Perfume Directory

Arôme 3 (1943)
by D'Orsay

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Arôme 3 information

Year of Launch1943
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 48 votes)

People and companies

HouseD'Orsay

About Arôme 3

Reintroduced in 1995

Arôme 3 fragrance notes

Reviews of Arôme 3

Arôme 3 (1943) arrived at an interesting time in Parfums D'Orsay's history, where Jacques Guèrin (son of then-owner Jeanne-Louis Guèrin) became perfumer for the company after designing some bottles before studying chemistry, handing the bottle making from Baccarat (via his designs) over to Lalique so he could perfume for the company instead. Eventually Guèrin would also take over for his mother as creative director, then president of D'Orsay before it foundered in 1983, but in this period during World War II he worked from occupied France to deliver perfumes (somehow) to the rest of the world. Arôme 3 is a very interesting reference sort of perfume, like many older D'Orsay compositions, being a precursor in style to something released by another house that would later become better-known. In this case, we have a masculine-leaning sort of barbershop lavender fougère with some chypre-like base elements that smells startlingly similar to Balenciaga Ho Hang (1971) and later semi-orientals, but without the same emphasis on sharpness.

Arôme 3 opens with petitgrain, bergamot, lavender, and neroli, giving you an impression of something like Lalique Pour Homme (1997) or Tiffany for Men (1989) but less round. The accord is very "mature gentleman" in tone, and perhaps appropriately so for a decade obsessed with being dapper, being 40 years early to a party that would later be ruled by stuff like Creed Bois du Portugal (1987) and CHanel Pour Monsieur Eau de Toilette Concentrée (1989). Arôme 3 leaves this lane after a while, heading into a heart driven by sage and coriander-spiced clove, still very barbershop but with touches of white florals and iris that give a "face powder/foundation" kind of a smell. The chypre-like oakmoss base is very similar to the standard Chanel Pour Monsieur (1955), which was composed by D'Orsay alumni Henri Robert, but is built up differently with amber, sandalwood, labdanum, and only a bit of tonka. Arôme 3 is not herbal quite like Ho Hang, but a similar glow is achieved, especially with that diffuse oakmoss. Sillage is moderate, projection polite, and longevity about 8 hours, with best use in formal scenarios or in cooler weather.

Arôme 3 was also considered unisex upon release, much like the later Ho Hang, with all the early advertisements featuring women sometimes dressed in androgynous dandy attire. As with Le Dandy (1925), Arôme 3 was bought by a good number of men and upon the relaunch of Arôme 3 in 1958, it was seen as more of a barbershop scent for its lavender-forward fougère-like traits in wake of scents like Dana Canoe (1936) becoming popular with men. Arôme 3 never really hit big in the US (nor did any Parfums D'Orsay masculine or masculine-adjacent scent really), which is probably why stuff like Chanel Pour Monsieur (aka Chanel for Men in those days stateside) or the later Balenciaga Ho Hang could re-introduce some of the ideas in Arôme 3 (albeit separately) without fault. Interest in this style anymore is waning, so when Arôme 3 was re-released in 1995 as part of the house relaunch as a niche brand, it fit nicely as a niche scent at the time. Arôme 3 is really good for fans of oakmoss barbershop scents, and although D'Orsay is dead once more, should be reasonable to track down. Thumbs Up
23rd October, 2019
I’m disappointed by the lavender, which only lasts a few minutes, before giving way to a creamy white flower note which smells more like tuberose than jasmine to my nose. It vaguely reminds me of Richard James Savile Row. It is a nice smell but nothing special.
25th April, 2016
gimpy Show all reviews
United States
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.

Pros: Barbershop
Cons:

03rd October, 2013
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.
07th October, 2012
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.
01st September, 2011
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.
01st March, 2011

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Parfums d'Orsay Arome 3 Tradition Eau de Toilette Spray 1.7oz/50ml In Box

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