Sylvie Ganter often likens the story of how she and her husband Christophe Cervasel co-founded cologne brand Atelier Cologne together to that of a love story. When they first met in 2006 in New York, both were creating perfumes—he for designers and she for a cosmetic brand.
"Christophe and I have only worn 'cologne' type of scents our entire life," she says, but she felt something was missing. "I found myself in permanent search of a cologne that would have different personalities and that would last on the skin."
Her cologne dream was realised together with Cervasel through the creation of the Cologne Absolue and the birth of Atelier Cologne in 2009—300 years after the creation of the first ever Eau de Cologne.
"A fragrance is very personal and there is no rule. Anyone should be able to wear what they like," she says. Although cologne is generally misconstrued as a fragrance for men, Ganter dispels the myth, explaining that the original definition of cologne is simply a citrus-based scent.
Her own personal everyday cologne of choice is the Bois Blonds Cologne Absolue: “I love woods and musk, so I developed [this scent] initially for myself. It makes me feel comforted and confident at the same time.”
Ganter is heavily involved from conception to final product, carefully composing the combination of citrus and raw ingredients and dreaming up stories behind each scent.
“A perfect fragrance for me means a perfectly balanced creation,” she says. “Our rule is that Christophe and myself both need to be in love with a scent to launch it!”
The creation of each Cologne Absolue has taken the couple all over the world, whether it be in search of inspiration or the next rare ingredient. “We fly so often that for us the real moment of relaxation is when we drive our car, with just the two of us or with our five kids!”
Ganter is based in Paris but her heart lies in New York City: “New York is my city of adoption. I lived in Manhattan for 12 years, and although I am now mostly based in Paris, I still spend about 3 months a year there, in our pied-à-terre.”
“I love the energy and the light, it is so full of life. The city gives me the adrenaline and strength I need to be a mother, a wife, and the creative force of Atelier Cologne.”
Meanwhile, the quest for her perfect cologne continues: “I’m constantly in search of mythical ingredients that I want to revisit with the Cologne Absolue style.”