Penhaligon’s Iris Prima : Perfume Review

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In the video for Penhaligon’s fragrance Iris Prima, artists from the English National Ballet recount the scents of ballet: sweat, tears, dusty curtains, tiger balm, more sweat. “All of the things you don’t see from the front and that we have to endure, but it’s well-worth it,” remarks one dancer.  Ballet is about an illusion, lightness, magic. When a ballerina glides across the stage on the tips of her pointe shoes, we don’t feel her pain or her strain. We aren’t meant to. For Penhaligon’s to promise us a scent of ballet is daring. Will we really get the whiff of bodies covered in makeup and sweat, rosin covering the floor, musty shoes?

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Not at all, as it turns out. Iris Prima is as prim and graceful as Princess Aurora of Sleeping Beauty. Sweat, blood, tears? There is hardly a trace. Iris Prima captures the same romantic ballet vision that makes many girls dream of white tutus and satin shoes.

Iris Prima was created by perfumer Alberto Morillas who observed English National Ballet dancers in rehearsals and performances as he worked on his fragrance for the venerable English house. Unlike another recent ballet inspired perfume, Repetto, from the famous shoe and dance accessory brand, Iris Prima avoids anything saccharine and cute. Iris Prima is a blend of sheer, dry woods with a few fluttering petals.

The main floral component in Iris Prima is jasmine, here rendered as a heap of clean, dewy petals. The perfume is off to a zesty start, but it then mellows down to crisp amber and woods. At first, you notice a whiff of pencil shavings and wet soil (with an odd jasmine petal here and there), then you’re hugged by creamy sandawool and sticky vanilla. The iris touch is earthy and green, and it gives a subtle but distinctive cool sensation to Iris Prima. It has impressive tenacity and clings to skin for hours.

Iris Prima is pretty but bland. While I enjoy its understated charm, it doesn’t stand out in the Penhaligon’s lineup. It certainly doesn’t rival my little black dress iris favorite Prada Infusion d’Iris (it also helps that Infusion d’Iris is $40 less expensive than Iris Prima). If you’re truly after sweat and grit, my recommendation would be either Miller Harris’s L’Air de Rien with its sexy twist of dirty orange blossom and sun warmed skin or Serge Lutens’s Muscs Koublaï Khan that smells like overripe roses and salty kisses (or to some, like a horse rider in need of a bath). More tempered but no less seductive is Annick Goutal’s Musc Nomade, a spicy musky potion.

On Hedione and Paradisone

The magazine features on Iris Prima make a big deal out of Hedione and Paradisone, hailing their use as somehow revolutionary. The revolution happened in 1966 when Edmond Roudnitska used Hedione for the first time in Dior’s Eau Sauvage. Today, you would be hard pressed to find a new launch that doesn’t feature this radiant material. Hedione has a very light but persistent floral scent. Imagine a strongly diluted jasmine (minus any dirty, leathery bits) with a twist of lemon. Paradisone is closely related to hedione, but it’s even more blooming, more radiant and diffusive. Both Hedione and Paradisone give a powerful lift to any accord, and you can also smell Paradisone in fragrances likes Acqua di Giò EssenzaValentino’s ValentinaCarita Eau Parfum (all three were touched by Morillas). On the other hand, it’s refreshing that the brands don’t shy away from talking about synthetics, instead of feeding us the same old line about solar flowers and iced petals.

Penhaligon’s Iris Prima Eau de Parfum includes notes of bergamot, pink pepper, iris, Indian jasmine, hedione, leather, sandalwood, vetiver, amber, vanilla and benzoin. Available at penhaligons.com, Saks Fifth Avenue stores in the US and other big retailers in Europe. 50ml/$125, 100ml/$160

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70 Comments

  • george: Nothing against the ballet, but aren’t ballet inspired perfumes becoming a bit of a cliche? The last discussion of ballet inspired fragrances on here lead to me watching lots of youtube clips of the rose adagio from sleeping beauty, and exploring the politics of whether the female dancer goes to- I think- fifth position between suitors, and who does and doesn’t do this and how well they do it. It was fascinating. However- when it comes to dance- I want a perfume inspired by Martha Graham. Especially as she once said ‘the only sin is mediocrity,’ which would be a maxim much of perfumery would be wise to live by. Not sure- from your description- that Iris Prima is a perfume she would have had time for. September 23, 2013 at 7:24am Reply

    • Jillie: Just what I was thinking! I think the Natalie Portman/Black Swan movie has set a trend, much like the Twilight films did for vampires. Move over bloodsuckers, here come the ballerinas! September 23, 2013 at 10:27am Reply

      • Victoria: “Move over bloodsuckers, here come the ballerinas!”
        You’ve made me spill my tea, Jillie! 🙂 September 23, 2013 at 11:25am Reply

    • Victoria: It is, but on the other hand, I’m glad that ballet is in the spotlight for whatever reason. I also read that since the release of Black Swan there are more donations to dance companies and more interest in dance in general. Not sure to what extent it’s true, but there is so much to the classical dance than Nutcracker. Have you seen anything by George Balanchine? His choreography will be such a revelation.

      As for perfume, Iris Prima’s main fault to me is a lack of character. I like it though, and if I found a bottle at some deep discount, I wouldn’t mind having it on hand as one of those easy to wear, versatile perfumes. But at its price, I can find other more reasonable alternatives. September 23, 2013 at 11:24am Reply

      • george: You know, if they had said this is a perfume inspired by Balanchine and his work for the New York City Ballet I’d have been much more interested: now you have mentioned him I will be checking his work out on youtube, and after I heard about the recently released L’apres midi d’une Faune, I checked out the Debussy score on spotify. I am clearly all for particularity! September 23, 2013 at 12:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: Balanchine was quite a fan of perfume, and he even purchased fragrances for his favorite dancers!

          If anyone came out with a perfume inspired by Balanchine and stayed true to his aesthetics, it would be exciting. September 23, 2013 at 12:53pm Reply

      • Hannah: I’ve noticed a lot of girls asking for ballet inspired work out recommendations. One of the promo videos for the new season of American Horror Story seems to take inspiration from Pina Bausch (I doubt the inspiration will be present in the show because the promos barely resemble the show). September 23, 2013 at 1:00pm Reply

        • Victoria: Natalie Portman revealed that she trained with a ballet dancer to prepare for her role in Black Swan, so it must have had a tremendous effect. Even at a local health club here in Brussels that I pass by every day now advertises a ballet based workout.

          I love Pina Bausch’s work. Did you see Talk to Her by Almodovar? I love its opening scenes with Bausch’s choreography. September 23, 2013 at 2:46pm Reply

          • Hannah: No, I haven’t seen anything by him but I’ve been wanting to see Volver. I’ll seek that one out, too.

            I just got a batch of decants from a friend and Iris Prima was in there. It is pretty but I don’t have anything more to say about it. I do think that I personally like it more than Infusion D’Iris, though. September 23, 2013 at 4:25pm Reply

            • Victoria: I highly recommend Talk to her. It’s a beautiful, moving film, with a twist. Or several!

              Wearing Iris Prima EDP made me wonder what its perfume version would smell like. September 23, 2013 at 5:07pm Reply

        • Eva S.: It is a trend in the gym classes also!
          Pilates barre is very much talked about, a ballet-inspired pilates class. September 23, 2013 at 3:10pm Reply

          • Maria: Even my 60 year aunt signed up for a BalletFit class and she’s loving it. September 24, 2013 at 2:44am Reply

            • Victoria: I gave my mom a DVD set of Lotte Berk Method exercises which have elements of Pilates and ballet and she liked them very much. September 24, 2013 at 9:27am Reply

  • Caroline: Sounds rather pedestrian…what a shame, I usually get excited about iris scents. Now I’m curious about l’air de rien, but Miller Harris doesn’t seem to be around much in the U.S anymore. September 23, 2013 at 9:23am Reply

    • Victoria: Not even at Saks? That’s too bad, since the line has some nice perfumes. September 23, 2013 at 11:24am Reply

      • Caroline: No, the line hasn’t been at Saks for a couple of years, darn it! It’s uncomplicated, but I really enjoy Coeur d’Ete’s lush lilac. September 23, 2013 at 2:48pm Reply

  • Jillie: Thank you for your review – it’s sort of what I felt about Iris Prima, but as I was only testing by sniffing the scented ribbons that my husband snaffled from the Penhaligon shop, I wasn’t sure how true the scent was. Not impressed. Haven’t been keen on any of their latest releases, which is such a shame. September 23, 2013 at 10:31am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s worth trying on skin, if you have a chance. It’s really well-crafted and is enjoyable. But I can’t help wishing for something more distinctive. Another thing is that in comparison to some other flower-and-woods favorites, it wears a bit too thin. September 23, 2013 at 11:29am Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: I haven’t smelled this one yet. If it actually contained traces of ‘sweat, blood and tears,’ it would have been more interesting but would it have sold well? I guess most consumers, especially those who haven’t had any actual Ballet experience, want Ballet to remain as the perfect fantasy they see on stage. Personally, I would like to smell competition and jealousy as mentioned in the video – I wonder how it would smell in a perfume.

    Is Alberto Morillas well known for using a lot of Hedione in perfumes? My first encounter with Hedione containing perfume was CK One. It’s a really ubiquitous perfume but the radiant effect still amazes me. Now I’m really curious about Paradisone. September 23, 2013 at 10:54am Reply

    • george: Ah, CK One. I was working in a department store as a security guard when this came out, and it was frequently sprayed, amazingly radiant and the most stolen fragrance. To me it will always be the smell of shoplifting. September 23, 2013 at 11:20am Reply

      • Daisy: Haha! Love the comment, George! It made me laugh out loud! September 23, 2013 at 11:36am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: lol, george! 🙂 I used to share CK One with my dad. It never occured to me that this was supposed to be for young people. I just loved the smell so I asked my dad to use it and he did. Now that I discovered Eau Sauvage, I think I’ll switch to it and share it with him in the future. September 23, 2013 at 11:41am Reply

      • Maria: Hahaha! CKOne is the smell of my teenage angst. 🙂 September 24, 2013 at 2:46am Reply

      • Mel: I don’t know CK One well enough to identify it but from now on it’ll be the scent of George’s wit. September 25, 2013 at 9:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’re right, of course. I didn’t really expect sweat and dust, since after all, this is Penhaligon’s, a very well-mannered house with a classical bend. Plus, having danced ballet professionally, I’m familiar with the ballet studio smell, and I’m not sure anyone (myself included) would want to smell like that. But something richer and more seductive in the composition wouldn’t hurt. Morillas is famous for this devastatingly sensual skin like accords that nevertheless are elegant. I’m wearing by Kilian’s Good Girl Gone Bad right now, also by Morillas, and it has that aspect.

      I don’t think that Hedione is his specific trademark, since it’s such a ubiquitous note these days. On the other hand, Morillas is one of the genius technicians when it comes to creating unusual effects. The radiance of his perfumes is so impressive. You might also see Hedione mentioned as a note in perfumes made by Firmenich, a supplier house that makes perfume materials and employs perfumers (Morillas is one of them). It’s a Firmenich material, along with Paradisone. September 23, 2013 at 11:37am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Victoria, thanks for your answer. I’m surprised that Kenzo Flower, my other favourite, is also Morillas’ creation. I should explore more of his creations.

        I’m sorry to bother you with another question. Am I right to understand that both Hedione and Paradisone are Methyl Dihydrojasmonate but Paradisone is close to 100% cis isomer? Being a chemist, I actually find these trade names more confusing than CAS names… BTW, I’m enjoying browsing through the Firmenich e-catalogue. September 23, 2013 at 12:27pm Reply

        • Victoria: I also love Omnia, although Bulgari chose to discontinue the great original and keep the boring flankers. On the other hand, who can blame them. They kept the ones that sold better.

          Hedione is methyl dihydrojasmonate, Paradisone is (+)-Methyl dihydroepijasmonate. The cis or epi-methyl dihydrojasmonates possess this radiant jasmine aroma, and some of the commercial materials vary in terms of how much enriched they are in the cis isomer. I recall that IFF’s Kharismal is around 55-60% cis, while Firmenich’s Hedione HC is approximately 78% cis. I found it all very confusing too when we had to cover these materials in school. I don’t have access to my files this week, but I’ll be happy to send you some papers later, if you’re interested to read up on this more.

          By the way, Paradisone tops them all when it comes to radiance. There is another new material from Firmenich that’s supposed to be even more intense, but I don’t remember its trade name. In fact, the best part of Iris Prima is its radiance. It just glows on skin. September 23, 2013 at 12:46pm Reply

          • Anne of Green Gables: I haven’t tried the original Omnia and it’s already discontinued? Sigh…

            Thanks for the clarification and thank you very much for the offer to send the papers. It would be great if you could send them when you have time. The radiant effect you described alone has motivated me to try Iris Prima. September 23, 2013 at 1:50pm Reply

            • Victoria: I will do! Please send me the email address you would prefer me to use (you can use the contact form in the upper right corner), and once I have a chance, I will mail you some papers I found useful as a student.

              I started preparing a review of Omnia when I discovered that it was axed. It can be found inexpensively online, but still… September 23, 2013 at 3:13pm Reply

            • Theresa: I happen to be wearing Omnia today – one of the only blind buys I ever made that turned out happily. It was on deep discount. I wear it when I feel like I need a cuddle – today is the start of the wet and chilly season here in the Pacific NW and it is the perfect accompaniment. September 23, 2013 at 3:22pm Reply

  • Daisy: Such a shame! Admittedly, given Penhaligon’s recent releases, I can’t say that I am surprised. I was still excited to see the video and had hopes afterward that Iris Prima would be interesting, not boring. September 23, 2013 at 11:04am Reply

    • Victoria: I also didn’t care for Penhaligon’s latest, but I liked Iris Prima much more than Vaara. September 23, 2013 at 11:39am Reply

  • Lucas: I was quite excited about the launch of Iris Prima and I was looking forward to trying this new Penhaligon’s offering.

    I’m still keen on trying it when it arrives in Poland but your review cooled down my head by a couple degrees.

    I guess I will give it a sniff, but I don’t expect to fall in love with it anymore.

    Atelier Cologne Silver Iris will compensate as my new iris this fall. September 23, 2013 at 11:53am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s still worth trying, because with perfumes everything is down to tastes. I would be curious to hear what you think. September 23, 2013 at 12:49pm Reply

  • Austenfan: I like some of Morillas’ creations very much. Mugler Cologne and Omnia in particular. If I happen upon a bottle I will give it a sniff, but this one doesn’t sound like it will replace the other 2 in my affections.

    Using the store locator on the Penhaligon site was very amusing. Typing my country and postal code gave me a shop in the Czech Republic as the nearest location ( less than a mile apparently). I’ve yet to visit Prague but didn’t know I would be able to make it on my bike there with so little effort! September 23, 2013 at 12:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: Who knew that Prague was so close! 🙂

      I also want to visit Prague, which is on my ever growing list of travel destinations. Funny that you mention Prague. I recently requested some research papers and when they arrived this morning, I discovered that the copies I received were in Czech. Not terribly helpful. September 23, 2013 at 12:57pm Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Austenfan, I was in Prague two weeks ago. It was rather crowded with tourists but the city has retained its romantic charm. I visited Parfumerie Madeline (http://www.madeleine.cz/) and it had Penhaligon’s as well as other niche lines. The lady (I think she’s the owner) was very knowledgable and friendly. The staffs in Guerlain (they had some exclusive collections like Les Déserts d’Orient) and Hermes boutiques were also very nice. Parfumerie Douglas had some Serge Lutens. September 23, 2013 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Alicia: I adore Prague! I have never been impressed by Penhaligon’s creations, although I like one, Sartorial. Iris. I even brought Prada Infusion in my trip, wouldn’t be separated from it for too long. I also enjoy Silver Mist, and the Chanel blends, like my staple, number 19. Warm greetings from Buenos Aires. September 23, 2013 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: Hope that you’re enjoy your trip! What is Buenos Aires like?

      All of those are my iris favorites too. Of course, Iris Prima is not as strong on iris as Iris Silver Mist or Chanel 28 La Pausa, but it might be a good iris intro to those who are new to this strange rooty, earthy note. September 23, 2013 at 2:50pm Reply

      • Alicia: Victoria, Buenos Aires is a great, very cosmopolitan city, certainly the most European capital in Latin America. Unfortunately it has been cold and raining since I arrived. It has one of the great opera houses in the world, the famous Colon theatre, but all the interesting offerings ended in July and August. Good food and excellent wines. Dismal politics and even worse economy. A sophisticated intellectual atmosphere. I can’t complain. September 24, 2013 at 5:22am Reply

        • Victoria: Sounds intriguing. Thank you for sharing your impressions from the field. 🙂
          My photographer friend is traveling there for an assignment right now, so I can’t wait to take a look at her photos when she returns. September 24, 2013 at 9:28am Reply

  • OperaFan: I adore the ballet and have been a faithful ABT subscriber since the mid ’90s. However, my go-to, “perfect” ballet scent was spoken for long ago when I was told by my favorite Guerlain SA that Nijinski loved Apres l’Ondee and bought it for his favorite ballerinas to wear. Truth or tale, doesn’t matter. For me, it’s the perfect pairing. September 23, 2013 at 1:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love all of these perfume and ballet stories. And I can just picture Nijinski in the ethereal Apres L’Ondee.

      I miss the ABT and New York City Ballet very much. There are great ballet troops in Paris (not so much as far as dance goes in Brussels proper), but still, I have so many memories of working from 8am to 6pm, taking a ballet class in between, and then running to see a show at the Lincoln Center. I would hardly sleep during the ballet season. Seems like madness, but it felt so exhilarating. 🙂 September 23, 2013 at 3:12pm Reply

      • OperaFan: For me, Apres L’Ondee makes me think of those beautiful Monet paintings, like a dream or evoked from memories rather than seen with the naked eyes.

        I used to do that when I worked in NYC, too. Now with a family and living farther out, everything has to be carefully planned ahead of time – but I’m still cramming in as much activities as I can while I’m in the city to attend a performance! September 25, 2013 at 3:54pm Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, I can completely understand this. These days I also don’t do so many spontaneous activities. With all of the obligations, some advance planning is a must. Plus, I doubt I would have the energy for it! At 11pm, I’m already falling asleep. September 25, 2013 at 4:12pm Reply

  • Alicia: Operafan, I suspect that your lovely story might be a guerlain’s invention, in its fierce competition with Caron. Nijinsky might have love AlO, who wouldn’t?, but he belonged to Diaghilev’s company, whose ballerinas wore Caron’s Narcisse Noir. Diaghilev himself used Mitsouko, thus keeping the balance between both rivals. September 23, 2013 at 2:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m now trying to remember if Alexandra Danilova mentions anything about perfume in her memoirs, “Choura”. I recall that she used to describe the feeling of dance as its “perfume”. September 23, 2013 at 3:15pm Reply

    • OperaFan: Thanks for the insight, Alicia! It really doesn’t matter in the end. The story helped to reinforce my appreciation for Apres L’Ondee, and and over time it became an HG for me.
      I have an ancient bottle of Narcisse Noir, unopened and about 3/4 evaporated. Maybe it’s about time I open it to find out what it’s like. September 25, 2013 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Tatiana: Wow, I liked this a lot more than you did. Yeah, it’s not earth shattering or highly complex or innovative. But it is a very lovely sueded floral that wears close to the skin lasts forever on me. And since I can barely smell the Prada Iris and what I do smell doesn’t last more than an hour, I’m loving this one in comparison. It was perfect the day I flew across the continent. It didn’t offend any one around me, I kept catching lovely glimpses of it here and there and my DH kept leaning in for a sweet sniff. Oh the joy of scent! Everyone likes different things! September 23, 2013 at 2:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s what makes scents so fascinating and which is why you can talk about them endlessly. We have our own associations and tastes, and it all affects how we perceive perfume. It’s elegant and refined. It clearly strikes a chord with you, and that’s probably the most important thing.

      Oh, yes, the lasting power is amazing! September 23, 2013 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Aisha: What a shame because I really like the shade of red on the bottle. 🙂

    Yes, Prada’s Infusion d’Iris is beautiful — and less spendy. I do like Penhaligon’s Violetta. Granted, the only time I’ve “sampled” that fragrance is when I bought their book, “The Language of Flowers,” which is scented with Violetta. (The book still smells lovely all these years later, by the way.) Is there another violet fragrance (not Paris) that’s less spendy but just as good?

    By the way, it’s been a fabulous smelling day. I found a deluxe sample mini of Lolita Lempicka while wandering through a thrift store. The juice still smells lovely, and it only cost me a couple of dollars. Making my day even more lovely was finding the Serge Lutens samples waiting for me in my mailbox. I’m so excited about trying them. Thank you! September 23, 2013 at 4:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also love the bottle in that classical Penhaligon’s mold. Violetta is my favorite from them too, but I bought my bottle back in the day when their prices were more reasonable.

      As for pretty violets that don’t break the bank, how about Violetta Di Parma. It smells like a box of violet bonbons. I also like Caron Aimez Moi for a darker, more complex violet (with spices and woods).

      Hope that you enjoy your samples. Please let me know what stands out among the ones you have! September 23, 2013 at 5:11pm Reply

      • Aisha: Got both violet samples yesterday, and tried one on each wrist. Loved them both tremendously and can’t decide which should enter in to the perfume “rotation.” I also got my sample spray of Atelier’s Silver Iris (wearing that today), and I’ve fallen in love with that one too. There are just too many beautiful fragrances out there from which to choose! But I have to admit, it’s nice to have all these options. And the more I read various perfume blogs, the more I realize how much I was limiting myself by trying to find a “signature scent.” Thank goodness for decants and samples! 🙂 October 8, 2013 at 11:03am Reply

        • Victoria: Sounds like you’re having fun! Live a bit with first one violet and then another and see which over wears better on you. Sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks to figure that out, and all the while you’re smelling amazing. 🙂 October 8, 2013 at 11:57am Reply

      • Aisha: Oh! I’m still making my way through the Serge Lutens samples. I really like them all (figures), but I keep returning to Un Lys. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂 October 8, 2013 at 11:05am Reply

        • Victoria: Yay! Happy to hear that you’re enjoying them. October 8, 2013 at 11:57am Reply

  • Isis: Hi Victoria! I am still trying to teach myself to understand what I am smelling, sniffing out notes one at a time and learning a lot from your blog. I have been wanting to ask about hedione: there is a very specific smell to a definfectant used to rub your hands in hospitals (at the entrances of the ICU for example), here it is a blue liquid called sterillium. I have no idea if you have ever smelled it, but to me it has a very loud high pitched floral scream to it. Jasmine-like, I would say. It lasts for a few minutes only, and it is quite obnoxious but I sort of like it anyway. (it must be the stockholm-syndrome I get from staying in hospitals) Could that be hedione?
    Also – since I am sharing – I would like to let you know that during long hospitalisations, when I am far from my own bed and from comfort in general, your blog is a great distraction and the perfect escapism-getaway. Thank you thank you thank you. September 23, 2013 at 5:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: It doesn’t sound like hedione. It’s a fascinating material, because it has a light scent, almost imperceptible. You smell it on a blotter and there is hardly much of anything. But leave a blotter in the room and then come back a few minutes later and you notice this delicate but obvious floral scent. Some perfumers describe it as sunny. There is nothing like it, which is why it is in nearly perfumes made today.

      Thank you for sharing, Iris. It means a lot to me. I can only hope that your hospital stays become fewer and fewer. September 23, 2013 at 5:30pm Reply

      • Victoria: P. S. of course, hedione might be there too, but it sounds like there is another note giving tha high-pitched, loud scent. September 23, 2013 at 5:32pm Reply

        • Isis: Thank you! If Hedione is that subtle, there must indeed be something else in there. I have had a lot of fun playing the game of guessing-the-ingredients-of-the-desinfectant. My next goal is to find the perfect perfume to stand up to it/ layer it with (so far boxeuses it my favorite). September 23, 2013 at 5:48pm Reply

          • Victoria: I don’t know what this product smells like, but I guess that another floral or musk might work. Or even a light vanilla. September 24, 2013 at 9:26am Reply

            • Isis: Ahhhh, you’ve just reminded me that I was planning to take Vanille Galante with me next time!!!! It might be perfect, comforting but with enough flowers to resonate with that sterillium-smell, and light enough to avoid offending any of the nurses. I don’t adóre it but I like wearing it … it makes me feel balanced and elegant. September 24, 2013 at 5:03pm Reply

              • Victoria: I didn’t find Vanille Gallante that compelling when I first tried it, but it’s very comforting. September 25, 2013 at 9:57am Reply

                • Isis: I once stumbled upon a 15 ml bottle on ebay that was just too cheap to resist… September 25, 2013 at 10:48am Reply

                  • Victoria: Goodness, 15ml for a low price would be irresistible to me too. September 25, 2013 at 10:49am Reply

  • Jenna: I was at Penhaligons when they launched it and loved the store decor. A very nice store assistant gave me a couple of samples and I enjoyed wearing it. The downside: it’s expensive. September 24, 2013 at 2:20am Reply

    • Victoria: The prices are much higher across the board, but for some reason Penhaligon’s hike surprised me. September 24, 2013 at 9:27am Reply

    • Tom Shevsky: I have to agree with Jenna, Penhaligons shops are simply stunning with their retro/vintage decor and customer service is spotless. Also very generous sample-wise so free to try before you spend your rent money on 2 bottles 🙂 January 11, 2014 at 6:51pm Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: This is more unisex than I expected and you’re right about its radiance. It really soars! It’s cool, smooth and soft as silk. If there’s any relation to ballet, it feels like a ballerina gracefully gliding across the stage. I like the fact that it’s not so girly. I find it pleasant overall but it’s probably overpriced. October 17, 2013 at 7:09am Reply

    • Victoria: I guess, Penhaligon’s has been upping its luxury status by increasing its prices. Granted, the quality of its perfumes seems better now, but still…

      I do like Iris Prima enough to enjoy my sample. The radiant, luminous aspect of it is so compelling. I also like that it’s not too sweet and quite easy to wear. October 17, 2013 at 8:23am Reply

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