Monday, July 02, 2007

Jil Sander no.4

(from Jil Sander's fall/winter 2001-2002 collection)

Long before I was introduced to the world of niche fragrance, my sophisticated scent was Jil Sander no. 4. It had the mystique of Jil Sander's fashion line, clean lines, black clothes, flattering cuts that made sense (why, oh why, oh why can't we have this aesthetic back?) and evoked an unmistakable urban style; all that while being a massive spicy floriental. It's that all-encompassing blackness of Jil Sander, I guess.

Years later, I still love it. It might not be as original as other scents in my collection, but it's as beautiful and elegant as it ever was. It starts a little sharp and spicy, declaring its presence as a very dressy scent, but it softens quickly. It's said to have fruity notes somewhere, but I don't get much--it's mostly about tuberose, carnation and some of their closest friends. If there's a peach in there it's very well hidden, so even I can't frown on it.

The flowers have a spicy, exotic oriental feel to them. There's no playful girliness there and wearing flip-flops while you have this scent on would feel very inappropriate. It demands heels and a nice outfit, preferably something black and chic. The drydown is a sexy vanilla-sandalwood, womanly and powdery and just a bit dirty. It stays close to the skin and lasts for several joyous hours.

Here's the mystery: As far as I can tell, No. 4 is still very much in production. Jil Sander fragrances belong nowadays to Coty, but their website is a marketing disaster and gives absolutely no information. Other than the impression that they're very proud of their J. Lo line. I've been searching high and low for official information, but didn't get very far. OsMoz has a short entry and lists the notes, but that's about it. No product range or any other info. Basenotes offers even less that that.

The mystery deepens when you actually want to buy a bottle. Sephora no longer carries it, and neither do the major department stores (at least online). However, it is widely available at any online discount store, and you can even find the matching shower gel and lotion (I also have the wonderful body balm which has become somewhat elusive lately). Once upon a time there was also a pure parfum, but this has long been discontinued. I dearly hope that the EdP isn't destined to go the same route.

Notes: plum, peach, anise, mace, coriander, bergamot, rose, tuberose, ylang-ylang, pimento, orris, jasmine, carnation, orange blossom, heliotrope, cedar, sandalwood, vanilla, musk, amber, tonka, civet.

The design house of Jil Sander has changed hands a couple of time in recent years, which resulted in loss of prestige. It seems that none of the owners and people in charge cared enough. It would be a huge shame if a beautiful and classic perfume disappears just because no one at some marketing department can be bothered.


  1. Where have you found the shower gel? All my previous sources have run out, with the report that the shower gel is no longer in production. I was able to find several bottles of the body balm at Marshalls for $5 each (yay) but I'm down to my last quarter ounce of shower gel. :(

  2. Hello, I'm Andrea and it's the first time for me leaving a comment but I couldn,t resist... I really must say the "old" Jil Sander Fragrances are simply underestimated. Jil Sander Woman III was the first perfume I'd bought when I was 17 years old, and I do love it still. I guess it has been the perfume who "accompanied" me and my life till now (although I own now more fragrances - some might even say too much ;-) Do you like Woman III? Of course I enjoy on many occassion the no. 4 of her as well, sadly I can't say this of the new ones (like Style for example). What do you think?

  3. mharvey-
    Right now both and are offering a perfume+shower gel combo. I'm pretty sure that's how I got the one I currently have.

    I agree with you. The old ones are much better made and more interesting than recent offerings. It's been a while since I've sniffed #3 but I remember it fondly. I'm not sure if Coty has always owned the brand, but the new ones definitly reflect a house whose pride and joy is the J.Lo franchise.

  4. Hi,
    I just had to comment about this too. I started with Jil III and grew to love it. I found 3 bottles at my local Loehmanns and have them stashed in my cool closet. I then tried #4 and figured I'd mix it up between the fragrances so I would keep the III longer since I heard it was being discontinued. Grew to love #4 and bought it on e-bay really cheap. That recently changed as I was running very low on my last bottle. It is pricing out like liquid gold now. I can't believe it. I know there are more serious problems in this world but when you get really attached to a fragrance it is like an old friend.

  5. I have searched high and low for #4 and can't find it anywhere. I have used it for 15 years and have trouble finding something that doesn't give me an instant headache. I will keep an eye out on this blog in hopes that someone will let me know when "the mystery of Jil Sander no. 4" is solved!

  6. H! I used to wear No. 4 for many many years until I could not find it at all. However, I was in the store Ulta today and they were actually selling No. 4 along with her other fragrances. I was so excited because I thought maybe they were bringing the fragrance back. I did a search tonight and found I could have continued purchasing it. But I am even more confused now. What is the mystery?

  7. I just heard today about No.4's reappearance at Ulta. I'll have to go and sniff. Hopefully they didn't tweak it too much. In any case, there's still some of the older stuff available online if you search thoroughly.

  8. A friend just returned from London where he purchased Jil Sander No.4 Eau De Parfum spray at Harrods. Harrods told him that it was 'exclusive to Harrods' and not available anywhere else.

  9. it's widely available in holland and in the rest of west europe, nothing exclusive at all...

  10. It is widely available in Europe? But not the US? Is it available on line? I recently bought to bottles (testers without cap) but can NOT find it in any store. Even the online sources are running out.

  11. I have bought 5 or 6 bottles of Jil Sander No. 4 online over the past year and it is NOT the same. The scent does not linger and is very light and has a somewhat alcohol based smell. Listen folks, I am grieving; trying to find something to replace this wonderful and unique perfume. My last "old" bottle is imprinted "Made in Monaco"; the newer bottles are all distributed and made in the US. Has anyone found a scent similar that has the same allure?

    1. Could you please write down more about your old bottles ?
      Like address and batch code.
      Thanks a lot !

  12. Well, I ordered Jil Sander no. 4 from three different companies and two have arrived. Both bottles say "Made in France" distributed by the Lancaster Group USA, NY, NY. It does not have the same fragrance as the original Jil. Very disappointed.

  13. Well, I ordered Jil Sander no. 4 from three different companies and two have arrived. Both bottles say "Made in France" distributed by the Lancaster Group USA, NY, NY. It does not have the same fragrance as the original Jil. Very disappointed.

  14. I just had to comment: Jil Sander No 4 Body Balm--there was nothing like it. I wore it for years dismayed that it was on the shelf and then off the shelf; stoped in the offices in NY, just to see where I could purchase--went back on shelf at SAKS, now gone for good it appears. Now I can understand why . . . very sad. I keep hoping that it will come back to market. If anyone has any--I'll purchase. thanks

  15. I love the body balm III. My husband found 4 bottles online a few years ago. I'm down to the end of the last bottle. Perfumes bother so I use balms. This was my signature scent and I'll miss it terribly.

  16. i would like to know where you CAN located JIL SANDER NO. 4??!!!!!!

  17. What idiots discontinued Jil Sanders No.4 ? They don't like money? I am so sad that it is gone.


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget