Iris, I like. Donna Karan’s Iris, Prada’s Infusion D’Iris, and Parfums DelRae Mythique are all favorites that get plenty of skin-time. New to my cabinet is Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, which is fabulously carroty-earthy (as is Hermes Hiris, also new to my collection), and Le Labo’s Iris 39, which doesn’t really work for me…
PG’s Iris Oriental landed in my collection un-sniffed (it was, at least, a split bottle!), purchased on the notion that Mr. Guillaume can do no wrong. And, as far as I can see, my theory holds.
Where ISM and Hiris are cool irises, and Mythique a warmed-flesh iris, Iris Oriental is a warm iris. Or, at least, it’s an iris wrapped in a warm, plush, cashmere shawl. Supposedly Pierre Guillaume, a chemist by training, has no formal background in perfumery—which is just fine by me. His fragrances are complex, interesting, beautiful; no matter how tired the subject matter, his genre entries have wowed me. Disclaimer: I’m given to understand that not all of the Parfumerie Generale offerings are fabulous. It’s just luck, I suppose, that the fragrances from the line I have smelled have landed permanent positions in my collection. Which brings me back to Iris Oriental.
Spicy, dense, lightly-sweet, warm, sensual, confident; smells good on the husband (assessment his, and I concur), and really good on me (assessment mine, the hubby concurs). There’s a hint of the animal, and a hint of the gourmand. Be warned: there is also a sharply overwhelming note in the opening (a commenter on Now Smell This said it makes their nose bleed), but this bizarre blast lasts under five minutes, and if you can get through that, the next five or six hours are gorgeous.
Notes: Guatemalan cardamom, iris, jinkoh wood, fig-tree honey, Mexican vanilla, balsamic resins. At Luckyscent, 50mL for $95
Nude girl on panther skin, artist unknown.