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Inside Steven Alan

Sylvie Ganter and Atelier Cologne

  • “Home is not where you live, but what you carry when you go. I know that when I travel anywhere I can take it with me.”

    The inspiration behind Sylvie Ganter’s fragrance line Atelier Cologne is the idea of home. Sylvie went through everything from outdoor lifestyle magazines, panoramic landscapes, interior décor books, to common fashion magazines, but when prodded about what particular people, places, and objects inspired these distinct and effervescent colognes, it was primarily living space– “landscapes, interior design, and architecture.”

    We dug a little deeper and sat down for a quick chat with Sylvie, co-founder of Atelier Cologne. Here are some tidbits:

    The Story Behind Atelier Cologne

    Since age seven, Sylvie continually returned to a citrus scent as a place of comfort and warmth. However, she had a hard time finding long-lasting citrus-based scents with more complex and aromatic notes. It is then she set out to create her own: Atelier Cologne.

    “My first memory of fragrances is when I was seven. My mom loves perfume. She is French and I always said that if she could drink perfume she would. I used to spend a lot of time at the perfumeries with her and this sales lady gave me this perfume from Hermés, which was very citrusy. But ever since then I’ve always associated myself with that type of scent. It’s warm. It’s fresh. It’s easy to wear. And it is something you wear for yourself not for the outside.”

    Not Eau de Cologne But Also Not Eau de Parfum
    The Atelier Cologne line doesn’t fit into either of the traditional fragrance categories: eau de cologne and eau de parfum. Cologne is traditionally composed of citrus and essential herbal ingredients at a concentration level of 2-4% while parfum is a blend of aromatic floral scents at 15-20% concentration. Sylvie’s method to increase the citrus and essential oil concentration to 12-20% makes the scents more unisex and long-lasting, taking the citrus and anchoring it with more aromatic heart and base notes of woods, leaves, and musks. To define this new concoction required a new technical name to match what’s inside.

    “I’ve worked in perfume now for 16 years, as a matter of fact, the first company I worked for was Hermés, which is a fun coincidence–or not a coincidence–I don’t know. I always wanted  to create a citrusy scent that would last because usually they are very volatile and fade quickly. Eau de cologne didn’t reflect the concentration of oils while eau de parfum was too feminine and didn’t reflect the citrus construction, hence the name Cologne Absolue. For me the word cologne in the name was very important, while absolue is more a  way to describe that it is very high in concentration.”

    Not Just Material
    Like how our concept of home morphs as we age and move, Atelier Cologne is crafted for longevity. Scents we can grow and change with.  The sizable 1960s molded glass bottle and the hand applied leather cap maintains the idea of an heirloom fragrance product inside. The packaging materials are meant to age with you as you refill the contents with your favorite scent.

    “We work with two fragrance houses that are family owned based in South of France–in Grasse the perfume capital in France. They grow raw materials and also source them. They are the biggest buyer of natural raw materials and have the talent on site to mix the ingredients and juice them. I worked very closely with three noses. For us, in designing the brand the cost of the juice was never a concern. I created juices that I loved that fit the story and intention behind each fragrance with the best of the best material. Choosing the raw materials and having the highest concentration of natural material was very important to us from a creative standpoint as well as an ethical standpoint.”

    When Steven Meets Sylvie
    “Initially through a mutual friend, but I’ve always loved the store. I’ve shopped here. I live in the neighborhood. So I wrote to Steven and said I am designing my own brand and he was super kind and then it was just a matter of time to get it all going. In relationship to the fragrance, I share the same feeling when I come to the store. It feels like the store has always been here and the clothes are things that could be great basics I can own for years. That’s the way I feel about this line of scents. They just fit with you and work with you.”

    Atelier Cologne is available at our Tribeca Annex location. You can also catch Sylvie Ganter at the store Saturday afternoon, December 18.

    Tribeca – Steven Alan Annex
    103 Franklin St.
    New York, NY 10013
    Mon – Sat 11:30am – 7pm, except Thurs 11:30am – 8pm
    Sun 12pm – 6pm
    Store: 212.343.0692

    This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 at 6:38 pm and is filed under Events, Have a Seat, New Arrivals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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