!“)
7. Not being able to use all of your perfumes before retiring to another world/Universe/parallel reality.
8. A husband/wife finding out that you just bought another one!
9. Never finding the energy or mindset to sell the ones you need to sell, having more perfume than you could ever possibly use in a lifetime.
10. Forgetting your juice at home/office, going „naked“.
11. Becoming allergic to any perfume. Ending wearing nothing but aroma-free shampoo.
12. Inferior reformulations and price hikes.
13. Children/natural disasters/accidents destroying your collection.
14. Hyposmia. (a reduced ability to smell and to detect odors. A related condition is an anosmia, in which no odors can be detected at all.)
15. Reading this while ordering online: „Dear Customers, unfortunately, we are only allowed to deliver this fragrance to the European countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. If your shipping address lies in another country we will have to cancel this item from your order and refund you.” (It made me cry, I swear.)

And that’s not all: we all do have common idiosyncrasies too.

If you recognize any or all of your own phobias while reading this, bear in mind: You are not alone. You are never alone with your perfume.

Just be aware that addiction is an addiction, no matter how much you deny it. Loving perfumes is beautiful and has nothing to do with compulsive-obsessive hoarding of bottles…

Love you all.

The Plum Girl
Photos: Dreamstime, Fragnatica