Aedes de Venustas, a luxurious niche perfume boutique located in West Village of New York City introduced its newest perfume creation which had its premiere on 15th June 2013. Described at Aedes website as “mysterious, mystical, sensuous” Iris Nazarena with the notes of iris and incense “matches the worlds most precious aromatic material with the most ancient. This is “iris, reborn” – they say. This perfume is a second take on the perfume art by Aedes de Venustas. First they created a scent called Aedes de Venustas last year. Earlier, in 2008 L’Artisan Parfumeur made a perfume for them. Thus Iris Nazarena is overally a 3rd fragrance but 2nd from Aedes themselves.
The very first accord of Iris Nazarena delivers a smell of astonishingly beautiful incense to my nose. When I smell it I think of incense sticks and ash. After an incense stick has completely burned there’s always some ash left on the tray. And this ash is almost weightless. You can spread it between your fingers making your hands black, but the weight is almost nonexistent. Incense note in this Aedes de Venustas creation is almost like this ash, it has no weight. It floats in the air, creating mesmerizing whirls of smoke, before they disappear, only leaving a trace of smell in the air.
Five minutes later a star of this perfume, iris, appears on my skin. Describing it is not an easy thing to do since Iris Nazarena smells like no other known iris perfume I tried so far. This one is different… To me there’s nothing floral about it. I would rather say that it has much more to do with a root. A smelly root, quite dry, without any water or damp soil sticking to it. With the magnificent incense staying very close to the iris note. At some point I thought I noticed a carrot undertone but it disappeared in a blink of an eye, so it could as well be just my imagination.
30 minutes from the moment of applying I begin to notice woody notes inside Iris Nazarena. I cannot say that I smell a particular species of wood here because I don’t. As another wafts of the fragrance reach my nose I get different impressions of this accord. It was very smooth one minute and the other minute it seemed to be more rough. The other day when I wore Iris Nazarena the woody notes reminded me of lacquered wooden benches with hints of Mysore sandalwood. Funny, huh?
Leather is the note that appears very shortly after the woodsy tones come forth. The leather I get is elegant and soft. It lacks the harsh aspects of pigments and the pungent kick that often characterises this note in modern perfumery. I would compare the leather I smell in Iris Nazarena to a new leather bag or maybe a jacket. It’s shiny and refined, like an expensive piece of clothing. The note is additionally mellowed by ambrette and it’s slightly creamy aroma.
At the end of 1st hour of wearing it, Iris Nazarena slowly evolves into something I would call “an ode to spices.” The transparent smokiness enveloping the rooty iris is still in the center position of this fragrance but some additional spicy qualities appear now, at hour 1 mark. I absolutely adore the star anise note in this perfume. It’s light but substantial, kind of making me think of a gingerbread (but it doesn’t really smell like a cookie!) I bet it’s the addition of cloves, sweet & spicy, that gave me this association. Even later, at 1,5 hour I could smell the pimento berries with their silvery-metalic finish which combined with oud note smells quite appealing, not to say charming.
In late drydown Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazarena is a soft, kind of plushy, suede-like perfume made mainly of iris and smoke. Occasionally one might notice some roses mingling in the background along with shimmers of amber. Soft, quite cosy, but not really dreamy.
Interesting fact about Iris Bismarckiana, a Nazarethan Iris growing only in the location of the mountains to the west of Nazareth (the city) is that the root of this flower is completely odorless. Thus Iris Nazarena couldn’t have been inspired by its smell. It’s more likely that the inspiration for this perfume was a flower, it’s creamy, brown and gray petals, their silky softness. It explains the gorgeous gray color of the glass used to make a flacon of this Aedes de Venustas fragrance and a grey suede-like box.
Iris Nazarena, created for Aedes de Venustas by perfumer Ralph Schwieger is a gorgeous, mysterious and “shy” fragrance. The rough elements used to create it resulted in charming, but at the same time colder and more reserved fragrance. To enjoy this perfume you need to uderstand it, you need to find it’s inner beauty. The entire composition leaves impression like it was more of a masculine than feminine iris. My skin allows me to enjoy Iris Nazarena for around 10-12 hours and I think that it would last even longer when it’s colder. The sillage is great for first 2-3 hours and then it starts to get smaller. I only have a sample of this stunning fragrance, I wish I had more.
Iris Nazarena is an eau de parfum concentrated fragrance available in 100ml bottles with a gold baroque zamak cap. Grey velvet box and smoky glass bottle represent a Sfumato mode in art.