Elegant lavender scent
This review is for the vintage formulation (with the white label on the bottle).
Arome 3 opens with a dry, herbal lavender that is extremely pleasant to smell. Mixed into this lavender is a soapy/mossy note that soon strongly suggests the familiar oakmoss of Chanel PM. After some time, the oakmoss recedes leaving a nice, clean soapy lavender scent. I do not get any woods, but do get a hint of musk in this in addition to the lavender/oakmoss/soap making for a barbershop vibe.
Arome 3 is a very nice understated airy lavender scent for lavender lovers.
Surprising longevity with repeated use.
This was a real mess of notes, straddling many genres, the last time I tried it, so here I go again. The beginning comes to me as a camphoraceous, heady, herbal grass. This falls unfortunately into the bitter herbal citrus category that doesn't appeal to me, but it's even worse because the eucalyptus (?) gives it a corrosive, almost urinous feel even though it doesn't literally smell like piss. I'm sure a lot of this is also due to lavender, again not my favorite note, but you lavender lovers might want to look into this stuff. After a while, it gets a lot weaker and a lot less harsh, maybe more of a sharp, green woods, very gently spiced. It's actually not bad by this stage; the transformation was both sudden and substantial. The spices have come more to the forefront, creating a slightly balsamic spicy wood, though it's a bit anisy for my tastes. It would pass for a decent "barbershop" style fragrance, but I don't see any point in suffering through an agonizing first few minutes when I can buy barbershop fragrances that don't force me to do that. And it's not even very strong by this stage either. Kind of an expensive way to waste those first few minutes.
Although this is labeled unisex, I would really consider it MASCULINE!
With that out of the way, I can continue. Arome 3 is a fresh scent that is bracing and sharp. It actually reminds me of a dry alcoholic beverage of some kind. There's a greenness to it that also comes of as SILVER. The lavender is clear but understated, and it never comes of as smelling purple. I know my use of colors sounds ridiculous, but that's the impression I get.
Anyway, there's no playfulness here. A little ceder and moss keep it from floating away in its own bitter freshness. I would also consider this a warmer weather scent, but I'm sure it could work whenever
My final point of interest is that the best part is the end. And by "the end" I mean like 7 hours in.
I enjoy the lavender in Arome Trois, but also the subtle blending of notes in the middle: the ylang-ylang and the jasmine.
As OdysseusM observes, this is a very clean scent, and very much a "white shirt" scent. This would be perfect for a work environment.
On me, the longevity is good and the sillage is perfect--this is not going to clear a room with its scent.
The fragrance was released in 1943 amid a huge advertising campaign hyping up the "history" of the perfume house in a very well-presented, fashionably illustrated booklet, which included the "history" of Etiquette Bleue. (The house was founded in 1908, but claims 1830. See Nigel Groom's "Perfume Handbook," and Leach's "Perfume Presentations" for more on the house's history. The Comte d'Orsay was not really a perfumer, yet the house used this as a romantic marketing spin.)
This is a marvelous unisex scent that can be worn by both men and women, and a must-try scent.
I find Arome 3 (pre-reformulation) to be a good compromise between the light and airy natural lavender of Caldey Island and the in your face peppermint and medicinal lavender opening of Czech and Speake Oxford & Cambridge both of which are amazing lavenders in their own right. Arome 3 is perfumy and heady with a nice lavender accord in the opening that is not extended by the usual suspects moss and vanilla, but rather by a spicy floral heart of ylang, jasmine, and a light base of cedar and amber. The accords are nearly seemless though a tad sharp at times. Arome 3 is very floral and very French, but in a refined, gentlemanly way. I can still hear click of the Comte d'Orsay's ebony walking stick as he strolls eloquently down the old cobblestone streets of Paris on moonlit night on the eve of the Second Empire.
12th February, 2011 (last edited: 20th February, 2011)