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Atkinsons’ Cinematic Tulipe Noire

Atkinsons Tulipe Noire
Atkinsons Tulipe Noire

British niche perfumer Atkinsons revisits one of its most audacious fragrances in its 90-year history. Here is the remarkable story behind the fragrance.

Brand: Atkinsons

City: London

Insider scent: Tulipe Noire (Black Tulip)

Launch date: May 1929

A symbol: Black tulip is a symbol for justice and tolerance in the U.K. But it is also a symbol for the most perfect and divine love between two people. The original fragrance was a tribute to French author, Alexandre Dumas’ compelling novel ‘La Tulipe Noire’.

Atkinsons Tulipe Noire
Atkinsons Tulipe Noire

An extraordinary tale: The novel’s main character, Cornelius Van Baerle, is a young, passionate tulip-lover whose highest ambition in life is to cultivate a black tulip, an idea thought impossible at the time. After years of research and meticulous study, he succeeds. However, just as he is about to enjoy his success, a bitter rival falsely accuses him of high treason. Cornelius is condemned to life prison.

It is in prison that he meets the jailer’s beautiful daughter, Rosa, with whom he falls in love. In a desperate bid to preserve the precious black tulip, the young man bestows its bulbs to Rosa, who, true to her word, keeps the black tulip’s heritage alive by growing the magnificent flower in secret.

tulipe noire
tulipe noire

Scent style: an alluring woody-floral with a sense of mystery

Notes: bergamot, coridander, tuberose, jasmine, ambrox, musk, cedar, sandalwood

A fresh blend: notes of spicy, warm coriander and sparkling, fresh bergamot intertwine with a voluptuous white floral heart to dazzling effect.

Atkinsons Tulipe Noire
Atkinsons Tulipe Noire

Backstory: James Atkinson opened his soap and perfumes shop in 1799 in London. He became the personal perfumer of the Royal Court of England in 1826. The perfumer was soon blending exquisite scents for the most aristocratic and exclusive clientele throughout Europe.

Emblem: the bear

Atkinsons Tulipe Noire
Atkinsons Tulipe Noire

A new generation: Atkinsons is creating scents for a new generation with an English eccentricity, style and whimsy. You’ll notice there is a sense of humour to the ad images and instore displays. It’s a witty sophistication.

Landmark: In 1832, the company built a spectacular flagship store at 24 Old Bond Street that boasts Carillon that chimes the hour to this day. The gilded building is now celebrated with its own cologne.

The bottle: the flacon is designed faithfully along the signature lines of the house’s original fragrance bottle. It’s engraved, gilded and stamped. The glass flask is an authoritative icon of neo-traidtional design

Atkinsons Tulipe Noire eau de parfum, 100 ml, (at Holt Renfrew)


  • Dawn Sutherland
    August 4, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Tulip Noire is a beautiful, romantic novel with a happy ending. This perfume sounds like a fitting tribute ❤

  • Heather Schell
    July 22, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    {le sigh} what an incredible, romantic, tragic story. The packaging and bottle ooze modern luxury and it sounds sexy, spicy, earthy. I am so intrigued! Great article!!

  • Mariola daher
    July 21, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Wow such a fascinating story .. ❤️ all the stories behind the fragrances , so intriguing 💋

  • September Dee
    July 21, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Wow!! This one is really interesting!

  • Michelle Conn
    July 21, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Some fascinating facts here … my imagination is loving this article!