Especially with perfume brands I know well I have expectations. Fair or unfair my favorites have an extra criterion to live up to. I’ve always realized that, but it was brought front and center with Atelier Cologne Love Osmanthus.
Those who have followed me over the years know I think of Atelier Cologne as one of those brands which are “mine”. It Is because we both started doing our respective things at the same time. Back when Atelier Cologne was just a stand in a section of the Bergdorf Goodman a little over ten years ago to the huge worldwide brand they’ve become. They have been my favorite example on the difference between mainstream and niche perfumes. When they started being offered in Sephora it was my stock answer to send readers in to give them a try and see if they detected the difference. Most of them did. This fragrance form of cologne absolue pioneered by founders Sylvie and Christophe Cervasel has been influential in ways big and small. Love Osmanthus is the forty-second release. Here is where things became difficult for me.
Christophe and Sylvie Cervasel
Another thing longtime readers know is I adore osmanthus. So to say I was psyched for an Atelier Cologne osmanthus was obvious. Except when I received the bottle this wasn’t an osmanthus fragrance. It is listed as an ingredient, but I’ve spent weeks in search of it. It is not there. Although I have other favorites the combination of wood and citrus is maybe the signature of Atelier Cologne. That is what Love Osmanthus is. What it isn’t is the best of that style within the brand. On my Atelier Cologne shelf there are many of these types of perfumes and I wear them all. It is just with forty-two Atelier Cologne choices Love Osmanthus is not my favorite. There is my conundrum. It is where I am taking my disappointment in no osmanthus being present along with it being a different iteration of woody citrus. Those are the extra criterion I was mentioning.
Then I had to ask myself is it fair? If this was the first Atelier Cologne I had encountered would I have thought it was good? Despite the name being misleading taken against the rest of the world and not the high bar within the brand is it good? Faced with my own bias I think the answer is yes.
Love Osmanthus is extremely simple a bitingly bright lemon over clean, slightly green, woods of cedar. There is this fleeting creamy floral which is buried deep. It doesn’t smell like any osmanthus I’ve encountered. If I was identifying it, I would call it magnolia because that is creamy and woody. The balance is ideal, and the lemon and cedar go all day.
Love Osmanthus has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
The bottom line is Love Oemanthus is another very good citrus woody from a brand which excels at them. If you focus on what it is and not on what it is not, I think you’ll like it.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Sephora.