6 irises for festive season

Boom, it’s 17th of December which means that Christmas Eve is only 7 days from now. The time is really passing by and now is the highest time to get serious if you still haven’t finished your holiday shopping. It’s also a good time to do some general house-cleaning before it will be too late and of course some of the dishes require some time to be prepared or to “mature” for your Christmas Dinner. I know that in many cultures Christmas Eve on 24th of December is not as important as Christmas Day, December 25th but no matter how you look at it, it’s a special moment of the year. The food is special, you most probably wear some more elegant clothes and if you’re a perfume lover you are going to spend some time deciding what fragrance to wear for this occasion.

The fact of me being an iris lover is widely known to all of you, my dear readers. But if you give it a deeper thought, iris – as a note, with its noble and elegant character and with so many possibilities to interpret it makes for an ideal choice for a leading accord in your perfume for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Following that thought I present to you 6 irises that in my opinion would be a very good options as scents of a festive day. Presented in no particular order.

  • I decided to pick Atelier Cologne Silver Iris due to the fact that I find it pretty unusual iris. A situation where iris and black currant meet at the crossroads results in a refined, crisp and tart fragrance. It also has some ozonic dewiness of violet leaf as well as a little bit of citrus sparkle coming from tangerine. In this perfume powdery notes entwine with those delicately spicy and sensually attractive ones. You will love this one & who knows, maybe it will gain some additional values when it mixes with the scent of gingerbread floating around the room?
  • Christmas is also a time of decoration and sparkle. The trees that we bring home each December would not be the same if you couldn’t put some shiny & shimmering Christmas balls on it. Thus Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue is my second choice – because this perfume is like liquid gold. In this alternative to iconic Infusion d’Iris the perfumer enhanced the sensuality of all ingredients. Iris is very soft and buttery in it, with a rooty vibe. Benzoin, lentisque, vanilla and tonka add depth, structure and dimension. Even if it doesn’t last as long as its predecessor, it’s absolutely worthy the experience you’ll get in return.
  • Woody iris with a twist is what we like and what I consider highly alluring when it comes to festive attitude. Frederic Malle Iris Poudre might not seem to be an obvious choice of mine but come on… It’s uber powdery what makes it feel very luxurious, especially when it blends with vetiver and sandalwood. And those aldehydes, sparkling like bubbles in a champagne – they just add some retro glamour to this perfume. Musky tones when not overdone will embrace you and will provide additional portion of invisible cuddle.
  • There is absolutely nothing bad in reaching for oriental fragrance to wear during winter holidays, unless you are reaching for some serious heavy-hitter.I don’t recommend those. But Stephane Humbert Lucas 777 Khol de Bahrein is not a heavy-hitter. It’s a “smooth operator” as I call it. A combination of savory sweet notes, resins and iris is bewitching. The opening is lightly sugary and to me it reminds the smell of nougats. As it progresses it unveils luxurious-smelling resins and iris – dense, buttery, very refined and elegant. It’s a balsamic perfume with an aura that will envelope you in happiness.
  • Are you afraid of stepping beyond some invisible line of wearing a perfume that others might find too bold? No problem, why don’t you go with the classic thing. Namely – Le Galion Iris. Revived and remade fragrance, based on a recipe from 1937 easily stole my heart when it was launched in 2014. It begins slightly citric to evolve into a powdery being after a few minutes. It might feel like talcum for a short time but later the powderness becomes more pronounced. This perfume is colored white, because of lily. Galbanum, mimosa – they all add to floral and green-ish side of this composition. Very classy.
  • Last but not least I wanted to suggest Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris. This balsamic composition is starting with a bit cold and reserved iris accord that gains depth thanks to vanilla and amber. Incense, driftwood and myrrh add this unusual feeling of something salty, woody and smoky at the same time. Like finding a piece of old wood on the wild beach. Sugar adds a bit of simple sweetness, while ambergris and labdanum introduce darker and more animalic elements. But the perfume is blended so well that even those tones never become overly strong. This is a very well-behaved perfume. Suitable both for modern gentlemen as well as for slightly old-fashioned lady.

Which one out of these 6 would you go with? Or maybe you have another option? Do tell!

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48 thoughts on “6 irises for festive season

  1. jillie says:

    I shall be wearing the Atelier for Christmas! You introduced this to me a few Christmasses ago and I wore your sample that Christmas Eve and Day. Since then I associate this lovely perfume with Christmas – not just because that’s when I first smelt it, but because (as you say) its spice and citrus notes complement the seasonal fragrances. And of course it has touches of my favourite violet.

    Happy Christmas Lucas – and to all your readers!

  2. Cornelia Blimber says:

    My Iris favourites will give you the shivers of pure horror : Iris Silver Mist (!!!), Dior Homme Intense, Shalimar L’Initial, Hiris and, when I am in the mood for it, Bas de Soie.
    From your list (helpful!) I would choose Iris Poudre. It reminds me of the now sadly thin No.5, one of my favourites.
    I missed Shermine in your list!

    Happy Christmas to all!

  3. hajusuuri says:

    Oh my! I actually have FBs of all six although Khol de Bahrein was a partial bottle purchase. In any case, I love every single one of tbese! On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I will need to wear something that is perfume phobic family member safe perfume…Cuir Beluga, No.19 and the like.

  4. LeshKat says:

    Iris is one of my favorite notes too! If I had to pick one, though, it would be Atelier’s:). I’d also add Penhaligon’s Iris Prima to the list.

  5. tammy says:

    I think of you every time I wear iris! Of your recommendations, I have only ever smelled the Prada, which is lovely!

    My Christmas Eve fragrance is always Nuit de Noel, but I”m hoping that Santa is bringing me TDC Bois D’Iris this year, so who knows what I might be wearing Christmas Day??

    Merry Christmas, Lucas, and the happiest of New Years to you and your loved ones.

    Merry Christmas, fellow readers!

    • lucasai says:

      How sweet.
      Isn’t Infusion d’Iris Absolue gorgeous? I like it over EdP version.
      Never tried Nuit de Noel (Caron, right?)
      Fingers crossed for a bottle under your Christmas tree

      Merry Christmas

  6. shellyw says:

    Sorry, sent by mistake in the middle of editing the above,

    None of these yet, although I may have a chance to get the FM one as a sample. Merry Christmas

  7. Holly says:

    Happy Holidays Lucas and all your dear readers!

    I also definitely think of you when it comes to iris perfumes, and these are all great picks! Each of them has a different personality that would suit the various holiday activities that people engage in, and you’ve got it pretty much covered. Except for ….

    Iris Nazarena, which I have recently fallen head over heels with. I rarely consider buying a full bottle of anything any more but this is absolutely fbw not only for the fragrance itself but for the bottle as well. I know you love it – do you consider it a “heavy hitter”? I’ll admit that this is a new love for me, and you know how that goes and love is blind etc. But really, the name alone is so evocative of Christmas that I insist we fit it in somewhere anyway. πŸ˜‰

    • tammy says:

      Oh my goodness, I had forgotten about Iris Nazarena! I’ve been wanting to try that for so long! And yes, how perfect for Christmas!

      • lucasai says:

        You haven’t tried it yet? You should πŸ˜‰

        • tammy says:

          I know, I know…. in fact, it seems like I must surely have, but it’s also possible I have been avoiding it on purpose…. I haven’t been able to find work in several years, so I don’t need the temptation! I am a bottle person, so the combination of the perfume and the gorgeous bottle would probably put me straight into Divorce Court! :o)

    • lucasai says:

      You are so absolutely right, Iris Nazarena could make a great addition to this post. I love it’s incensy, ashy iris tone, so unusual. And the bottle is so pretty. I have one travel spray of Iris Nazarena which I treasure and only wear in special occasion. And no, I wouldn’t say it’s a heavy hitter

  8. Maria Ho says:

    Infusion d’Iris Absolue is one of my favourite scents all categories and Iris Poudre is still one of the most beautiful scents I know of. Bois d’Iris doesn’t work for me (wet twigs on the ground), but I’d love to try the remaining trio :). I wish I owned Iris Prima and Iris Nazarena, they are both stunning. Happy holidays everyone!

  9. Ania says:

    Iris is the first note I got obsessed long time ago. After a phase of roses I’m back to the roots, literally, as I like orris best. I have Prada, Iris Poudre and Bois d’Iris from your list, Silver Iris didn’t work for me at all. As for Christmas Eve I’m thinking of wearing Hiris or Iris Nazarena, at Christmas Day maybe 31 Rue Cambon. I’m also very curious about Iris Cendre, hope to test in Warsaw where I’m flying tonight, I’m so happy to spend Christmas in Poland πŸ™‚ Btw, my default ‘flight scent’ is VCA Bois d’iris, cozy and calming.
    Happy Holidays!

  10. tiffanie says:

    Hello and thank you for your list of festive iris fragrances.

    I have fallen in love with a small sample vial of Infusion d’Iris. I do not know if the sample is the EdT or EdP so I will sample both before my sample vial is empty.

    And Infusion d’Iris Absolue is on my list now, another lovely scent to seek out.

  11. Undina says:

    Great list, Lucas! The only perfume on it I didn’t try is Stephane Humbert Lucas 777 Khol de Bahrein. But the rest are great perfumes.

    If I were to go with one perfume from your list, it would have been Iris Poudre. But for me Christmas is an occasion to wear something “louder” (I do not have a perfume phobic family member to appease πŸ˜‰ ), so I’ll probably go with either one of Amouages (Gold, Memoir or Ubar) or, maybe, wear my favorite Climat.

    Loved your picture!

  12. The only one I haven’t tried from your list is Stephane Humbert Lucas 777 Khol de Bahrein. Must try! I love all the others you listed there. I’d love to add Vanille d’Iris there though. πŸ˜‰ That’s my newly found love.
    Happy Holidays, Lucas!!

    • lucasai says:

      I highly recommend trying Khol de Bahrein, it’s exquisite.
      OJ Vanille d’Iris somehow doesnt smell as good on me as I’d wish it to smell.

      • jillie says:

        Just chiming in, Thinkingmagpie and Lucas, about the OJ. It didn’t suit me – but I think I didn’t expect it to smell the way it did! Not its fault. For some reason it reminded me of paper ….. but I will have another go at it as it’s not fair to only give it one chance.

        • Oh that’s a shame, jillie and Lucas, It’s leaning toward vanilla than iris but for me, it’s the perfect vanilla I can wear! I’ll definitely try Khol de Bahrein, sounds truly gorgeous. πŸ™‚

    • hajusuuri says:

      I’ve only given this one try and will need to try it again. I could barely detect any vanilla and the iris was quite thin. Perhaps, as Jillie said, it was unexpected, kind of like getting an icy sorbet when one was expecting an ice cream based on the name. I wore it when it was warm abd I think I should try it when it is colder and on a cold wet spring day.

      • jillie says:

        You’re right, Hajusuuri. I might give it another go after my bath tonight! I think I am also getting a little sensitive to the Ormonde Jayneade …. perhaps it’s the Iso E Super?

        A vanilla that I never tire of or feel nauseated by is Juliet by Juliet Stewart – a sweet vanilla tempered with citrus, basil and spices which smells so cosy but not tooth-rotting. The one negative is that it is quite expensive, and the cost of shipping it to the UK makes the purchase prohibitive. So I am eking out what’s left in my bottle.

      • lucasai says:

        I was expecting a cosy and enveloping iris with vanilla but it truly smelled rather flat. I shall retry it soon when it’s colder, maybe it will get better in such weather

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