Patricia compares Atelier Cologne Silver Iris to several other iris perfumes.
Iris perfumes, the little black dress of fragrances, seem to be appropriate for all occasions and all seasons. Got a job interview? Grab an iris perfume. Going out for dinner and can’t decide which perfume to wear? An iris has got you covered.
That said, there is much variety within the iris family of fragrances, and Atelier Cologne’s Silver Iris is a prime example. For starters, like all the Atelier Absolues, it has a higher than usual concentration of perfume oil, in this case 18 percent, which gives it richness and longevity. It is one of two perfumes created by Jérome Epinette for Atelier’s Collection Métal, the other being Gold Leather, which I have not yet sampled.
From the delicious bright opening dominated by green tangerine and tempered by pink pepper, to the soft and cozy drydown of patchouli, musk, and tonka bean, this iris is a winner. The tart tangerine makes my mouth water, while the sensual, velvety finish feels like a warm embrace. The “silver” in this iris isn’t a dry, austere, and static metal. Instead, it resembles the bright, sparkling silver reflections on water, a serene and peaceful image.
Serene is also a good way to describe the aura of Silver Iris. It wafts gently for hours without being overpowering, and I catch myself surreptitiously sniffing at my wrists throughout the day. Beautifully constructed, the balance of ingredients keeps me interested right through to the dry down, which is warm and enveloping and smells like crushed peppercorns and suede. At this final stage perfume wears very close to the skin, but to my delight seems to go on forever.
Sillage is very good, and longevity is excellent. It is not overly sweet and would be a good fragrance for either a man or a woman. Although it seems particularly well-suited for fall, it could be worn in any season except perhaps the dog days of summer.
Its name alone begs a comparison with Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, which I find to be a colder and more abstract interpretation of the iris. Thinking Silver Iris might have more in common with Parfumerie Generale’s Oriental Iris (formerly Iris Taizo), I give that one a try. It opens with a similar bright note produced by fig, vanilla, and iris, but then morphs into something much spicier, and in the end, less complex. The two Pradas, Infusion d’Iris and Infusion d’Iris Absolue, are more powdery, less modern, and not as complex.
After deciding that Silver Iris doesn’t duplicate anything in my collection, I promptly bought it (a decant, since Atelier colognes do not come cheap). After all, a woman needs more than one little black dress in her wardrobe, doesn’t she?
Atelier Cologne Silver Iris includes notes of tangerine, pink pepper, black current, mimosa, violet leaf, iris, patchouli, white amber, musk, tonka bean. Available at Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Luckyscent, ateliercologne.com.
What is your favorite iris fragrance, and when do you like to wear it?