If you are attending a Broadway play and there is an announcement just before curtain rises that the star is being replaced by the understudy there is probably a little disappointment. Except just like in 42nd Street that understudy might be something special just getting a first opportunity to move from the chorus line to center stage. When it comes to the chorus line of perfumery there might not be any better team player than bergamot. Bergamot is used in the top accord of so many perfumes it would be difficult to imagine modern fragrance without it. The funny thing is it has become so much of a supporting player that it rarely gets the chance to make its own star turn. Unsurprisingly Atelier Cologne is rectifying this with the release of Bergamote Soleil.
Bergamore Soleil is an addition to the Collection Originale which has become the citrus standard bearers for Atelier Cologne’s cologne absolue formulations. One thing about this collection is almost every one of the Collection Originale is a citrus that lasts much longer than you might expect because of the concentration.
Collection Originale is where one of the two perfumers, Ralf Schwieger, who collaborate with Sylvie Cervasel has done most of his work for the brand. Last year’s Pomelo Paradis was my spring and early summer choice for lazy weekend mornings. Hr. Schwieger has an affinity for this style of fragrance. With Bergamote Soleil he has delivered the brightest Atelier Cologne of them all. It is a high noon kind of experience with bergamot the shimmering heart.
Hr. Schwieger uses Calabrian bergamot as his source. He also uses a lot of it. Having the bergamot so amplified allows it to have an unusually outsized effect. Like that understudy who has found they like the front of the stage expanding their performance to new places. The bergamot is familiar but it also carries much more of the bitter rind and pulp. It makes it more nuanced. It also makes it more refreshing. The bergamot likes the attention so much it doesn’t fade to the back ground as Hr. Schwieger first adds a bit of ambrette and cardamom. Both add warmth, especially the ambreete. A floral heart of jasmine and lavender comes next. It forms a tableau of the sunny bergamot shining on the flowers. In the base oakmoss, vetiver, and white amber combine for this perfect foundation with some bite. It bookends the bitterness from early on with a nip of oakmoss and vetiver.
Bergamote Soleil has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Bergamote Soleil is an understudy turned scene stealer. It is a standout among one of the stronger overall collections within Atelier Cologne. I know this is going to be my weekend perfume for the next few months.
Disclosure: This review was based on a press sample provided by Atelier Cologne.