Decaffeinato, Atelier Cologne Café Tuberosa

Cologne despite being one of the oldest perfume genre that ever existed, it was one of the first I got to enjoy & appreciate since the beginning of my journey in the world of fragrance. Through the lens of what I just said it wouldn’t surprise anyone that Atelier Cologne seemed interesting to me. Through their work they’ve given a new life to cologne, a somehow neglected family these days. Long lasting colognes absolues are their signature but they made a step forward from a safe nest & started blending lively citrus accords with ingredients that are far from being an obvious match.

Iris, immortelle, leather, rose, vanilla, sandalwood or incense don’t feel like something that would go well with a blend of bergamot, lemon or orange. Yet Atelier Cologne combined them together and did it so well that all I could do is to be impressed. I’ve fallen in love with many of them! This season Sylvie Ganter & Christophe Cervasel introduce a new member to the family of colognes absolues. Latest creation is named Cafe Tuberosa and as you can guess, it’s supposed to be centered around a coffee note. But is it? Knowing my dislike of coffee in perfume I was a bit sceptical at first.

Upon putting a solid spray of Cafe Tuberosa on my wrist I quickly realized that this isn’t a coffee scent in the full meaning. On my skin it begins with a rich & dense smell of chocolate. It’s delightfully mouth-watering while also being slightly powdery. The perfume features cacao absolute from Ivory Coast, which gives it that deep dark aroma. In the background I get delicate hints of spiciness. Cardamom introduces this vibe but simultaneously it doesn’t really warm up the fragrance. When it sits on skin for a few more minutes it becomes softer and spicy tone go up a little bit.


If you were hoping for this perfume to become smoother, you might be disappointed. There’s no milkiness in Cafe Tuberosa that would tame the richness of chocolate. It’s a dark, bitter chocolate, 90% of cacao, a connoiseur treat that just couldn’t be defiled with milk. At some moment, after maybe 40 minutes I noticed that chocolate accord starts to be more like coffee. A little bit longer & I smell espresso note. It’s rich, bitter and aromatic. And still no drop of milk to turn it into a flat white. If you’re a coffee drinker or a huge dark chocolate devotee I think it’ll be a 7th heaven for you.

Tuberose from India, which is also a key element of Atelier Cologne Cafe Tuberosa (since it’s a part of the name) appears much later and it not that much present as I thought it would be. I do get a white flowers vibe but it seems quite muted & distant. It doesn’t have any indolic, intoxicating vibe. Actually on my skin it feels as if it was sitting under a layer of powdered cocoa. Because of that it feels more masculine to me, which is quite funny. I didn’t get any rose elements sadly (and the perfume has Damascus rose absolute!). There is also a faint presence of vanilla after a few hours.

Cafe Tuberosa easily lasts all day with a moderate sillage. My hunch is that it will be one of the most polarizing fragrances in Atelier Cologne range. You’ll either love it or hate it. Personally I consider it more of a chocolate/cocoa scent than a coffee one, but I’ve seen opinions of other who say they get a huge blast of espresso from it. Well, I’m glad I don’t! I was happy I tried it but it will rank far from my favorite 3 colognes absolues. This one is perfumed at 18% and it comes in 7.5, 30, 100, 200 ml sizes. The perfumer who worked on this new fragrance composition is Jerome Epinette.

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20 thoughts on “Decaffeinato, Atelier Cologne Café Tuberosa

  1. I am one of those who gets a huge blast of dark bitter coffee at the onset (but my nose is known to be a bit “off” )….I was not aware that there was immortelle in this one….I happen to love immortelle as both a note and as an essential oil. I do love this one and have gotten numerous samples every time I go to Sephora….enough to make my own little decant of this gem 🙂

    thank you for this review, Lucas! and I know I said it elsewhere but I will say again that I love your new avatar!

    • lucasai says:

      I remember your comment at NST 🙂
      There’s no immortelle in Cafe Tuberosa. I mention this ingredients among others that were used in other AC fragrances. In this case I was refering to Blanche Immortelle.

      Glad you like it so much! And thanks for compliment

  2. ack! sorry! this is what happens when i a reading reviews at 3am without my glasses on-LOL!

    I do really like Blanche Immortelle too!

  3. shelly says:

    I am a tea person completely – but I love the smell of coffee, just can;t drink it. Hopefully they will have a tester of this at Sephora one town over. I can;t imagine needing a bottle but it would be fun to test.

  4. Missyl says:

    Enticing review! I wouldn’t have bothered trying this one but you’ve talked me into it! love dark bitter cocoa In scent. I’ll have to allow time to drop by our Sephora to try. Thanks Lucas.

  5. shiva-woman says:

    Your review is so timely! I just stopped by the local Sephora 2 days ago and tried this. I personally love coffee and fragrances mixed with other notes like a immortelle. I’m not as keen on chocolate. However I tried this and was really stunned by how different it is from the rest of the line. After sampling 30 or so of their parfums I wound up with 6 that I like, some that I think are okay but there were only about six that I really felt were worth buying. This may be added. I had a cold the day that I went to Sephora so I asked both the people at Sephora and Nordstrom’s to make me up some samples. So far it’s a really interesting perfume but the coffee note on me burns off in about 5 to 10 minute. Then there’s a middle section which is kind of nice and then the dry down is less interesting for me. The tuberose is very very low, nose-to-wrist, but there, though it becomes a general white floral in about two hours. I have a small bottle, the travel roller-ball winging its way to me so I can really spend time with it. We’ll see if I spring FB after. Thanks for the review–I was online looking for reviews–but nothing. Then you popped in with my email!
    And yes, no Atelier is offering even a sample now, not on website, but you can get a rollerball, good size for $28.00. I think it’s about 10 ml.

    • lucasai says:

      Reportedly some do get a huge blast of espresso but it fades down relatively quickly. I didn’t get a blast of coffee but more of a chocolate/cocoa blend of super high presence that stayed there for very long before starting to fade.
      I have to admit I like most of Atelier Cologne scents but there were few that didn’t work and I actually kind of hate them.
      Sorry to hear about your nose blocked because of the cold. Glad they made you samples to try when you get better.
      That rollerball is 7.5 ml as far as I know

  6. shiva-woman says:

    PS–I also get a fantastic, utterly beautiful coffee accord with hints of chocolate that is positively like stepping into a coffee shop surrounded by the smell of pastries; there are some lovely flowers in a vase placed near the cash register, and as your nose adjusts to the espresso, and the crema on top, bits of chocolate sprinkles adorning cups, the tuberose and even lilies mingle intoxicatingly. This lasts about five minutes, so for me it’s an “experience”–but may not be wearable. Just wanted to add to my earlier response.

  7. Undina says:

    I’ve just tried this perfume and I HATE it. It’s amazing provided that I don’t even smell tuberose in it! 🙂 I don’t know if I dare to try it again – if only to try to figure out what it reminds me. I think it has something to do with how Atelier handles vanilla: I really disliked their vanilla perfume as well.

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