I was never very fond of the idea of popular designer brands launching special new collections branded as “exclusive” or “boutique” lines. As if they tried to prove they can go beyond their own mass-market offerings and produce something more unique, less mainstream and from higher quality ingredients (supposedly). Many of those special fragrances are limited to designer’s own salons and that often triggers the feeling that the harder something is to get, the more tempting it is. Armani Privé is one of those exclusive side lines with limited distribution. Even though they are available in Poland in large Douglas salons I haven’t tried a single one of those. Until now.
The perfume in this line that felt interesting enough for me to actually seek for a sample holds a name of Iris Celadon and was launched in 2016. When I saw someone offering a small-ish decant I immediately made an offer and it worked out. A week later I could give it a try & decide if it was worth the effort. On my skin the perfume opens with a tart, slightly dusty bergamot that quickly fades away. When that happens a glimpse of elegant aldehydes appear on top, making the perfume much more glamorous and charming. The aldehydic vibe is fizzy but has some weight to it. It kind of feels like a nod to Chanel No.5 or 1932. However Iris Celadon feels less bright because there is cardamom that smells dusky. Maybe 20 minutes later iris enters the composition. Powdery, almost chalky at first, it smoothly changes into a silky, gently floral self. It feels modern and old-fashioned at the same time.
Heart of Armani Prive Iris Celadon hides a secret – for there is iris again but in a different form. There’s no possibility to mistake iris concrete for something else. The smell is very rich, buttery with some creamy nuances to it. Sometimes it might feel a bit gooey and in different moments the smell of iris butter entwine with the scent of dried roots with a little bit of earth. After a while the perfume becomes darker. Chocolate note adds a new color to the perfume, making it feel slightly powdery. The smell of cocoa is distinctive but not overpowering. It blends nicely with iris concrete – combined they smell like chocolate ganache. I didn’t detect mate absolute mentioned among notes. In the drydown there is a handful of semi-dirty patchouli with earthy, rooty vibe with a hint of balmy qualities. Musk and ambrette make it softer but they also have a dirty facet. Luckily iris as dominating aroma wraps around it all making it smell really good. Few hours later there’s a suede-like effect.
Iris Celadon by Armani Prive is a lovely perfume after all. It’s true that it’s not innovative or especially creative but I still find it very pleasing. It was created by perfumer Marie Salamagne, has good longevity and moderate sillage. Yet at a price of almost 200 € for a 100 ml bottle I don’t think I’ll be ever tempted to buy it. If you tried Iris Celadon and thought the same way you may be pleased to know that I found this fragrance to be very similar to Moonlight Patchouli by Van Cleef & Arpels which retails at a lower price, so maybe this is some sort of solution. The flacon of Iris Celadon has a simple form, it’s black with a gold name plate. Cap that looks like a stone is made in celadon color (neither blue, green or grey) but it’s apparently made of synthetic resin. Try this perfume if you can.