Last year, the swanky Parisian boutique Colette arranged for a trio of limited edition unisex fragrances pairing perfumers from Symrise with fashion designers; the result was called "Curated by Colette". For the fashion design house As Four, perfumer Frank Voelkl created Three AsFour, a fragrance that has turned out to be one of my favorite finds from 2005. The notes are lime, bergamot, ginger, iris, sandalwood, cedar, musk and vetiver.
AsFour highlights a trio of fragrant roots: ginger, iris and vetiver. The opening has a high pitched, fizzy quality, somewhat reminiscent of a gin & tonic with lime. It settles into a smooth, earthy, almost creamy iris with a velvety finish. The ginger and vetiver are subtle (I think of AsFour as primarily an iris fragrance) but together they add a peppery-spicy kick, and with the woods, give a satisfying depth to what is otherwise a transparent fragrance. The lasting power is quite good, although I find it does better sprayed than dabbed.
I liked AsFour very much when I first tried it, and with subsequent wearings I like it even more. It has joined my list of iris perfume favorites, along with Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile, L'Homme de Coeur by Divine, Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, The Different Company Bois d'Iris and Hermès Hiris. I highly recommend that iris lovers give it a try before it disappears — only 300 bottles were produced.
Colette indicated that this would be the first in a yearly series of limited edition perfumes, and I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with next. Three AsFour is available as an Eau de Toilette from Colette in Paris and Aedes in New York.