Gianfranco Ferre Ferre: Perfume Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Although many fashion houses such as Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Calvin Klein, to name a few, are equally renowned for their fragrances, the new additions to Gianfranco Ferré’s portfolio have been long overdue. At last, here comes Ferré, a perfume of modern aesthetic sensibility and classical elegance. It artfully conjures the water drenched purple petals and the cool silk with its layers of transparent floral accords modulated by the weightless softness of its oriental base. The leitmotif of iris courses through the composition that maintains a fine balance between the sweet floral and the earthy metallic elements of iris root. Created by Pierre Bourdon in 2005, Ferré is a fine example of a modern composition fusing light into every single twist of its development. …

Like Bourdon’s other iris etude, a stately Iris Poudré, Ferré plays up the floral nuances to create a seamless transition between the sweetness of rose, the opulence of magnolia and the chilly silkiness of iris. The effect is similar to the brushwork in the Impressionist paintings, where the line between the shadow and the object throwing it becomes obscure. In Iris Poudré, the aldehydes lend the misty quality; however, in Ferré, the focus is on heightened clarity. It is the transparency of leaves against the bright sun, the lucid crispness of air after a rainstorm, the gossamer lightness of fine silk.

The sheer fruity top notes bear no relation to the cloying fruit salad accords that grace many feminine compositions created over the past decade. In fact, they demonstrate how alluring the combination of fruit and flower can be–their touch of delectable sweetness is like nectar collecting at the base of a blossom. My favorite aspect of Ferré is its gorgeous sillage, a scented trail that follows the wearer. Warm, rich and yet delicate, it calls to mind a quote I recently encountered in an interview with Jean-Claude Ellena, “Sillage, this is the aroma, the aura that surrounds you…. I search for subtility, presence, and transparence. Others create a wall. I reject this. I like to see a person.” Indeed, Ferré would prompt a second look.

The elegant contents match the striking bottle created by Serge Mansau. Its architectural lines recall Gianfranco Ferré’s designs that gained him fame as “Frank Lloyd Wright of Fashion.” Ferré includes notes of bergamot, iris leaves, honeydew melon, pineapple, freesia, iris petals, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, magnolia, basmati rice, Florentine iris root, amber, vanilla. The fragrance should not be confused either with Ferré by Ferré, a discontinued soft floral bouquet created in 1991, nor with Gianfranco Ferré, a fresh white floral melody launched in 1984. Ferré is available from Nordstrom, Saks5thAvenue, Neiman Marcus and Gianfranco Ferré boutiques.

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22 Comments

  • shifts: What a wonderful review! I want to order a bottle right away! Thanks for writing about this one and giving me the heads up. I will have to look into this. June 14, 2006 at 6:13am Reply

  • Judith: There’s been a lot of buzz about this, but I’ve managed to avoid it. But now. . . you make it sound so beautiful! And I do love Iris Poudre. Must sniff next time I’m at Neiman’s or Saks. June 14, 2006 at 8:32am Reply

  • Ina: After reading this, I feel like I didn’t do Ferre justice by just smelling it casually. Must remedy this soon. Thanks! June 14, 2006 at 10:48am Reply

  • Tania: Sounds like a must try, but heavens, what confusing names! June 14, 2006 at 11:15am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Shifts, thank you. It is a very beautiful fragrance, and while it is plays up the modern tendencies towards light, the effect is rich and elegant. The drydown is simply beautiful. June 14, 2006 at 12:15pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did. I sprayed it on my hand and then half an hour later I started wondering where this beautiful scent is coming from. It was Ferre. June 14, 2006 at 12:17pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, yes, it is definitely worth revisiting. It has many interesting facets, and while it does not smell like a leaf or a plant, it conjures them beautifully. June 14, 2006 at 12:24pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, yes, this is the case when the name recycling can be incredibly confusing. Another Ferre fragrance I would love to try is the newest Bergamotto Marino, also by Bourdon. However, I cannot seem to be able to find it in the States. June 14, 2006 at 12:25pm Reply

  • Robin: I’m pretty sure I’ve never smelled this one. How fruity is it? The melon & pineapple scare me. June 14, 2006 at 2:50pm Reply

  • minette: I loved this one immediately! But I didn’t know why, at first. Then someone reminded me of the Iris Poudre connection – and it clicked. I love Iris Poudre, so it’s not surprising that I would fancy this one, too. I think of it as an Iris Poudre for the masses – but not in a denigrating way – I think it’s slightly easier to wear than IP. June 14, 2006 at 3:00pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, it is not at all fruity. The fruit is just an accent. In this case, I would just disregard the list of notes, because they hardly tell you what the fragrance is like. June 14, 2006 at 3:04pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Minette, I agree with you that it is much easier to wear than Iris Poudre. I had Ferre, Iris Poudre and another iris composition, Cerruti 1881 Collection (in a burgundy bottle) on when I was writing, and it was interesting to observe what exactly made Ferre so appealing. It is easy to wear, yet it retains a certain intricate quality. June 14, 2006 at 3:07pm Reply

  • Diane: LOL, Tania’s comment made me chuckle. After you mentioned it to me the other day, you know how I went on eBay to look for it, in the least to see a photo of the bottle. Well, I just sat there flat-out confused!

    I’ll try it as soon as I have time to hit the shops. It sounds like it’s very me, since I adore iris and Iris Poudre. June 14, 2006 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Katie: Well this sounds like a “don’t miss it” one to smell. I really had not even thought of it, fearing yet another fruity floral. Shoot, I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled. June 14, 2006 at 5:08pm Reply

  • k-amber: This sounds a must-try scent. A few weeks ago I found a little bit of Gianfranco Ferre left in the drawer. I belive the quality is gone but barely remember the note. After reading the review, I believe new Ferre is quite different from the old one. I have Iris Poudre, a tester, and like to compare with it.

    Kaori June 14, 2006 at 9:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: D, I think that you will enjoy it. It is definitely something that I can just imagine fitting your style. And yes, the names are confusing. June 14, 2006 at 11:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, it was a wonderful surprise. I first tried it when passing by the counter at Nordstrom, and I have been addicted to it ever since then. June 14, 2006 at 11:48pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kaori, yes, it is very different from the other Ferre fragrances, both Ferre de Ferre and Gianfranco Ferre. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you manage to sample it. June 14, 2006 at 11:49pm Reply

  • Victoria O: Oh I love this one it’s very beautiful! The name did cause some confusion when I was looking for it. But it’s the purple one. I finally found mine on eBay after trying it in the boutique in Las Vegas.:O) June 15, 2006 at 11:52am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: V, yes, so true. On the other hand, the bottle is very distinctive. I love its heft and clean lines. June 15, 2006 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Reanna: I have just purchased 100ml edp. It smells amazing when you 1st spray it on but the true magic of this mysterious fragrance hits you when it dries down. Ultra feminine, soft and timeless….Simply beautiful! November 5, 2006 at 12:38pm Reply

  • Elaine: I tried this on in Harvey Nichols last week whilst helping my friend find a gift for his mother…. O my gosh! …. sooooooo beautiful, and the bottle is perfect, I had to have it. September 14, 2007 at 5:09pm Reply

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