Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Colette, a Parisian rue St. Honoré store featuring a variety of avant-garde fashion and beauty lines is about to debut its own limited edition collection of fragrances. Working with three fashion houses, As4, Hussein Chalayan, and Bless, Colette and fragrance company Symrise created three shared fragrances, which are going to debut as “Curated by Colette” in September of 2005.
Three as Four Parfum interprets iris as cold petals not unlike the iris in Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist. Frank Volkl, the nose behind the fragrance, worked with As4 to create a fragrance that had a sparkling feel, yet stayed close to the skin. Glittering notes are provided by a hesperidic accord of lime and bergamot, however iris is not obscured by dry citrus notes. On contrary, it is highlighted and rendered as lush blossoms opening slowly on a cold spring morning. The scents of wet soil, first spring buds, raindrops on the leaves are conjured when vetiver rises up to enfold iris. Ginger is another surprising touch, infusing a spicy bite into the cold slightly earthy iris. The drydown is smooth dry cedarwood and sweet sandalwood accenting the chilled notes perfectly and lending a complex base to the ethereal notes of the heart. While it is a subtle fragrance, it is hardly a typical fresh scent. In some ways, it is not unlike Parfums 06130 Yuzu Rouge, except instead of tea rose and blackcurrant, it is an iris and ginger composition. It has a reasonable tenacity on my skin, with ¼ of my sample vial being enough to last for the entire day.
There are two other fragrances that were featured as a part of the limited edition release for Colette. Design duo Désirée Heiss and Inès Kaag of Bless and Marc Buxton (the nose behind CdG Cologne, #2, #3 and Cartier Pasha) worked together to recreate the scents of Nutella, tea, shampoo, and spices of their childhood memories. The notes include: cardamom, cypress, ginger, geranium, thyme, maté absolute and a touch of “shortbread accord.”
For Hussein Chalayan, Marc Buxton created a fragrance that was an olfactory memory of a trip from London to Istanbul, with its impressionistic accords of flowers, spices and urban smells. Notes are bergamot, cardamom, tea leaves, rose, lily, birch tar, patchouli, Atlas cedar wood, fir balsam, sandalwood.
Photo: Colette store. All three fragrances, which can be ordered from Colette, will sell for 50 euros per 1.7oz bottle. Three hundred of each scent will be sold.