eau de parfum intense
50 ml  1.69 fl.oz

A medieval herbal concoction re-imagined.


NOTES: Marjoram, Green Lavender Absolute, Tolu Balsam, Narcisse Absolute, Orris Butter and Raspberry leaf Absolute


” I’ve been fascinated with the Middle-ages since I watched Sean Connery’s brilliant depiction of Umberto Eco’s mystery-solving monk William of Baskerville. The Name of the Rose set the tone for everything I now consider medieval. Ancient manuscripts, cold dungeons and herbal potions. I don’t know when and where I stumbled over a recipe for Four thieves vinegar (I have a knack for stumbling over strange things) but I was instantly intrigued. There are many stories as to the origin of the name but the most popular one goes that a group of thieves where robbing homes during the period of the black death without contracting the disease, and when they were finally caught they offered the secret formula to their captors to be let loose.

If it’s true or not, we’ll never know but any romantic (myself included) chooses to believe it. Life is simply more fun if you do. As faith would have it, having this strange idea of creating a medieval potion spinning in my head I got a whiff of a potpourri Jeroen kept on his desk. It instantly transported me back 700 years in time. I discussed it with Jeroen and we decided that this fragrance had to happen.

I had to begin somewhere so I began by creating the balsamic dried rose petal effect that would be the backbone of the whole creation. It fascinates me what happens to the scent of things as they dry. Taking on a whole array of much cooler, austere facets. Rose as it dries takes on a slightly dusty aldehydic effect that would prove to play beautifully with the combination of unusual aromatics I decided to use. Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley leaf, Thyme and Green Lavender absolute (a strange version of that Simon & Garfunkel song). I added age by filling it to the brim with exotic balsams such as Benjoin, Tolu and Opoponax. Some warmer spices levelled out the intensity of the rose note and very soon I had made my very own medieval herbal potion. I can’t vouch for its plague protecting abilities but one can always hope”. Fredrik Dalman In-House Parfumeur.

To explore the Alinea Collection from the comfort of your home, we offer the Alinea Sample Set HERE

Make a selection of five different Alinea creations that you love to try and receive a € 35 gift voucher redeemable against any 50 ml Eau de Parfum Intense flacon.

To truly experience the artisanal craftsmanship of the Alinea Collection, we welcome you to our Atelier in Amsterdam where you will be greeted by our in house-perfumer Fredrik Dalman and/or creative director Jeroen Oude Sogtoen.

Request your fragrance session

1 review for FOUR THIEVES

  1. This herbal marvel, an utter delightful to discover, was inspired by Fredrik’s impressions of mediaeval times and some aromatic pot pourri sitting on Jeroen’s desk. I wonder how many among a certain generation of us have distinctive mediaeval memory imprints provided by the Jean-Jacques Annaud’s hugely successful film adaptation of Umberto Eco’s The Name Of The Rose? It is hard to cast off those familiar tropes of muddy peasants, freakish monks, superstition, carts, cobbles Connery and sin.

    Four Thieves takes its names from this period of mediaeval charms, quackery and blind faith when all manner of concoctions were bottled and bagged up, promising miracle cures. Oddly it seems we have come full circle, with social media and certain places and leaders around the globe professing support for unproven and frankly crazy cures for a virus that is killing thousands. Four Thieves Vinegar as it was more often originally known was a concoction of wine and vinegar infused with herbs, spices, sometimes garlic that was supposed to ward off the plague. There are quite a few variations that have been passed down. Ingredients such as meadowsweet, wormwood, marjoram, sage, cloves, campanula roots, angelica, rosemary, horehound, camphor and lavender appear in recipes.

    Fredrik’s Four Thieves is perhaps the most unique perfume in the Alinea line up, a bruised medicinal aroma that captivates and startles instantly. There is a whoosh of rubbed imagination and a physic garden comes alive on green-stained fingers. I hesitate to call it herbal because while it is defiantly a phyto-aroma, it is so much more than that. It does have a lingering echo of pot pourri, a kind of Tudor darkness that hints at mixtures used to banish miasma and bring some sense of sweetness to an age of questionable odour. The dominant feature is the most divine green lavender absolute, nothing like the lavender most of us might think of, the garden type, lovely though it is, that has a minted, generic scent labelled as old fashioned and twee. Fredrik’s lavender feels like it has been under enormous pressure and then exploded carefully – if that doesn’t sound like too much of an oxymoron- throughout the composition. It touches and flavours everything, not in an overpowering way but just dyeing edges here and there with indigo, lilac and shades of forest green.

    There is delicious rubbed marjoram too, oily and green, tolu balsam, a winsome orris note and beautiful narcissus, bittersoft, narcotic and yellow like poison. The key material though is raspberry leaf. Not fruit but leaf, a strange ripped smell, redolent of catmint and turned earth with just a whiff of warm fat raspberry in the rub. This seems to balance out any fluctuations in the tincture Vs floral amber aromatics. It is a wonderful, eccentric perfume and the most amazing addition to the Mona Di Orio house.

    Alex Musgrave ©TSF 2020

Add a review

Other suggestions