L’Oréal acquires niche perfumery Atelier Cologne
Beauty group L’Oréal is adding to its luxury perfume portfolio with the purchase of Atelier Cologne.
Launched in 2009, Atelier Cologne today retails at stores including Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Fortnum & Mason and Galeries Lafayette. Niche perfume is a growing category, causing beauty’s biggest players to scoop up small labels to get in on the ground floor.
Smell of success
Atelier Cologne, the brainchild of Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel, manufactures colognes absolues, pure scents that combine citrus notes with raw materials. These scents are also available in candles and bath products, including shower gels, soaps and body lotions.
“Our encounter and love story led to the creation of Atelier Cologne,” said Ms. Ganter and Mr. Cervasel, in a joint statement. “Today, another dream comes true as we join the L’Oréal Group with a shared ambition to reach new heights keeping the entrepreneurial spirit of our maison.
“We are delighted to benefit from the group’s retail and digital expertise and L’Oréal Luxe’s olfactory expertise to make the brand even more successful.”
Atelier Cologne has 800 points of sale in 40 countries. It also retails through its own ecommerce site. Of its six direct-operated stores, three are in France, two are in the United States and one is in Hong Kong.
“Alternative perfumery is currently a high-growth segment,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, president of L’Oréal selective divisions.
“We are delighted to welcome the perfume House Atelier Cologne within L’Oréal Luxe,” he said. “Thanks to its expertise in niche perfumery, this brand will perfectly complement the L’Oréal Luxe’s brand portfolio which includes exclusive perfume collections from its biggest brands: Armani Privé, Le Vestiaire des parfums by Yves Saint Laurent, Maison Lancôme, Replica by Maison Margiela as well as the Ralph Lauren Collection.”
L’Oréal competitor the Estée Lauder Companies recently added to its fragrance portfolio with the acquisition of By Kilian.
The young prestige perfume house was founded in 2007 by Kilian Hennessy, the grandson of the co-founder of the LVMH group, and now sells its fragrances, candles and accessories in more than 40 countries. Estée Lauder Cos. has been scooping up boutique fragrance brands over the past couple of years as it focuses on being a leader in “ultra-luxury” perfume (see story).