A woody-floral-musk fragrance from the roots of the Iris Pallida, the most aromatic lily, from the hills of Tuscany. This is the same flower that Iris Silver Mist from Serge Lutens is made from. Eight years of processing are required to extract one litre of iris absolut from 40 tons of rhizomes making it one of the most scarce ingredients in today's perfume world. With notes of iris, vetiver, bergamot, cedar, precious woods, narcissus, geranium, and musk.
I have to admit that while I've had this one in my samples box for AGES, I'd been very cautious about wearing it. Mainly because I was cautious of the geranium note, plus I wasn't sure how this floral would sit on me. Then I received a sample of Chanel's 28 La Pausa, and thought maybe it was time to give Iris a chance.
So the good news is, that at least on first whiff I get none of the deathly geranium smell I was so worried about. Instead a very light pretty iris, with a cedar background. And sadly, on my skin, it may be that the cedar kills everything else. Don't get me wrong, it smells GLORIOUS, it's just I get an awful lot of cedar and not a lot of flower. Now bearing in mind my concerns about the floral nature of this, you may think it churlish of me to berate the scent for not being floral enough. But I'm pretty sure it's not Bois D'Iris' fault, more my skin chemistry.
Having said that... DAMN it's good. There seems to be something very sweet in the centre of it, which I'm guessing is the narciussus. It's not all cedar, but the floral sits very close to my skin and I really have to breath deeply to pick it up.
After a while it starts to get a little powdery, which is just fine by me. I'm starting to feel very silly for not trying this sooner, I have to admit. Eventually it settles down to a lovely gentle musk, lasting about 6 hours on my skin. For me it's probably more Bois than Iris, and as such probably not worth a full bottle for me. (Indeed with it's lovely cedar hit, I've just offered my sample to the Evil Twin, while I get the wherewithal to decant her half of Penhaligon's Elixir.)
But henceforth, I am no longer scared of iris smelling things, and who knows? May even start to look more kindly on geraniums (at least from a perfume perspective, still hate the plants)
Getting hold of samples of this isn't easy, and there are no UK retailers according to The Different Company's website. Once again, those lovely folk at The Perfumed Court are your best bet, although do keep an eye open on Ebay.