Andy’s take on Iris Nazarena.
Some fragrances make me dream of faraway places, others awaken long forgotten memories. But Iris Nazarena, the second launch from New York-based fragrance boutique Aedes de Venustas, evokes various shades of the color grey (and no, I don’t mean the book by E. L. James). Grey is my favorite color, one that fascinates me in all its beautiful tonalities from light to dark. Likewise, there is nothing bleak or dull about Iris Nazarena, and as I smell through its layers of woods and incense-tinted iris, I’m taken by its complexity.
As it unfolds on skin, Iris Nazarena remains fairly linear, with the focus on iris throughout the entire development. As it wears on, the iris is subtly transformed by various accompaniments, incense being one of them. Perfumer Ralf Schwieger reportedly composed Iris Nazarena with Chanel No. 19 in mind as a point of contrast, attempting to create a fragrance that interpreted iris in a different manner.
For lovers of this iconic predecessor and iris in general, Iris Nazarena is worth seeking out. This beautiful, comforting iris is wrapped so cleverly around leather and incense that it seems unlike any other iris I know. Some iris perfumes can seem a touch aloof and formal, but the best part about Iris Nazarena is that it’s neither. The perfume is as fitting for a casual afternoon at home as it is for more elegant occasions.
The opening of Iris Nazarena has a pleasing crispness, suggesting woods and moist roots. There is a cool, slightly aromatic greenness like pine or juniper, but which quickly subsides to make way for a dry iris to come into full focus. As with many iris perfumes, this one at first reminds me of cool, damp earth, and as it warms up on skin, the iris becomes inviting and cozy. It feels more like a soft blanket than a chilly breeze.
As the fragrance develops further, it gets to the part I love the most. Iris melds into a warm embrace with leather, and the perfume now takes on a soft, sensuous character. As the fragrance lingers on, the incense and woods of the base continue to warm up the composition.
I see Iris Nazarena as a comforting sort of perfume, one that has a moderate, but noticeable sillage. It is understated yet still interesting, and if you’re an iris lover, you will appreciate its nuances. Packaging doesn’t typically interest me, but in this case, the flacon seems especially fitting—the glass is grey and transparent, two qualities that seem to describe this fragrance perfectly.
Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazarena Eau de Parfum features notes of iris, ambrette, juniper berry, star anise, leather, oud, clove, rose, incense, woods, musk, and vetiver. Available at Aedes.com, ausliebezumduft.de, Barneys New York, Jovoy in Paris, Liberty in London (for other retailers, please check Aedes website). $245, 3.4oz
Sample: Aedes de Venustas
Image: Iris by dottieg2007 via flickr, some rights reserved.