Creating a fragrance with such qualities is not a new feat for the founders of Atelier Cologne. Since 2010 Christophe Cervasel and Sylvie Ganter has successfully released over twenty fragrances that transcend boundaries.
Ambitious to create long-lasting classic colognes with a twist, Christoph and Sylvie introduced the cologne absolue. It's a fragrance with traditional cologne feel but with higher concentration of perfume oils. The result is a scent that only smells light and refreshing but also sticks around longer.
"Inspired by the legendary Eau de Cologne, the Cologne Absolue is a new olfactive family created in 2009 by Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel, Atelier Cologne Creators and Founders."
- Atelier Cologne
Since the success of their original colognes absolues (Orange Sanguine, Grand Neroli, Bois Blonds and Trefle Pur), Atelier Cologne has broadened its range and introduced fragrances that don't necessarily have the cologne vibe.
Nevertheless, the common thread of nonchalant elegance remains. You can smell it in a beautiful citrus opening of Cedrat Envirant and the creamy gourmand heart of Santal Carmin.
To be completely honest, if you are looking for a fragrance giving you an authentic rendition of sandalwood, this is not the one. I doubt there is any real sandalwood in it in the first place.
What's inside Santal Carmin, however, is beyond the point. What matters is how it makes you feel and Santal Carmin can bring warmth even to the coldest day.
Dig Deeper: What Does It Smell Like?
From the very beginning, Santal Carmin opens up with a soft sandalwood accord. It is brightened with a touch of bergamot and limette.
If you dig deeper, you can also pick out a note of saffron. It has a tinge of that metallic undertone saffron has but none of its depth or dustiness.
The saffron in Santal Carmin doesn't play a main role. After the first ten minutes it disappears completely.
Santal Carmin doesn't change dramatically throughout its development. As time passes by, it takes on a sweeter, more gourmand character. When I inhale the scent I imagine fresh cookie dough with all the sugar and vanilla flavouring.
If this overly gourmand character is not your thing, don't worry. Santal Carmin quiets down and a more sober woody accord appears. The sweetness is still present but it is not at its original diabetes-infusing levels.
Papyrus and cedar balance the vanilla in the dry-down. Not being a fan of overly sweet scents, this is my favourite part of the perfume.
Santal Carmin has a 14+ hour longevity and a decent projection. Two sprays is all it takes to smell this delicious creaminess all day long.
How to Wear Santal Carmin
Santal Carmin can easily be classified as a gourmand fragrance. As such, it will work best in a cold winter day.
While the weather may be a limiting factor, there is no limit to the place and events you can wear it.
Santal Carmin is a winter fragrance. You may disagree with classifying perfumes by season but the truth is that some scents just work better in a cold weather. This is particularly true for Santal Carmin. I can't imagine wearing it if there is no snow on the ground.
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Santal Carmin is a good day scent. It work particularly well on a day full of meetings and boring people.
Just like most Atelier Cologne fragrances, Santal Carmin is not a challenging one. It's a notch above your designer offerings but that doesn't make it inappropriate for any age group.
The Experts Say...
Natalie Cola, Etiket Insider Beauty Editor
"If you tend to shy away from intensely sweet smelling fragrances, patience is required with Santal Carmin, as it’s not until about 20-30 minutes later, that the “sugar rush” subsides and you are left with a gorgeous medley of citrus, woods and creamy musk that lasts for hours. Exotic, rare and precious! I would wear this one all year around!"
Star Rating: None Given
Read Natalie's full review here.
Sunny from Mostly Sunny, A Beauty Blogger
"Atelier Cologne Santal Carmin reminds me of someone with a calm and gentle disposition, but someone who can’t be wavered and knows what he/she wants."
Star Rating: None Given
Read Sunny's full review here.
Mark Behnke from Colognoisseur, A Perfume Critic
"Santal Carmin is a pure crowd pleaser of a fragrance as M. Epinette takes a heart of sandalwood and as he did with Blanche Immortelle open with bright top notes and closes with deeper base notes."
Star Rating: None Given
Read Mark's full review here.
The Bottom Line
Atelier Cologne Santal Carmin is a pleasant cologne that stands one notch above its designer counterparts.
It is easy to wear and its creamy gourmand qualities make it a favourite of a wide range of people. Even though I like its general tone, I find Santal Carmin monotonous. It's like one of those Progressive House tracks that repeats the same four bars with minor variations along the way.
Would you buy Santal Carmin?
I would recommend it to someone looking for an easy-to-wear, simple sandalwood fragrance (even though Tam Dao would be my number one choice).
Would I get compliments wearing Santal Carmin?
The fragrance has a decent projection and excellent longevity. These are always good prerequisites in a cologne meant to get you compliments.
Yet, Santal Carmin is not your typical compliment-getter. It is a fragrance that acts more like an aura rather than a beast out to conquer the nose of everyone around you.
What rating would you give Santal Carmin?
3 out of 5 is appropriate. Santal Carmin is a pleasant fragrance that does a decent job at smelling good. I don't find in it, however, any qualities that makes me crave it and ultimately put it above the average niche offering on the market.
Bergamot, Limette, Saffron
Sandalwood, Guaiac Wood, White Musk
Papyrus, Cedarwood, Vanilla
Bottle Size: 100ml, 200ml
Concentration: Cologne Absolue
Price: $245 - $315*
Where to Buy: Etiket
*Price is subject to change.