After experiencing the extraordinary duo of Cèdre Atlas and Sud Magnolia, today we are taking a whiff of the other two creations in Atelier Cologne Collection Azur, namely *Figuier Ardent and *Mandarine Glaciale. While they are both beautiful as well as surprising in their own way, they do suffer from one common pitfall: the shorter wear time. What can I say? Some things aren’t meant to last!
To be honest, a lot of foot-dragging took place before I finally went ahead and sprayed some Atelier Cologne Figuier Ardent on myself. Regular readers might know that fig is a note I generally cannot pull off. I was prepared to squirm all day because of the scent when I realized, much to my amazement, Figuier Ardent really isn’t bad!
Figuier Ardent starts off with a spicy citrus burst of bergamot from Calabria, anise from Turkey, and cardamom from Guatemala. Pretty soon, the heart notes of fig leaf from Provence, salty fig, and black pepper from Madagascar emerge. This is a major surprise because as much as I love spices in my food and spicy fragrances on others, I never like them much on myself. For some reason however, Figuier Ardent manages to strike a balance between the ripe scent of fig, the invigorating spices, and the houses’s signature citrus. I do smell something salty, which reminds me a little of Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt. In any case, it is really lovely.
Figuier Ardent has decent sillage to begin with, but after a few hours, the sillage becomes rather weak. I can never fully appreciate the beauty of the base notes (cedarwood from Virginia, iris from Tuscany, and tonka bean from Brazil), because by that time, the fragrance has already become rather faded. All in all, I counted around 6 hours of wear, which is definitely on the shorter side. It is a real pity, as Figuier Ardent is the first fig fragrance that I actually like!
Atelier Cologne Mandarine Glaciale is another surprisingly interesting creation. It starts off with a rather acidic combination of mandarin from Calabria, lemon from Sicily, and bergamot from Calabria. Almost immediately however, I can catch the ginger from China that is part of the heart notes. I am personally a big fan of ginger, and I have almost never found any scent in which it is prominent enough for my taste. Mandarine Glaciale satisfies that craving with a rather heavy dose of this spicy and earthy goodness!
Now here is the thing… Mandarine Glaciale fades even faster than Figuier Ardent. After a while, the other two heart notes, including jasmine from Egypt and petitgrain from Paraguay come through. However, it becomes harder and harder to actually smell anything. It is heart-breaking because I had very high hopes for the earthy base notes (heart of vetiver from Haiti, oakmoss from Slovenia, white amber), but it just becomes fainter and fainter until it disappears after 5 hours!
I really enjoy both of them as well as how they layer, which is why it’s so sad that the scents just go away so soon. The funny thing is Dr. D literally fell in love with these, in particular Figuier Ardent. Throughout the week, he kept asking me what I was wearing because “it smells so good” and “men can wear it, too.” Finally, he asked me to spritz some on him (I swear this has never happened before). The duo works great on him as well, but I do not notice an increase in longevity, so I am guessing it is not a skin chemistry thing.
All in all, Atelier Cologne Figuier Ardent and Mandarine Glaciale are both happy scents that are spot-on for summer and perfectly unisex. I’d be over the moon if they had the same lasting power as Cèdre Atlas and Sud Magnolia. Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case!
I know some of you ladies share fragrances with your men. What are other unisex scents that you would recommend?