Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
The most compelling quality of Bois d’Iris, a fragrance created by the perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena for The Different Company is its ability to present the silvery and earthy iris root as layers of petals, transparent as if shot through with intense light and soft as if made from Varanasi silk. In contrast to the earthy and rooty irises, Bois d’Iris is marked by such as a lovely floral softness sustained over the dry woody base that I can forgive its lack of tenacity and make a room for it in my crowded collection of iris fragrances (and perfumes by Jean-Claude Ellena, for that matter.)
If creating a rose fragrance is a task of rendering a blossom out of oil extracted from its petals (or from various synthetic materials that range from photorealism to abstraction in terms of their link to the actual flower), constructing iris does not lead the perfumer to think of the sweet, honeyed scent of its flowers. Instead, it entails blending notes that conjure a scent of its roots, the intriguing blend of violets, earth, wood and metallic dust. The sheer complexity of the orris root is the reason for perfumers’ fascination with it, starting with the iconic Jacques Fath Iris Gris (1947). ….
Initially, Bois d’Iris takes one into the hazy chilliness of Hermès Hiris and Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist. Where Hiris fades into the powdered subtlety and Iris Silver Mist maintains its iced roots strength, Bois d’Iris enters the floral heart.
The sweet warmth competes with the rooty woodiness of iris, alternating between a spicy rose constructed out of green leaves and a verdant violet powderiness. The composition presents an interplay reminiscent of chypre types, and if the oakmoss were to make a distinct presence, Bois d’Iris might have taken a stride into the classical chypre realm. Yet, the nod to the classicism paired with the Ellena signature translucence makes for an interesting experience. Completing the vision of iris, Bois d’Iris lets a flower bloom atop the soil encrusted root.
Bois d’Iris by The Different Company includes notes of iris, vetiver, bergamot, cedar, narcissus, geranium and musk. It is available from Available at Aedes, B-glowing, Beautyhabit, Luckyscent, and Takashimaya. European online shoppers can discover the fragrances from Browns and First-in-Fragrance. Bois d’Iris is available as a part of 48h refill set, which also includes 10ml of Rose Poivrée and Osmanthus.
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