Three As Four Parfum “Curated by Colette” : Perfume Review



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.



  • parislondres: Dear V – thank you for the informative post. A friend mentioned this yesterday and I was going to ask the store. They sound worth trying especially Three as Four! 😉

    The huge bodyguards at Colette are always very charming to me btw! 😉
    Mwah! August 16, 2005 at 3:14am Reply

  • Atreau: Oh gosh those sound divine! As divine as a slice of pound cake that’s been toasted and smeared with Nutella on top, granted I haven’t had that in years but the memory of it haunts me! August 16, 2005 at 4:00am Reply

  • Robin: Wow, V, if my unsniffed purchases did not usually turn out disastrous, I would buy Three As Four based on your review. It sounds perfect. August 16, 2005 at 11:26am Reply

  • Anya: “shortbread accord” — hmm, I’m thinking he used butter absolute (don’t have any anymore, very hard to find 🙁

    Perhaps added some sugar, perhaps Latin penela sugar essence, wheat absolute and has “shortbread”.

    Now, for the Hussein Chalayan urban smells, may I suggest a really raunchy rubbery (like being inside a Goodyear tire store) tuberose concrete, like the green, greasy poorly-extracted sample I have. I was originally repulsed by its scent, but now, with Cummings perfume and others boasting rubber as a olfactory tingle, I’m tempted to use it.

    Oh, and a heavy hand with the civet would complete the urban experience, perhps with a touch of juniper (dog meets evergreen bush.)

    I think I woke up on the base note side of bed today! August 16, 2005 at 9:06am Reply

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  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear N, I would be curious to hear your thoughts on these fragrances. I am planning to procure a bottle of As4, because it is simply wonderful.

    xoxo August 16, 2005 at 9:40am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear S, you are making me hungry! Whatnot, between the picture of cupcakes next to the article about Bond 9 and your vision of nutella smeared poundcake, I am salivating. August 16, 2005 at 9:46am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Anya, I am applauding you! This is truly an olfactory cooking, and I am trying to imagine what the result would smell like. I love shortbread, but I do not frequently encounter the scent of it in fragrances. As for Hussein Chalayan, I can imagine Mark Buxton a doze of rubber and hot asphalt accords. I have always changed my mind about a sample of green ruberry tuberose absolute I have. Now, it actually smells quite appealing! August 16, 2005 at 9:51am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I hope the remnants of my sample are enough to make any sort of verdict. It is a fairly light fragrance, but it lasted really well on me. August 16, 2005 at 11:38am Reply

  • Robin: V, finally trying it, and it is every bit as lovely as your review implies. I absolutely swooned over the top notes.

    What a shame they are only going to produce 300 bottles! That is insane even for a limited edition, and I am surprised they are not charging more for it — it can’t be cost effective to make 300 bottles of anything. August 31, 2005 at 8:20pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I am glad that you liked it. I cannot believe how reasonably priced these fragrances are. It just does not make much sense to spend all of this time and effort only to make 45,000 euros, which is not a great sum in the large scheme of things. Perhaps, the profit margins are going to be much higher. August 31, 2005 at 8:27pm Reply

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