Comme des Garçons released Series 4: Cologne in 2002. Each of the three fragrances is a variation on the classic citrus-based cologne theme.
Anbar is the Arabic word for amber, and the fragrance has notes of amber, mandarin, orange blossom, lavender, clove and musk. It starts with bright citrus notes, and settles quickly into a mild blend with a whisper of dry orange blossom over pale amber undertones. It has a touch of spice, but overall, it is more bright than dark. The lasting power is fine considering the strength, and it is nicely done, but for the moment I am not captivated so I am setting my sample aside for another try in the summer.
Citrico is named for the Spanish word for citrus, and features bitter orange, bergamot, neroli, lemon, rosemary, orange blossom, rose, cedar and sandalwood. This is a nicely dry and zesty citrus with orange blossom and light woody undertones. If you need a citrus cologne splash, it is as good as any, but it has little to distinguish it from the many other fragrances of the same ilk. Layers nicely with the Vettiveru (see below).
Vettiveru, after the Asian name for vetiver, has vetiver, bergamot, neroli, cardamom, white pepper, jasmine, white cedar and musk. The stand-out in this series, this starts out as a very peppery fresh green vetiver; the dry down is much earthier, slightly inky even, still fresh but with much less of a clean finish than my old friend Guerlain Vetiver. As with Anbar, the lasting power is better than you might expect, but it is a very subtle fragrance with minimal sillage — although bear in mind that I am trying this from a sample vial, and it is meant to be splashed on with abandon. I can see this one becoming a summer staple, and highly recommend that vetiver lovers give it a try.
Overall, the series is less interesting than the Incense series released the same year, but all three of the fragrances are well done and would be perfect for the hottest summer days when a strong perfume is out of the question. To compensate for the cologne strength, they are packaged in gigantic 500 ml splash bottles. For buying information, see the listing for Comme des Garçons under Perfume Houses.