Inspired by precious gold – real flakes of which swirl in each flaçon – here is a niche house taking perfumery to the next level, with truly beautiful fragrances in lust-worthy bottles. Have no doubt: Atelier des Ors will fan the flames of your fragrant desires, for this is ‘haute parfumerie with poetry…’
‘Perfume has always been associated with divinity,’ enthuses Jean-Phillipe Clermont, founder and Creative Director of Atelier des Ors. ‘Just like gold in every civilisation, it symbolises the pursuit of perfection and the quest of absolute,’ he continues. As Jean-Philippe explained when we very first met him at their launch in London’s Café Royal: ‘These are values we stand for and which are embodied in our fragrances.’
A tall, striking man, perfectly groomed and exuding a kind of effortless, laid-back luxury, Jean-Phillipe chuckled slightly when noting the etymology of the very word ‘perfume’ – ‘per fumum’, meaning ‘through smoke’ and referring to the earliest accounts of fragrance history, when precious ingredients were burned to send scented prayers to the gods. Because Jean-Phillipe’s background is in the business of fine hand-made cigars, a process which he explained is very close to perfumery in sourcing the perfect fragrant blend.
‘I was enthralled by the evocative power and mystery of blue flames and those wreaths of scented smoke,’ says a man who grew up associating with master craftsmen, learning to appreciate expertise. His grandparents specialised in selling fine glass and china and would spend hours explaining the manufacturing process to him, along with the history behind the pieces of art they so treasured. Such a grounding in the importance of time, of honouring traditional crafts and the people who’ve devoted their lives to learning and perfecting them obviously made a huge impression on the young Jean-Phillipe.
With the dual inspirations of fragrant smoke and exquisite design fanning the flames, he found himself becoming obsessed with fragrance, developing a vision for a perfume house that could harmonise the best of the past with a distinctly modern wearability, a celebration of true craftsmanship and art. And the house of Atelier des Ors duly launched in 2015.
He knew that it would take a rare talent to translate such ideals into fully realised fragrances. So: step forward the gifted ‘nose’, Marie Salamange. ‘I fell under the spell of Jean-Philippe’s brief for Atelier des Ors,’ she recalls. ‘We had this deep connection, sharing the same passion and vision. That’s how it all started.’ They met through a friend when Jean-Philippe was living in Dubai and first building the brand. ‘On our first meeting we talked about art, craft and perfume and it was clear she was the right choice to create the perfumes.. She talks about creating perfumes like paintings.’
With a wide ranging portfolio, Marie’s work has included La Perla Just Precious, Nina Ricci Nina L’Eau (with Olivier Cresp), Jo Malone London Osmanthus Blossom and Saffron Cologne Intense, and she’s also one of the quartet of perfumers who worked on the new YSL Black Opium. But Atelier des Ors struck a real chord within her, she says.
Explaining why she finds so much pleasure in collaborating with Jean-Philippe, Marie comments: ‘The collection is anchored in precious know-how and reinterprets the heritage of French haute parfumerie.’ Indeed, because Jean-Philippe set no boundaries on the cost of precious ingredients), it allowed her to ‘…select materials that bring to life the spiritual and symbolic dimensions of the creative storytelling. As I work to sublimate them in my creations for Atelier des Ors, my craft helps to reconnect fragrance-lovers to the dreams and mysterious universe of luxury fragrances.’
>Her fragrances for Atelier des Ors are rich and varied – from rich, dark, leathery Cuir Sacre to woody-Oriental Lune Féline, almost purring with spices and vanilla, via fresh citrus-aromatic Riviera Drive, in its exquisite blue ombré bottle. But what they have in common is that each crystal flacon contains ‘a glittering ballet of stardust’, as Philippe puts it, with gold particles dancing within. Shake an Atelier des Ors bottle, and we defy you not to be delighted by this divine ‘scent snowglobe’ for grown-ups.
‘I developed Atelier des Ors,’ Philippe concludes, ‘to bring my passion for art, refined craftsmanship and beauty together. My dream is to create perfumes that fuse together these elements to give the wearer something they will be proud to wear, will take pleasure in and find some inspiration at any given moment.’ And we promise: when you take time to explore the rich and varied fragrances below, you cannot help but be utterly inspired…