I’ve always loved perfume. My devotion began when I discovered my mother’s Elsa Peretti–designed bottle of Halston. When I lived in Paris I became obsessed with Annick Goutal’s Eau d’Hadrien (the vintage look of the bottle, its big gold cap, and the summery promise of bold bergamot and citrus notes stirred something in me). Other citrusy fragrance crushes came and went — Bvlgari’s Green Tea, followed by peppery White Tea, and finally the more exotic fig and bergamot notes of Red Tea, which I hoarded for years. That run came to an end about three years ago when I met Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel of Atelier Cologne.
The story of how Ganter and Cervasel fell in love was mesmerizing, as was their shared passion for fragrance — specifically eau de cologne, a class of scents made with a high concentration of citrus oils. More than the narrative, though, the scent itself was intoxicating. The first time I sprayed Orange Sanguine on my arms and neck, the piquant, sour-orange notes transported me back to long-ago summer vacations under an arbor in the south of France. All of a sudden I was enveloped in the aroma of blood orange, sandalwood, and jasmine. As many citrus fragrances as I’d loved in the past, they all fell away.
Here’s the thing about Orange Sanguine — the citrusy scent is clean, refreshing, and thus completely appropriate for daytime (some argue that citrus should be saved for the summer, but they’re wrong). Just as the best scents are, the fragrance is truly unisex — though if you’re planning to gift it to a gentleman, it is a cologne, so he needn’t be put off by receiving a perfume. I own several of those one-ounce flasks and dip into my cache for holiday gifts to friends; they’re perfect last-minute presents for a girlfriend or as a thank-you for an unexpected present (or even as a rather extravagant stocking stuffer). Those who have the good sense to become as obsessed as I am — and that’s counting a majority — now douse themselves in it several times a day too.
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