iris perfumes: 59 posts

Carine Roitfeld Parfums George : Perfume Review

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In a memorable scene in Joris-Karl Huysman’s novel Against Nature, his character Des Esseintes is so inspired by reading Dickens that he decides to visit London. Yet, having traveled only as far as grey and rainy Paris, he feels that he has experienced London’s atmosphere enough in his imagination and abandons the whole idea. No doubt, Des Esseintes would have been sympathetic to the efforts of perfumers who attempt to satisfy the wanderlust of armchair travelers. One such venture is Carine Roitfeld Parfums, created by the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris. The line includes seven unisex fragrances, Aurélien, George, Kar-Wai, Lawrence, Orson, Sebastian and Vladimir, inspired by travel and by fictional lovers.

My ideal lover is George. He is elegant, suave, and soft-spoken, yet whatever he says keeps my interest piqued. (He has certainly read Huysmans, although decadence is not his favorite art current; he is more into realism.) I travel to Tokyo with George, where we stroll through autumnal temple gardens, take baths with iris petals and visit painting exhibits in those typically Japanese galleries filled with silence, soft light and a whiff of wood polish. With George on my arm, everything smells of violet leaves, moss and crushed green leaves. He doesn’t smoke, but the leather jacket that he wears so well is redolent of ashes and fine tobacco.

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Three Ultimate Iris Perfumes

Once, as I was telling Maurice Roucel how much I loved his Iris Silver Mist, a perfume he created for Serge Lutens, he laughed and explained that Lutens kept asking again and again for more iris, so he ended up using all the iris aromatics in the catalogue of his company and essentially “mixing them together.” Roucel can be refreshingly self-deprecating about his work, but I knew that achieving the precise harmony of Iris Silver Mist took much more than just blending all irises in sight. For me, it evokes the cool, frozen beauty of this complex note in a way that few other iris perfumes can.

In my recent FT column, I examine three iris classics, describing what makes them compelling and memorable. Above all, iris as an ingredient deserves attention because it’s one of the most layered, rich but difficult materials available to perfumers.

The first time I smelled iris essence, I stood for a few minutes with a perfume blotter under my nose before I regained my senses. In an instant it conjured up frozen petals and snow-covered trees, and while this image of a winter garden was vivid, I couldn’t easily describe the fragrance. It was like nothing I had encountered before, and pinning down its radiant but surprisingly potent scent proved difficult. To continue, please click here.

What are your ultimate iris perfumes?

Chanel 1932 Extrait de Parfum : Perfume Review

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When Chanel announced the launch of Beige, Jersey and 1932 in Extrait de Parfum, purportedly the richest and more luxurious concentration, I was excited. Although neither Jersey nor 1932 caught my attention in the Eau de Toilette versions (Beige, by contrast, is one of my staples), Chanel often has a few surprises up its sleeve, and I waited impatiently till my local boutique received the testers.

1932

There was some speculation as to the reason why Chanel launched the “deluxe” versions of particular perfumes in the Les Exclusifs collection. Shouldn’t the exquisitely beautiful 28 La Pausa, sultry Coromandel or polished 31 Rue Cambon receive more attention? Chanel itself said something about the noble materials and other romantic things, but the truth is that Beige, Jersey and 1932 are the best sellers in the collection, and it made more business sense to focus on them first.

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Christopher Sheldrake on Chanel and Iris

In a video made for the launch of No 19 Poudré, Christopher Sheldrake of Chanel describes iris used by the house in its fragrances, from the famous No 19 to the exquisite 28 La Pausa. Speaking about dried iris rhizomes, Sheldrake says, “They have that characteristic scent: powdery, clean and fresh already. It’s very strange for dried materials to smell fresh.”

I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you to Geneviève for sending me the link!

Extra: reviews of iris dominated perfumes (not just Chanel).

Atelier Cologne Silver Iris : Fragrance Review

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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.

silver-iris

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.

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