Strokes of Yellow, Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris

The story of me and this perfume dates back to 2014 or even earlier on the timeline. I got acquainted with Ramon Monegal brand around 2013, I believe, and it was a year later during my very first trip to Milan for Esxence when I met the founder-perfumer and his lovely family in person. Back in the day Undina and Hajusuuri – my perfume triplets, were talking a lot about Impossible Iris & how much they liked it. But I couldn’t understand why they were so fascinated by it. I was lusting over Ambra di Luna instead. The other day I found my old sample and gave it a try. Something clicked.

Impossible Iris invites me to step into its world with the ripe smell of raspberry. But instead of offering me an adolescent red fruit dollop with an overdose of glucose it serves the berry in an elegant & fancy way. Tart flavor slightly overpowers the sweetness here, and there’s also a bit of this grainy texture coming from the seeds once the strawberry gets crushed between your teeth. There are other fruity nuances that serve as backdrop to it. I get hints of apple for sure and I think there’s also something peachy hiding deeper. And a tad of melon for that juicy-watery aftertaste.

After a while the raspberry rolls in a powdery substance that completely changes the character of this fragrance. The fruit has been covered with small yellow particles that are nothing else but a mimosa pollen. From this point the floral potential of Impossible Iris is revealed. Mimosa gives the perfume a sweet, spring & summery facet. It’s powdery in an airy way but there are also threads of honey and something green that are woven into this accord. It feels pure, innocent and more girly than not. I like that mimosa here is more of an element of freshness rather than a cosmetic vibe.

impossible-iris

This solar powderness of mimosa steps down eventually which leads to a reveal of iris itself. In case of Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris it’s a glamorous and sophisticated floral presence. Its reserved, kind of cold and distanced. Unlike many other irises this one is not powdery nor boudoiresque. It remains silky & soft for most of the time. It becomes slightly buttery at the later stage. I like to think of it as a yellow petals iris, not the usual purple one. It’s definitely different interpretation for this precious flower and its root – for that’s when the true magic of orris lies, buried in the ground.

Ylang-ylang and jasmin enrich the floral bouquet of Impossible Iris by adding a little bit of their own oomph to the composition. The first one makes the scent more creamy, lactonic and it kind of introduces a tropical feeling right there. Jasmine on the other hand makes this flowery concoction feel more full, heady and at the same time a tad more volatile. Finally it all comes down to a cedarwood note which gives a substantivity to the base and which lets the perfume remain on skin for a decent number of hours. And I like a drier woody finish that gives off some aromatic molecules.

All in all I was finally able to understand the beauty of a perfume that Undina and Hajusuuri appreciated years ago. Even though it’s been already 10 years since Ramon Monegal introduced Impossible Iris this perfume can still easily fit into any modern guide on iris perfumes. It won’t become one of my favourites of the genre but I feel a tiny bit richer now that I tried it again so much time later and that it felt clearer now. It’s a fragrance for the curious ones I think. Impossible Iris is an eau de parfum and is available in 50 ml bottles. Make sure to chime in to tell if you tried it before.

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22 thoughts on “Strokes of Yellow, Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris

  1. Holly says:

    It’s a testament to your writing skills that has me interested in giving Impossible Iris another sniff. I tried it many years ago, and I didn’t take notes back then. Raspberry was probably the culprit – I dislike that note and even the fruit itself. All the rest sounds very nice, though. That being said, at this stage of the game I want to absolutely adore what I’m smelling from start to finish and I imagine this won’t meet that criteria. Do you usually save samples for future exploration or reference?

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you Holly, that sample spent around 5 years sitting in a drawer before I gave it another go.
      I’m with you. I just finished a bottle of Eau des Sens and I will probably want something new for the fresh citrus, even though I liked this Diptyque very much.
      I certainly wouldn’t want to regret buying something that I would not enjoy for a whole day.

      If something was a MQS material I usually swap those after I reviewed them. Many samples land in the drawers and stay there for years…

  2. Perfumelover67 says:

    Thanks for the review, Lucas!. I tried Impossible Iris a couple of months ago and I didn’t like it much. I think I was having too many expectations, like with any iris perfume I try. I will retrieve the rest of the sample at a later time and who knows, I may enjoy it by then. I love the name though!

    • lucasai says:

      My pleasure 🙂
      It’s not a typical iris so I totally understand. Just look at me, I needed several years to like it more than before.

      The name is awesome!

    • Undina says:

      You definitely should try it again! I discovered for myself that oftentimes after the first disappointment (and it would be hard not to be – with that name!), when I try it again later without any explanations, I like it much more. Maybe not to the extent to want to buy a bottle, but definitely to appreciate it more.

  3. Undina says:

    I’ll be wearing Impossible Iris tomorrow to honor your wonderful review.

    Is it my absolute favorite perfume (or at least Iris)? No. Would I replace it if I had to recreate my collection? Probably yes, though not among the first, let’s say, 20 perfumes. But I’m glad I have it now.

    What appeals to me in this perfume is that it is very original: it doesn’t remind me of any other perfume that I own or tried. And that quality of being different and recognizable is something I value in my perfumes.

    • lucasai says:

      Yay, thank you! That means a lot. Tomorrow we have a Public holiday here so no more work this week.

      It is absolutely unique and I agree that it’s hard to think of other perfume that would smell similar to Impossible Iris. I don’t feel the urge to get the bottle but it I had a decant I would have drained it eventually.

      I thunked a bottle of Eau des Sens yesterday and as much as I liked it, I also seek for variety in my perfume wardrobe so I’ll most likely replace it by another scent rather than a new bottle of the same Diptyque.

  4. rickyrebarco says:

    Beautiful review! I adore Impossible Iris and have used almost an entire bottle. I love the clarity and straightforward nature of Impossible Iris. It doesn’t hide in powder, but steps out and announces itself with no apologies. It remains one of my favorite fragrances.

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