Spend a few minutes on PerfumeTok — a smelly corner of TikTok where scent collectors, connoisseurs, and creators gather — and you'll quickly come across mentions of Atelier Cologne, a cult-loved brand founded by fragrance industry vets Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervase.
Much to the dismay of fragrance lovers and PerfumeTok regulars alike, Atelier Cologne is pulling out of the United States and Canada, a decision that's left loyal customers scrambling to secure their favorite scents from the brand.
An e-mail sent to customers, first reported on by WWD, explained that the imprint is "entering a new chapter for the brand to craft even more modern and elevated perfumes to inspire the next generation of perfume enthusiasts."
The company's online and IRL store operations in the U.S. and Canada will shut down by mid-March, a move accompanied by a massive sale: 40 percent off the entire Atelier Cologne website, using code THANKYOU40.
Hinting at a re-brand and a possible return to the regions, the email added that Ganter and Cervase will eventually "come back with a completely new Atelier Cologne."
Launched in 2009, Atelier Cologne birthed an entirely new genre of fragrance, "Cologne absolue," a class of fragrance that harkens to the father of Cologne, Giovanni Maria Farina, by staying true to the perfumer's use of a citrus base.
This is where things begin to differ: Cologne absolue is not only more concentrated and long-wearing that traditional eau de cologne, but it also mixes in non-citrus notes that create a more three-dimensional experience.
Comedian and PerfumeTok star Emma Vernon characterized Atelier Cologne as the "Maggie Rogers of fragrances" for its mainstream distribution (via Sephora and other major retailers) and underrated "deep cuts," beloved by true followers of the brand.
One of its most outspoken online proponents, Vernon expressed her disappointment at Atelier's exit from the U.S. market. "I am personally devastated," she shared over e-mail this morning.
"I also think it's a huge miss for the brand," she added. "They sell their most 'mass-appealing' fragrances there — fragrances from their Sunny Citruses and Clean Musks collections, which they're renowned for, and which are wonderful — but they also really shine in their Bright Florals and Addictive [Ambers] collections, which are only sold in luxury department stores or direct through Atelier."
Instead of pulling out of the U.S. entirely, Vernon wishes Atelier would double-down and share more of those lesser-known gems with the masses. "Niche fragrances are trending and I believe the consumer palate has evolved — I think fragrance consumers are ready for and craving these exact types of scents," she proclaimed.
Before Atelier Cologne makes its indefinite exit, Vernon recommended a selection of personal favorites she encourages fans to try: Pacific Lime ("a kitschy, beach-y scent minus any sunscreen vibes"), Iris Rebelle ("Glossier You fans: try this"), Jasmine Angelique ("STUNNING"), and Gold Leather ("Picture gold, opulence, a dark red leather briefcase, and expensive liqueur").
Today has been a rough one for PerfumeTok, but as @arielleshoshana said: "We're going to get through this Atelier Cologne fans. We're gonna get through this together."