The whole concept of Cologne Absolue, that the brand Atelier Cologne is built around, is a story of concentration. By taking a cologne architecture and increasing the perfume oil concentration to greater than 15% they removed one of the most commonly mentioned drawbacks to cologne, the longevity. That Creative Director Sylvie Ganter-Cervasel has changed that particular characteristic has been one of the reasons that Atelier Cologne has flourished.
Another reason is the willingness of the brand to boldly redefine what a cologne can be constructed of. What I consider to be the inflection point where Mme Ganter-Cervasel truly proved to me Atelier Cologne was going to change things came with the simultaneous release in Fall 2012 of Vetiver Fatal and Rose Anonyme. Perfumer Jerome Epinette created two examples of light and dark which allowed me to consider what makes up a cologne. That these have been consistently two of the more popular entries in the line shows how this has resonated with consumers as well.
With that background I was extremely interested to receive the press release for Rose Anonyme Extrait. I was wondering what M. Epinette would do as he reworked his original for an even greater concentration. The answer is in upping the concentration from 18% in the original to 22% in the extrait it throws interesting shadows. In those shadows some new interactions come to the foreground.
Rose Anonyme Extrait begins near identically with bergamot and ginger on top. One of the first shadows is the presence of baie rose which is noticeable in this concentration while still being in the background. What is great about that subtle spiciness is that it opens the door for the rose to arise. The source of the rose in this perfume is from the Robertet rose fields in Turkey called Rose Petals Natural. This is one of the best rose raw materials I have ever come in to contact with. Used in higher concentration the spicy core which was apparent in the original is now made deeper and more luminous. Especially as the incense is also a much stronger presence in the higher concentration too. Together these provide a heartbeat to the extrait. Patchouli, papyrus, and vetiver provide an earthy grounding of the extrait as they did in the original. Vetiver substitutes for benzoin in the original and it has the effect of making it woody as well as earthy.
Rose Anonyme Extrait has overnight longevity and moderate sillage.
Rose Anonyme Extrait has everything the original had. It also contains more space for the difference in concentration to provide fascinating shading to a perfume you know well. Those shadows are worth seeking out especially if you are a an of the original. I expect the Rose Anonyme Extrait is going to become my preferred version when the weather turns colder, the days shorten, and the shadows lengthen.
Disclosure: this review was based on a press sample provided by Atelier Cologne.