Sisley Eau de Sisley 1, 2 & 3 ~ fragrance reviews

Eau de Sisley No. 1sisley-eau-advert1

Sisley's Eau de Sisley trio is new on counters this month. They're meant to appeal to a “modern and youthful audience”, but modern and youthful is apparently meant only in the relative sense: they don't look, or smell, like they're meant for the same audience as, say, Vera Wang Rock Princess or Valentino Rock 'n Dreams.

I surprised myself by liking two out of the three. Eau de Sisley 1 — "meant to be like a dress made of sunshine", although why any of them should be like a dress is lost on me, especially since they're not particularly feminine — is a very green spiced citrus tea with tons of pink pepper (the notes: green mandarin, grapefruit, pink pepper, spice, jasmine water, green tea, juniper berries, patchouli and musk). It's crisp, fresh and lively, and the juniper berry is strong enough in the early stages to give it a unisex-leaning-towards-masculine bent. That characterization continues into the dry down, which has a dark but clean patchouli-woods base.

Like the others in this trio, Eau de Sisley 1 is sheer enough for hot weather wear, but has enough depth and interest to elevate it above and beyond your average summer-y citrus Eau de Cologne, and the lasting power is reasonably good. I found it enjoyable if not a must-have, and given the price (more about which below) that means that I will not have it.

Eau de Sisley 2 — "the olfactive embodiment of a dress of white flowers", although I found it to be no such thing — also starts off lively, with goodly amounts of basil and cardamom (the notes: cardamom, bergamot, basil, water iris, Egyptian jasmine, cyclamen, rose, patchouli, vetiver, cedar and sandalwood). As with Eau de Sisley 1, it has a masculine feel in the early stages. The florals in the heart are sheer and slightly aqueous, still, they lend the middle stages a slightly more feminine feel. The base is woody-musky and dark, and while it is not quite as dark as that of Eau de Sisley 1, it has almost astonishing lasting power — which figures because it is my least favorite, and the longer it's on skin, the less I like it. I wish I could explain why I don't like it, but despite wearing it four times this past week, I can't really pin it down: the far dry down just smells like a flat, rather unpleasant synthetic musk to me. If you've tried it, do comment — I'd love to hear other opinions.

Eau de Sisley 3 — "inspired by a low-cut dress" — is easily my favorite. The opening, with sparkling citrus and lots of zingy spices, is just a joy, especially if your attitude towards ginger is "the more the better" (the notes: citrus, bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon, red ginger, osmanthus, patchouli, vetiver, benzoin, vanilla and musk). The heart is a sheer floral with fruity undertones, sweetened ever-so-slightly with vanilla, and it's darned pretty for an hour or so. It has the palest base of them all, and after the 60 minute mark, it starts to slowly lose steam. It doesn't verge on downright boring until several hours have passed, still, I found myself wanting to reapply after about 90 minutes to get the burst of ginger again. Despite that, if I was going to buy one of the three, this would be my pick.

Given the price, however, I'm not going to buy any of them. They are well-done, but $165 a pop for 100 ml seems rather ambitious for what they are. As I've said before, it's hard to talk about what is "reasonable" when it comes to perfume prices: you aren't paying for the juice so much as you're paying for the brand name and the packaging and the overall mystique, and possibly, if you're lucky, for some degree of artistry. To some extent, you have to go with your gut, and my gut tells me these are simply not special enough to warrant the $165. Perhaps if they had done 50 ml bottles and managed to bring the price in at under $100, I would feel more kindly towards them, but as it is, they simply aren't as interesting as the many other things you could get for the same price, and for that matter, none of them can beat Sisley's gorgeous Eau de Campagne (even spendier per ml at $93 for 50 ml, although you can find it cheaper if you shop around at the discounters).

Sisley Eau de Sisley 1, 2 and 3 are available in 100 ml Eau de Toilette. (first quote via cosmeticworld, subsequent quotes via wwd)

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  1. zara says:

    i tested all 3 but onnly on a paper strip, so that doesn’t say much, however upon first and fleeting sniff, i liked them. but i was very much discouraged by the price, just as you wrote; i found them for 100 euro a bottle, which makes this a definite pass-up for me. all the sisley’s are quite nice (i love eau de soir and soir de lune), but rather expensive for being mainstream

    • Robin says:

      I think even Eau de Campagne, which I adore (or used to — don’t know if it’s been reformulated to death) is overpriced. It’s too bad, it’s another great summer scent, but I would not pay that much for it.

      • Morgenstern says:

        Yep, I agree with you, Robin. I love Eau de Campagne (and I liked #3), but the prices make me sad.

        • Robin says:

          Have you smelled Campagne lately? I do wonder if they’ve reformulated it. Almost afraid to give it a try…if it’s another they’ve turned to air freshener, I’ll be so sad.

          • Morgenstern says:

            Yes, I have, but I really don’t know if they have changed it, because I haven’t smelt it before. As for me, I like its bitterness and freshness, it smells like freshly cut thistle ar something like that.

          • Robin says:


          • datura5750 says:

            I have been wearing Eau de Campagne this week in hot weather, I love the initial blast, it smells like one has been weeding a tomato and herb garden, but that doesn’t last, it then becomes just an acceptable “eau”!
            Worth it for the first hour tho…

          • Robin says:

            Datura, if you love that bitter green tomato leaf smell, you might also try CB I Hate Perfume Memory of Kindness.

          • Morgenstern says:

            You’re welcome! :)

          • SmokeyToes says:

            I’ve never tried Eau de Campagne, but if it smells like weeding a tomato and herb garden, I am so there!
            My dad had a veggie garden when I was a kid. I loved helping him trim and weed. The smell of tomato leaves, mixed with warm earth and freshly cut grass was just heaven!

          • datura5750 says:

            Robin, CB Memory.. is on its way, along with a few other things!

          • Robin says:

            Hope you will love it! Do come back & complain if you don’t ;-)

      • Owen says:

        I was going to say the one thing at least that assumes these aren’t for a younger audience would be the price :P

  2. monkeytoe says:

    Thank you for the review. Living here in the swelter I am always interested in long-lasting lightweight scents. I might have to sniff these but that price does seem like one where you have to fall in love to buy.

    I was thinking to myself at what price would I become more interested in sniffing with a look toward buying and it isn’t even that big of a change: 100 ml @ $135 and 50 ml at $75. I am curious how others think the breaking point of prices is.

    • Robin says:

      My breaking point is lower than yours — I think these ought to cost about half of what they do. It’s a judgment call, to some extent — I just think these are nice but not such a huge deal.

  3. Daisy says:

    Cool, I just happen to have applied some Sisley #3 apres le shower….and yes, most of the ink came off from this mornings rabid perfume testing….except ,of course, that big blue 69 on my knee…but I’ve rubbed some oil on it and it’s faded a lot.
    I just got a decant of this thanks to scent wiki…and it’s really quite lovely and refreshing…. zingy mandarin, lemons peaking out here and there but not at all a pledgey lemon, more like real lemon zest. And the ginger is fabulous. On me it has pretty good lasting power…I could smell it a good six hours later on the inside of my elbow although by then it was more muted and definitely masculine but really good. I don’t get any patchouli (probably a good thing) and only a tiny bit of dry vanilla.
    All in all—very nice but you’re right: $165 is too pricey but a decant is certainly worth having.

    • Daisy says:

      this, btw, is day 2 of wearing Sisley #3 and I like it even more today than I did yesterday.

    • Robin says:

      Daisy, perhaps it is just that I am put off by the price, but not even hankering after a decant even though I do quite like it.

      • Daisy says:

        I’m hoping that after a while we might see it show up at some discounters….then I could pick up a bottle without sacrificing the childs college education…

        • Robin says:

          Eau de Campagne does, although it’s only a few stores. Haven’t checked the other Sisley scents, so don’t know if they all show up at discount or not.

  4. Jill says:

    These all sound somewhat interesting to me, but the price does push them toward the bottom of my list … I like the bottle though! Don’t quite get the “like a dress” analogy. As you said, none of them sound like a dress!

    • Robin says:

      No, and even if they were, none of them are anything like the particular sort of dress assigned to them!

  5. violetnoir says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment, R.

    I tested these on Good Friday while I was at NM visiting a dear friend who works there. She agreed with me, too. They are not terribly original, somewhat boring, and are expensive. In fact, No.2 was a huge disappointment!

    For the money, if you are looking for a crisp summer fragrance with originality, I would go for Dior’s Escale a Portofino. And, by the way, I can’t wait to try the new Escale!


    • Robin says:

      I am really looking forward to the new Dior too, R….and for that matter, have so far only tried Portofino on paper, not on skin. Just checked: $85 for 100 ml, more my speed although even that — well, you know I’m cheap!

      • violetnoir says:

        LOL! I wouldn’t say you are cheap, R. You just know a good bargain when you see one! :)

        • Robin says:

          Well, I’m inconsistent anyway – I’ll pay ridiculous prices for some things. Just not these!

        • violetnoir says:

          P.S.–You know, I puchased my bottle of Escale from fragrancenet for $79. and no shipping, with their 10% discount. If you end up liking it, you may want to check that site rather than pay Nordies’ retail price, plus tax.

          Not affiliated, blah, blah, blah…

          • Robin says:

            Hey, you got a good price. Thanks, will check it out, esp. if I turn out to love the new Pondichery.

  6. Tama says:

    We like the same ones but I have not tested them on skin yet. The price is awfully high – I would have to have a very Devil-may-care attitude if I was going to buy one. The SA told me they like to layer 1 and 3 – wonder how that would turn out?

    • Robin says:

      Yes, I was told they’re all 3 layerable, although I didn’t try any combinations, and since I hate the base of #2 it’s out of the running for me. Can’t really see liking #1 & #3 together, but perhaps they’re right & it’s wonderful!

      • boojum says:

        …or perhaps they’re trying to sell more bottles. >:D

        • Robin says:

          LOL…which would be usual, no?

  7. I bought my Eau de Campagne from a discounter a year ago ($50–not cheap, really, even at that price) so I can’t guarantee it’s of recent vintage, R., but it smells absolutely nothing like air freshener!

    Another theory about price–perhaps because these are summer-timey, cologne-style things, they seem especially expensive? It feels like one should be able to spray on a summer scent with abandon. If it were the same price for some rich wintery thing that needed to be dabbed…that would be very different for me.

    • Robin says:

      I know I’ve smelled it in the past year at Neiman Marcus & it was fine, but was wondering if it was one of the gazillion things being reformulated lately. I should have bought a bottle last year.

      It’s true that summer-y things seem like they ought to be cheaper, and most brands seem to price according. But a really wonderful summer-y thing I’ll pay for — I paid more than $165 for Osmanthe Yunnan, and probably would do it again. These aren’t as wonderful as that. They made me think of the new-ish Diptyque colognes, which are $135 for twice the amount of juice.

      • That’s a great spectrum — the Yunnan and the Diptyque’s vs. these. The Diptyque’s are wonderful, unique, chic…and yet…they do often smell like very (very!) good candles to me. The Yunnan is undeniably a perfume, for all it’s simplicity, and after dismissing it for a long time, I, too, am now debating a bottle. Or at least a travel set. I wear it happily in the winter, and it surprises me with it’s smokiness.

        After an initial rush to stock up, I am in a zen state of resignation about the reformulations. It helps (sort of) to know that the citrus oils will turn before I can possibly wear all the perfume I’d like to stock up on — also that I have no real way of knowing in advance who’s using the good stuff and who isn’t. But I’m sure another wave of grief and panic will be along…

        • Robin says:

          It is true about the Diptyques. It doesn’t bother me, but it’s true. The OY, I think, is brilliant — you’re paying there for the brilliance, I guess, since it’s also ridiculously priced.

          I am not stocking up on anything. It’s all a crying shame though.

  8. alotofscents says:

    Hi Robin. Great reviews. I sound like a #3 too. Do you know of any florals that have a pop of ginger in it that aren’t so pricey? I really like my Ginger and Tiger Lilly, but I want something more day friendly…..prissy, maybe even.

    • alotofscents says:

      Dark Amber and Ginger Lilly…lost my mind for a second. Geez.

    • Robin says:

      Hmmm…. a prissy ginger. Nothing comes to mind. I will have to think about that.

      • alotofscents says:

        Prissy was a weird choice of words. I’m just thinking of the Kodo Woods-it’s so unprissy. I just mean…very feminine? Oh gee, that would be prissy wouldn’t it? Well no-prissy sounds to uptight for what I’m looking for.

        • Robin says:

          Most fragrances that are coming to mind w/ lots of ginger are either men’s or unisex, but what about Armani Code?

          • alotofscents says:

            I think I like that one. Thanks, will have to resmell.

  9. mals86 says:

    Oh, goody! A rare “I don’t need any of these” post for me!

    My wallet is already screaming ouch… It can tell I really want some Citizen Queen… maybe I’ll layer some Velvet Rose with Bal a Versailles and see what I get, as a substitute.

    • Robin says:

      LOL…always good to wipe a few more off the “need” list.

  10. memechose says:

    i love No #2. That’s whats fabulous about fragrance, its so individual. I WANTED TO LOVE #3 based on the composition and it fell flat.

    • Robin says:

      Good, glad someone showed up to defend #2.

    • Mediterana says:

      No. 2 is my favourite (to me it was the weirdest) as well! But I didn’t know about those prices yet… *yikes*

  11. scentcat says:

    For something in Ginger, you might check out something by Serge Lutens- there may be something there that will prove satisfying in the Ginger arena.

  12. Joe says:

    I’m sure I’d enjoy at least one of these (even though i don’t need any sort of “dress”), but I’m with Mals86: Don’t need or particularly want… for whatever reason.

    Also, sorry if someone else brought this up and I didn’t see it, but what are those bottle caps like? Looks like a bunch of twisted up plastic ribbon. Not necessarily unappealing, but strange.

    • Robin says:

      The caps were designed by Bronislaw Krzysztof, who also did the caps for Eau de Soir & Soir de Lune…and that is all I know about that!

  13. Haunani says:

    Well, these sound very nice, but I have some other “eau-y” kinds of things on my wish list that I am prioritizing. One is Eau de Jatamansi (and that new summer one, too, maybe) by L’Artisan. The other is Vetiver pour Elle, which I just sampled and find just lovely. Any fans of these out there? I also must try Eau de Campagne – I just KNOW I will like that one! Thanks for the reviews, Robin!

    • Robin says:

      Eau de Campagne is great stuff, but I don’t think it’s universally loved — it’s REALLY green, & I think some people find it too much. But do try it!

      • Haunani says:

        Thanks! I will. The tomato leaf idea sounds very interesting!

    • flittersniffer says:

      Jatamansi is very refreshing – definitely check it out!

  14. happilykim says:

    I also love the number three. I am going to get another sample before I spend the 110 euro, but I was swooning from this one. Total love. I haven’t had a fragrance yet this year strike me as this good.

    • Robin says:

      Sounds like you’re nearly sold!

  15. Zazie says:

    I think I’m the only one who didn’t like them (despite the fact that I love ginger).
    I tested the three of them on paper strip, and moved on.
    I was looking for an addition to my very limited summer rotation (thé pour une été, and bulgari white tea) but I didn’t find the EdS interesting in the least. I don’t like/trust the brand, either. Browsing in your archive, dear Robin, I was intrigued by the PdN line: if I manage to find a selling point, I think I might find some nice summer fragrance there (and will finally test sacrebleu)!

    • Robin says:

      Do get samples…they’re much more reasonably priced than the Sisleys esp. as many of them can be bought in 30 ml.

  16. Oana says:

    I’ve tried them all and I liked it. The only one put off was the price as for most of you too :-)

    • Robin says:

      The price is a problem!

  17. flittersniffer says:

    Me and both preferred No 3 like you – it is quite special (but way too dear!) I am lucky to have scored samples of all three, so have had quite some time to live with them all. No 2 was my second favourite and surprise, surprise, the lasting power was awful on me, and I normally have no issues like that, except with Armani Prive Oranger Alhambra and the new Kenzo Eau de Fleur de Magnolia. So fleeting was the No 2 that I do not feel qualified to comment on the dreariness or otherwise of the drydown, as I am not sure it hung around long enough on me to have one! No 1 was nice, but just a teensy bit heavy on the old juniper for me, that swung it more into the men’s camp.

    • Robin says:

      How funny — #2 is one of those scents where I’m still trying to scrub off the musk the next day!! It’s Murphy’s Law, if you hate it, it will last forever, if you love it, poof.

  18. Divina says:

    Hi Robin! I loved these (especially 1&3 – 2 wasn’t really my thing). I also found 1 masculine at first and then unisex. Like you, found 3 to be my absolute favorite. It reminds me a good bit of PdN’s Vie de Chateau. I think 1 & 3 are very, very well done. The price was off putting at first, but I found them at a different shop that often has better prices for 80 euro each, which I thought was reasonable, especially for the quality of 3. Normal boutiques around here (like Douglas) still have those for a bit over 100 euro, which I definitely wouldn’t pay…

    • Robin says:

      Congrats on finding a good buy! You liked them more than I did, I think, or else I’m just cheaper — even 80 euros seems too dear.

  19. drew says:

    Agree about #3 being the standout; the SA at Holt Renfrew here in Ottawa tried to tell me that all three were “meditations” on the chypre theme. I’m fairly new to fragrance, but that seems a little out of whack. Am I just crazy? Just when I think I’ve picked up on a style or a note, some sales associate comes along and utterly confuses me …

    • Robin says:

      Yes, I think they’re billing them as such — but “modern chypre” and “classic chypre” are 2 very different animals, and I don’t find the idea of “modern chypre” helpful in the least in terms of understanding what a scent will be like.

  20. SmokeyToes says:

    Sounds like I’d love 1 and 3, but at that price? I don’t think so!

    Wore Sisley Eau de Soir yesterday, love it. It lasted all day.

    • Robin says:

      Another well done Sisley. Luckily for me I don’t even know the price.

  21. March says:

    I had no idea they were so expensive! I smelled them at NM and liked them well enough but couldn’t think of anything interesting to say about them… it’s all relative but these do beg that question regarding value for money. I think I’d rather have one of the Guerlain eaux, or that ginormous Chanel cologne. Or maybe even the Dior Cologne Blanche (remember that one? A lifetime ago…)

    • Robin says:

      Gosh, there are many things I’d rather have. In fact, it’s tempting to see how far you can go on $160 at one of the cheaper discounters, just for fun. And HA — that does seem like two lifetimes ago, doesn’t it?

  22. Perfume Sniffer says:

    I have no explanation for this but I will pay high prices for a chypre, a nice floral or floral-oriental but I will almost never pay a high price for a citrusy/fresh scent.

    It’s so easy for me to get some of the Hermes Un Jardins or Annick Goutal for a deeply discounted price.

    Anyway, I don’t have a good reason for this – but I just wouldn’t pay that much for a fresh/summer Sisley…

    • Robin says:

      If it helps, they’re calling them chypres.

  23. I completely agree with this review! I love ginger and liked No.3 quite a lot, but the lasting is too poor to burn 100 Euro on it, even if I have had them. But I do not know Eau de camapgne, now I am curious…

    • Robin says:

      Do try Campagne, it’s one of Jean Claude Ellena’s early scents.

  24. SmokeyToes says:

    I tried 1 & 3, and really liked both but not at that price. I also tried Eau de Campagne, and fell in love with it. Of course….

    • Robin says:

      Isn’t Campagne great stuff?? Do shop around, you can do better than retail — if you decide to cave.

  25. smartylicious says:

    I just saw these online and came here to look for your review, R :) Number 3 appeals to me, is it very floral/citrusy? I wish it were more about the base notes with this one.

    • Robin says:

      It’s a sheer spicy scent, not terribly floral at all, very citrusy in the early stages though. Gosh, is that any help? It doesn’t seem like it.

      • smartylicious says:

        That helps ! :) Is it very ginger-y? Sometimes ginger makes me sneeze LOL It happened with some fragrances.

        • Robin says:

          Very very gingery in the opening, later, not so much.

          • smartylicious says:

            Someone just commented on MUA that it’s reminiscent of Gucci By Gucci, the one in the brown bottle with the charm. Agree?

          • Robin says:

            Gotta say no — but perhaps they’re seeing some similarity that I’m just missing.

  26. kaos.geo says:

    Hello! I finally got to try them! They remind me of other fragrances and neither smells original enough to get myself a bottle :-(

    1 smells like eau de givenchy! Very similar.
    2 smells like nivea energy head and body shower gel (but made with more expensive raw materials, though)
    3 I cannot totally place this, but smells like an 80’s perfume to me, Montana for women mixed with a little opium… but still I know it reminds me of something else. It is the best of the three IMHO and also the most feminine.

    If I had to choose at gunpoint, I’d buy 1, just because it is more masculine and i probably be able to pull it off without strange looks at the office hehehehe.

    Sisley had a great duo with Eau de Campagne, Eau du soir.
    Then came Soir de Lune, and for me the jury is still not out on that one, as it defies my preconceptions (which is usually a great thing!) but these 3 smell like expensive versions of fragrances that are already done, or something like that.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, I like Eau de Givenchy much better than the Sisley 1…luckily nobody (so far) is holding a gun to our heads, LOL…although already here you can get these at half price at the discount stores.

  27. brazile says:

    Bizarrely, I get a very strong tomato leaf top note in #2. #1 seems unremarkable and a little after-shave-like, and #3 is gorgeous if you like ginger. I think I like #2 the best, though. But as you say, Robin, definitely not worth the exorbitant price!

    • Robin says:

      They’re really expensive. The one thing I’d change in my review now is the reference to the “gorgeous” Eau de Campagne, which has now been reformulated and smells like a sport fragrance. So I wish I got tomato leaf in any of these…EdC was such a wonderful tomato leaf scent!

  28. brazile says:

    I must be missing something with #1 – I just can’t really smell it on myself, only getting faint whiffs of something green and indistinct when I push my wrist up to my nose. Anosmia ahoy…

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