Atelier Cologne’s Sylvie Ganter Introduces Canada to Cologne, for Both Men and Women
Sylvie Ganter had a vision for her future fragrance line: a fragrance line that wasn’t associated to a fashion house; one that was unisex, and one built on the foundation of citrus, which in the perfumery world is called, “cologne.”
Written by Christina Gonzales
Ganter’s ex-colleague, co-founder, and now husband Christophe Cervasel has long history in making perfumes for LVMH brands. When Ganter proposed her idea to him, the seed that would eventually turn into Atelier Cologne, he said, “I’ll help you, but you have to marry me first.” At that point they hadn’t even kissed.
Years later, Ganter and Cervasel have created a line of 37 perfumes for both men and women with citrus as the base, just as Ganter had envisioned. The range, made with natural, essential oils, are grouped into lighter, “day” fragrances and more robust “evening” fragrances that can be layered depending on one’s mood.
“Each cologne has a strong identity, but they don’t try to pinpoint you into one category,” Ganter says. “We take the time to educate our customers, and that’s what I love the most. That way our customer can refine their palette and find out what’s right for them and their lifestyles.”
What gives Atelier Cologne edge compared to other fragrances?
We don’t offer up what’s expected. When creating a new fragrance, we make sure it differs from anything that already exists. The idea is to widen the palette of fragrances in the market. We always try to find a twist. When we work on something floral, we add wood. When we work on something spicy, we add some sweetness. We want to make sure we aren’t put anything out that is too cliché.
There seems to be a trend in creating fragrances that are not defined as male or female…
Imagine if you were to go to a restaurant and somebody were you tell you, “Oh no, this dish is too spicy for you, it’s for a man. But the chocolate cake, it’s only for you.” That would be weird, right? Why is it like that for fragrance? It’s all about your skin and your pheromones. If it smells good on paper, but doesn’t work on your skin, then it’s not for you. And that’s okay. We have plenty of others, but it’s also a bold decision from us to say that perfume will vary from one person to the next.
People are also throwing around the world “natural” a lot these days. What does “natural” mean when it comes to Atelier Cologne?
For us, it’s more about being transparent. We disclose the origins of the ingredient, we disclose the concentration of pure perfume, we disclose all allergens. We also disclose the percentage of natural ingredients we use, because we don’t have anything to hide. It helps with that education process that we were talking about earlier; you come in the kitchen with us and we show you everything that we do.