Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine : Perfume Review

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A Russian friend told me that when she first moved to Sicily twenty years ago she couldn’t get used to the overabundance of oranges. Back in Moscow you had to queue for hours to get a box of precious Jaffa oranges but the sidewalks in the villages around Palermo were covered with fallen fruit. Or in what seemed to be a case of utter decadence, people would use oranges to polish copper. “Imagine cleaning your dirty pots with oranges!”

orange-sanguine

I think of this story whenever I cook with oranges or try an orange based fragrance. I imagine myself eyeing in dismay the piles of orange opulence–wasted, unwanted!–and stopping to stuff yet another orange into my purse. Even though oranges for me are not a rare luxury, I find their vibrant color and exuberant taste irresistible. My kitchen is never without at least one orange, and there is often a small bottle of Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine (Blood Orange) in my purse.

Out of Atelier Cologne’s large collection, Orange Sanguine remains my favorite. A juicy orange that doesn’t fizzle out within minutes is hard to do in the first place, but it’s even more challenging to create a realistic orange that can keep your interest. The fragrance created by perfumer Ralf Schwieger is bold and exciting, and it takes the classical citrus cologne idea up a few notches.

Orange Sanguine smells so intensely of orange that I’m surely getting my daily dose of Vitamin C when I wear it. Imagine taking a bite out of an orange and chewing through the tangy flesh and bitter peel. The juicy top notes linger well enough to satisfy the strongest orange craving. After running from sour to sweet to bitter, the orange settles into a green heart of jasmine and geranium that makes me think of metallic roses. The mellow sweetness of the base composed of milky sandalwood and amber is another surprising twist. The orange is there too, but it now smells like the white part of the rind and woody stem.

Orange Sanguine has great tenacity for a citrus cologne (at least, 3-4 hours), but I love the dazzling intro so much that I carry around a decant to top off the perfume as it begins to fade to its warm amber drydown. It gives me an immediate boost, but it’s also complex enough to be interesting. Like Guerlain Aqua Allegoria PampleluneSerge Lutens Mandarine Mandarin, and The Different Company Divine Bergamote, it takes a familiar citrus fruit to another level.

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Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine includes notes of blood orange, bitter orange, jasmine, geranium, amber woods, tonka beans, and sandalwood. Available at Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Luckyscent, ateliercologne.com. 1oz/$60, 3.3oz/$95, 6.7oz/$155

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81 Comments

  • solanace: I love Orange Sanguine (recommended to me here, at B de J). The most delicious realistic orange. But it’s become a rare luxury for me right now, since it really, and I mean really, awakes the baby! May 30, 2013 at 8:22am Reply

    • Victoria: How interesting! It must stimulate her in some way. Well, I myself feel a boost whenever I put it on. It’s better than a cup of coffee to make me feel energized. May 30, 2013 at 10:43am Reply

      • solanace: I agree, Orange Sanguine is very energizing, even for grownups. Not to mention refreshing, juicy and delicious. This line is growing on me, their stuff is good! I’ve just ordered a sample of vanille insensée. (Today I’m wearing Bois des Iles, EdT, which seems to have no effect on her. Can’t stand simple roses any longer, even if they are clearly soothing! :-)) May 30, 2013 at 12:57pm Reply

        • Victoria: Vanille Insensee is another good AC perfume, a vanilla which is rich and not at all foody.

          Simple roses are lovely enough, but yeah, I imagine that after a while you want something more complex. May 30, 2013 at 2:37pm Reply

  • Karena: Oh I will have to try this, I adore the scent of orange!! May 30, 2013 at 8:59am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s one of the better oranges, since it’s realistic but still has some unexpected twists. May 30, 2013 at 10:43am Reply

  • Allison: I will definitely be trying this one out, it’s just what I need on a hot day! What do you think of Acqua di Parma’s Arancia di Capri? May 30, 2013 at 9:08am Reply

    • Victoria: I liked Arancia di Capri very much at first, but the best part for me is the intro when it smells like juicy oranges. After that, the perfumes fizzles out completely on my skin and turns flat.

      I’m always looking for other oranges and mandarins, so if anyone has any recommendations, I would love to hear. May 30, 2013 at 10:45am Reply

      • behemot: How interesting! I didn’t like Orange Sanguine at first and bought Arancia di Capri. After a while, I swapped Arancia for a patial of Orange Sanguine and I love it. I am going to wear it today.
        As od Arancia, the opening is my favorite, but later.. there is basically nothing on my skin. May 30, 2013 at 1:00pm Reply

        • Victoria: Their body lotion (Arancia di Capri) is very nice, but for the price, I would rather mix my own. The zesty top notes of perfume are delicious though. Another great orange perfume that lasts for exactly 5 min on me is L’Artisan’s Mandarine. Such a tease! May 30, 2013 at 2:39pm Reply

      • Mel: I recently experienced and enthusiastically recommend Andy Tauer’s Orange Star — it’s juicy, zesty, sunny orange heaven. Would love to know your thoughts on this one, V. May 31, 2013 at 3:55pm Reply

        • Victoria: Sounds delicious! I haven’t smelled it yet, but now you’ve given me an incentive to try it. I see it sold at Senteurs d’Ailleurs, a popular perfume boutique in Brussels, so it should be easy to find. May 31, 2013 at 4:16pm Reply

  • Lynne Marie: Victoria, thanks for reminding me how much I love Orange Sanguine – it’s so vibrant! I was pondering what to wear today and now, problem solved!! I love how it is not too sweet, not too bitter, but just really gives you the best part of orange. May 30, 2013 at 9:15am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s just the kind of day to wear it. Here, it’s foggy and rainy, and the skies even look oppressive. Some juicy orange feels appropriate to break up the gloom. May 30, 2013 at 10:47am Reply

      • solanace: Foggy, rainy and oppressively gray here too. May 30, 2013 at 1:01pm Reply

        • Victoria: My husband called me from work today saying, “It’s very odd, it hasn’t rained for a couple of hours in a row!” :) May 30, 2013 at 2:40pm Reply

  • Martha: Yes, Orange Sanguine is simply brilliant in its orange-ness. When I wear it, and especially at the opening, I feel extra cheerful and a little bit lighter. May 30, 2013 at 9:47am Reply

    • Victoria: :) I know what you mean, Martha! It’s hard to remain in the bad mood when you smell something so uplifting and exhilarating. May 30, 2013 at 10:48am Reply

  • ralu: A very nice fragrance! I have a sample from Sephora but not sure I like it enough to get a FB. May be the upcoming heatwave will change my mind. :)
    I too grew up during communism and distinctly remember the few times my grandpa got oranges from the local store. May 30, 2013 at 9:53am Reply

    • Victoria: When I was little, a box of oranges immediately signaled holidays. When I traveled for work to research the orange blossom oil production, I felt the way my friend did–in awe of the orange splendor. May 30, 2013 at 10:51am Reply

  • Panna: I love Orange Sanguine! I spray it on my little one’s hair bows and can still smell it when I pick her up from daycare at the end of the day. :-) May 30, 2013 at 10:05am Reply

    • Victoria: She must be the most beautifully perfumed girl at her daycare! Does she have her own perfume favorites already? May 30, 2013 at 10:51am Reply

      • Panna: Believe it or not, she’s loved Coco Mlle (she calls it “Coco Mosel”) since she was two. At that time we were new to her daycare and it turned out that her teacher had worked at a Chanel counter while in university and recognized the scent. She could not believe I would use it on a toddler. :-) One other favorite is Nenuco, a Spanish baby cologne I’ve used since childhood. I keep bottles on our bathroom counters and she will splash a bit on after she washes her hands. :-) May 30, 2013 at 11:22am Reply

        • Victoria: I already see another perfumista in the making! :) My little cousin also loved Coco Mlle when she was a toddler. She would sniff through the contents of my perfume bag, and she would invariably pick out that one. May 30, 2013 at 11:35am Reply

          • Panna: Isn’t that sweet? Such a pleasure seeing them make little discoveries with scent. Flying through Heathrow when she was 2-1/2, she surprised the Chanel lady by identifying the different perfume bottles. :-) May 30, 2013 at 11:50am Reply

            • Victoria: What a darling! There are several regular commenters here who have children, and I love hearing their stories of how their kids enjoy scents. I really think that you’re adding such an exciting new dimension to your little girl’s experience of the world. May 30, 2013 at 2:30pm Reply

              • Panna: I craved this type of tutelage as a young girl since my lovely mom’s interests lay elsewhere, so I am pleased that she is attracted to some of the things I like! May 30, 2013 at 3:01pm Reply

        • solanace: Hi Panna,

          It’s so cute to hear about your little perfumista! My 3 y old boy compliments me when I wear Chergui! He’s been wearing a sample of Rose d’Homme, which his daycare teachers love, to his delight. Now I’ve got a baby girl and can barely wait to take her to the Palais Royal :-). She’s already enjoying the scents from the garden… May 30, 2013 at 1:11pm Reply

          • Panna: What a sophisticated young man! Congrats on the baby girl, they are such a joy. May 30, 2013 at 2:54pm Reply

            • elvie: Oh Ladies, this is so sweet!
              I love the stories of Your kiddies enjoying scents too.
              That makes me feel a littler braver to use perfume on my kids as well:) They love scents too, which is no wonder with a smelly mama:), my 5yo daughter has her own collection of body sprays and solids, and she gets to decide every day which one to put on to daycare. But we have been co-testing new releases for a few months now in the evening. (EVERYTHING smells better on her…Go figure.)
              And the first thing my son (2,5) has copied me doing was sniffing delightedly at his little wrists, so sometimes when he asks I give him a tiny drop of the West Indian Limes his Papa uses.
              I, too, am so glad finally not being alone with my nosyness:) in the family!

              On topic at last: I am going to a Budapest snifforama next week, and will surely give this one a try! Blood orange sounds nice:). I would so love to find a citrus that works for me. May 31, 2013 at 2:41am Reply

              • Panna: I wish this had a LIKE button! :-) May 31, 2013 at 12:05pm Reply

              • Victoria: The story of your son copying you by sniffing his wrists is so sweet! :)

                A Budapest sniffing expedition sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Julie’s comment about Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic Guerlain reminded me that this Guerlain perfume is another good orange to check out. Not sure where you’ll go sniffing, but if you come across it, give it a try as well. Let us know what you discover! May 31, 2013 at 2:22pm Reply

  • key change: This does sound lovely! Do you think, however, that it mirrors the smell of an orange a little too perfectly, however? by that I mean will people wonder who’s eating their lunch on the bus?
    And, I’m always a bit disappointed at how quickly the smell of such uplifting and fresh fragrances fades, although that’s all the more reason to just buy another bottle! May 30, 2013 at 10:18am Reply

    • Victoria: Right on top, it feels very juicy and realistic, but as Orange Sanguine dries down, it becomes more abstract, more ambery-woody, with a sweet milky note. I know that some people don’t care for this part, because the orange becomes less zesty later on, but on the other hand, it makes wearing this perfume more interesting. A single tune orange can get tiring very soon. May 30, 2013 at 10:54am Reply

  • Caroline: I’ve been interested in trying this line for awhile. Do you think the drydown would be problematic for those of us with an aversion to oriental scents?
    Miller Harris’ Tangerine Vert is a nice orange, as I recall-it’s been some time since I’ve worn it. Also liked Monegal’s Entre Naranjo, but wasn’t compelled to purchase. At least these Ateliers are available in a small size. May 30, 2013 at 11:10am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t think so, because the drydown is very soft, not at all heavy or rich like some oriental perfumes. I also like orange in Annick Goutal Les Nuits d’Hadrien, but in that case, the sweet oriental drydown occasionally bothers me. So, I spray some on whenever I see a tester, but I was never tempted to buy a full bottle.
      Agree about Entre Naranjo; it’s nice, but for the price, not exciting enough. May 30, 2013 at 11:15am Reply

  • irem: I loved the opening notes of this fragrance, but then something rather unsettling happens on my skin. Out of the orange emerges a man, one out of flesh and sweat. A guy who instead of taking a shower has doused his armpits with some orange cologne. The first time I tried the fragrance, I was genuinely startled by the presence of a strange man when I thought to be alone.
    I just tried my sample (from the sample set offered by Atelier Cologne) before writing my comment. Sure enough, I get the same effect.
    How come you get a heart of green jasmine and geranium, and I get the hologram of a guy. Do you have any idea what smells so human in Orange Sanguine? May 30, 2013 at 11:22am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s the best part of sharing perfume impressions, because we all get different things out of the same blend. You’re probably noticing the geranium too, but to you, it might be associated with masculine colognes. And then it has some herbal notes, which are mild but present.
      Just a guess, of course! May 30, 2013 at 11:32am Reply

  • Ari: My favorite Atelier Cologne too!! I just bought a 7 ml mini at Sephora ($25!), and we are very happy together. May 30, 2013 at 11:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Their mini bottles are hard to resist. When I was pulling together the Christmas gift guide, I also noticed that they have a fantastic set of perfumes. I gave one to a friend, and now she’s reading blogs and collecting fragrances! :) May 30, 2013 at 11:38am Reply

  • Nancy A.: Because of you Victoria, I always revisit fragrances that I would never at first sniff thought appealing. Such is the case with Orange Sanguine. Atelier’s Mistral Patchouli is one I’m drawn to and when in Sephora to test these, it totally gets lost in their environment. And perhaps, that’s why I must return at your review. Sephora had an Atelier rep with all the fragrances several months ago and I was shocked that I was able to appreciate these scents on an individual basis due to the placement in the store (away from all other parfums). Many people mix the Orange and Vanilla (a popsicle!!) Atelier like many other niche brands offers that creativity. And now that a BDJ reader has purchased a modest vial at Sephora I must return. When it comes to orange-y scents, my friend will only wear Hermes Orange Verte which still works for me as well. May 30, 2013 at 11:43am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s worth revisiting, especially since it can found at Sephora, and the SAs are usually happy to give you a generous sample. I also have a tiny 7ml bottle that Ari bought, and that’s what I keep in my purse. Sometimes I even just take a little whiff of it, and that alone gives me a boost. May 30, 2013 at 2:22pm Reply

  • D. Ralok: Sounds so interesting & I just love orange smell, so I’ll have to try this one :) May 30, 2013 at 11:44am Reply

    • Victoria: I was never a big orange fan, but this orange really gave me a taste for colognes and citrusy perfumes. :) May 30, 2013 at 2:28pm Reply

  • iodine: I think I have found my orange holy grail in Azemour Les Orangers, but this one seems worth trying! I have overlooked Atelier Cologne for a while, for no particular reason, but I’ve recently met their Mistral Patchouli and I’ve fallen for it- maybe it’s time to get to know this line better. Their discovery set seem to be very affordable.. May 30, 2013 at 12:07pm Reply

    • Farouche: Iodine, I agree with you about Azemour, it is delicious. But it is 90 degrees here today, and I think Orange Sanguine would be a better choice to cut through the heat! May 30, 2013 at 12:46pm Reply

      • iodine: Sure, Azemour is off limits in hot weather! May 30, 2013 at 1:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: The discovery set is such a great idea, and I wish more companies would do something like this. I would love a Serge Lutens discovery set including all of his woods, for instance.

      Azemour is brilliant, and it’s more complex and moody than Orange Sanguine, so I have both of them. :) May 30, 2013 at 2:33pm Reply

  • noele: Sandalwood and blood orange sounds amazing together. That aside, I love this photo. May 30, 2013 at 12:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: Atelier Cologne does really great images to accompany its perfumes, and this is great. It immediately conjures up what the perfume is about–sun, long lazy breakfasts, la dolce vita. At least, I can wear Orange Sanguine and fantasize about it as someone is stepping on my toes in a crowded subway car. May 30, 2013 at 2:35pm Reply

  • Sandra: I have tried this before and it does something weird on my skin, which means its not the right chemistry for me.
    For oranges, I prefer a salty orange and love Eau des Merveilles by Hermes. Both the EdM and the Clair work perfect on my skin. Not too citrus like, but a mix or orange and something aquatic but not like water. Sometimes a use both at the same time. Not sure if I suppose to layer but who knows…Both are good for the humid, hot, sticky and sometimes smelly NYC summers! May 30, 2013 at 1:20pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m going to revisit Claire des Merveilles, Sandra. By the time I got hold of a sample, I moved onto something else, but now I’m craving oranges again, so I will try it again. May 30, 2013 at 2:41pm Reply

  • Daisy: Perfect timing! As we are experiencing NYC’s first summer heatwave of the season, my first thought this morning was to pull out the Orange Sanguine!

    Absolutely love it and it never fails to make me smile. This and AC Oolong Infini are summer staples. Thanks for the wonderful review! May 30, 2013 at 2:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, stay cool! Those heatwaves on the East Coast are awful and very hard to bear, especially since it gets very humid, so I feel for you. Orange Sanguine, 4711, Escentric Molecules (I think it can be good!) would be my saviors. May 30, 2013 at 2:43pm Reply

      • Daisy: I turned on my a/c for the first time today. It annoys me to do it so early since it’s so expensive to run!

        4711 and Molecule 01 are good calls! I also like Acqua di Parma Colonia, which makes me feel like I just took a shower even though I need one :-) May 30, 2013 at 2:46pm Reply

        • Victoria: And we still our heat on! (But despite what it looks like, I’m not complaining! I got a taste of 90F weather not long ago and it reminded me that I don’t like the heat at all).

          Another cooling beauty is Guerlain Herba Fresca. I also love vetiver to cool me down, and I bet you must have one in your collection. May 30, 2013 at 2:53pm Reply

          • Daisy: I prefer the cold to the heat as well. I always figure that you can put on more clothes, but at a certain point you can only remove so much :-)

            Herba Fresca! I forgot about that one. Mint is so cooling too! May 30, 2013 at 3:03pm Reply

            • Victoria: And you can make some salty limeade and add mint! That would have a great cooling effect.

              “I always figure that you can put on more clothes, but at a certain point you can only remove so much.”
              Now, if you were in Germany, it wouldn’t be an issue. In Frankfurt, I witnessed a man in a business suit coming to a park and starting to remove all (and I really mean all!) of his clothes in a very matter-of-fact manner. He folded them neatly and then stretched out in the sun. May 30, 2013 at 3:09pm Reply

              • Daisy: Salty limeade and mint sounds divine. Adding it to my list of food ideas now!

                As for the sunbathing business man, why am I not surprised he was German ;-) May 31, 2013 at 11:54am Reply

  • maja: Ok, my wishlist has just grown :) (partly due to your wonderful photo that induces craving ). I would probably be respraying it, too, all the time because of the top notes. I am still having hard time with sandalwood.

    I just buried my head in a bag of late bitter oranges I got today- gorgeous. And how about those little fragrant sprays when you peel them? Perfection. May 30, 2013 at 2:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: The photo is by Atelier Cologne, but I agree, it’s so evocative and memorable.

      Goodness, how I envy you! A bag of bitter oranges is a treasure. I bought 4 citrons (cedri) recently, and now I’m torn as to what to do with them–eat them in salad, make jam or candy them? They smell heavenly, like a mix of orange, lemon and orange blossoms. May 30, 2013 at 2:47pm Reply

      • maja: Maybe candy. Agrumes are so hard to resist. :) May 31, 2013 at 11:06am Reply

        • Victoria: I might do both! I just found a Sicilian recipe for a citron jam, and I can’t wait to try it. May 31, 2013 at 2:03pm Reply

  • Austenfan: Your story about the oranges reminded me of when I was little and my father would go to the market to get fruit. He would get loads of apples, oranges and mandarins. He would have to hide them in the cellar though as my brother and I would get through the lot within a couple of days.

    I tried Orange Sanguine together with some other Atelier Colognes some time ago. I remember liking it the best of the lot. I clearly need to try it again. May 30, 2013 at 3:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: How funny! My great grandmother would do that with candy, but we knew exactly where she kept it. :)

      And speaking of oranges, it took me a while to stop buying them in bulk. I love the look of a fruit bowl overflowing with orange orbs. May 31, 2013 at 5:09am Reply

  • Andy: This would be great for today–it’s near 90 degrees F here. I really need to get to my local Sephora so I can sample the rest of this line, but I can tell from the few I have smelled that Atelier’s general aesthetic, as it applies to both their brand image and perfumes, is perfect for me. May 30, 2013 at 4:36pm Reply

    • Victoria: Andy, I would love to hear how you like it. It’s one of those perfumes that make me smile. Something about it is so uplifting. May 31, 2013 at 5:11am Reply

  • Julie: Orange Sanguine is lovely and so realistic, but I already have Guerlain AA Mandarine Basilic so I figured I don’t need both. I love the AA and could probably go the whole summer just alternating Mandarine Basilic and Herba Fresca! May 30, 2013 at 5:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’re right, two zesty oranges like this are probably not needed, unless you’re an orange fiend. But even so, citrus perfumes are best when they are fresh, since citrus notes are very delicate. May 31, 2013 at 5:17am Reply

  • george: Sounds great. Will try. Makes me wish i had a cat just because they are always so hilariously hating of the smell of oranges: would the ultimate arbiter of the fume’s verisimilitude. May 30, 2013 at 5:58pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, I had no idea! Maybe we should ask one of our cat owners to experiment. :) May 31, 2013 at 5:18am Reply

      • Emma M: My cats don’t seem bothered by citrus and have ignored all my attempts to dowse the sofa with citrus essential oils. I’ve come to terms with the fact that its now part sofa, part kitty scratching post.

        Bananas, on the other hand, they hate. Bananas are like cat kryptonite! May 31, 2013 at 12:07pm Reply

        • Victoria: Bananas, who knew! I asked my mom if our cats are bothered by oranges, but she doesn’t recall testing out the theory. And yes, the two girl have scratched everything up in their favorite spots. We’ve given up on retraining them. :) May 31, 2013 at 2:15pm Reply

  • Emma M: I’m curios about Atelier Cologne, it’s a house I’m unfamiliar with and keep meaning to order some samples. I’d previously overlooked Orange Sanguine, but will definitely give it a try now – orange and jasmine with a sandalwood and ambery drydown sounds heavenly. May 31, 2013 at 11:58am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s mostly orange, with other notes as subtle accents, but they do make a difference. All in all, a very bright, juicy orange! May 31, 2013 at 2:06pm Reply

  • Lena: It is funny! I could not smell sweet and fresh burst of oranges in that one! On my skin it smelt like oxidizing with dried up lemon juice steel! Ha- Ha! Associations got better of me! May 31, 2013 at 3:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: That doesn’t sound good at all. But if you like oranges, there are at least few other alternatives like Guerlain’s Mandarine Basilic or Andy Tauer’s Orange Star, which Mel mentions above. May 31, 2013 at 4:18pm Reply

  • Ms. Iles: I have been working my way through a bag of blood oranges and Orange Sanguine smells exactly like biting into one of these juicy, sweet yet tart, oranges! After reading your glowing review here on BdJ, I was very excited to see it at my local Sephora! For me It’s the perfect energizing escape for this Canadian during polar vortex round deux :) January 24, 2014 at 11:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: The best mood lifter on a cold day! Stay warm and enjoy your perfume. :) January 25, 2014 at 3:06am Reply

  • Kim: What a wonderful review, Victoria! I have really gotten into fragrances over the past year or two, and your blog is one of my biggest inspirations.

    I’ve purchased the Voyage collection from Atelier Cologne and Orange Sanguine is an all-time favorite. I’ve also gotten a FB of AA Pamplelune, which I tried at Sephora based on your writings. July 20, 2014 at 7:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Isn’t it wonderful? When I need a boost, especially in the morning, nothing beats a splash of Orange Sanguine. It’s even better in the summer if you store a decant in the fridge. I don’t do it with my full bottle, just a small amount decanted into a spray bottle. July 21, 2014 at 5:45pm Reply

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