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.