Tag Archives: Bois d’Iris

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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Restful tides, Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris

Collection Extraordinaire by Van Cleef & Arpels was introduced to the perfume market in 2009. At the beginning it consisted of six fragrances, to the moment the line grew up to eight thanks to Precious Oud (2011) and recently launched Rose Velours. Collection Extraordinaire is a set of high-end perfumes created by different noses with use of high quality, most expensive raw materials.

The perfumer who worked on creating Bois d’Iris for Van Cleef & Arpels is Emilie Coppermann. “To smell wood, to see its scent from a totally different angle, forget the idea of the forest, leaves, and earth, and picture it on a beach, floating in waves, and washing up on the sand.¬†Driftwood warmed by the sun. I paired it with Ambergris and Labdanum to underscore the solar and sensual dimension of this wood. Iris and Vetiver bring out the texture and elegance of this fragrance.” Thats what Emilie Coppermann wanted to evoke with this particular perfume creation. And she did it perfectly right!

It was one year ago when I first got interested in trying VC&A Bois d’Iris, and then other perfumes in Collection Extraordinaire. A sample of this perfume was sent to me by a kind American friend I met at Basenotes forums. We exchanged many opinions and messages – the talk quickly made us realize that our tastes were similar. She supposed I may enjoy this scent so she included it with the package. When I smelled Bois d’Iris for the first time I was hooked! The beauty of this perfume talked so seduclively to me that less than a month passed until I purchased my own bottle.

On my skin Bois d’Iris begins with the most sensual, delicate and embracing amber accord I have experienced in perfume so far. This smell is very tender, dare I say kind of sexual, but at the same time it’s amazingly inviting. Just a few minutes later, when the perfume settles on your skin this amber note becomes a little bit more balmy. It’s not the simple doing of the amber. A glorious and pure incense amplifies this effect. It’s slightly smoky but so well blended into the composition that even those who hate incense may fall in love with this perfume. At first I didn’t know Bois d’Iris has incense, was surprised when I found out, positively surprised of course. I was really happy to have a perfume with this note!

At the moment of minute 20 the iris enters the composition – it appears with glory, dressed in the most expensive and luxurious clothes. It’s kind of powdery in style for the moment it appears. To me it smells so chic, so alluring and absolutely elegant. Vanilla changes its character to a custard puff, but this impression quickly subsides. The evolution of iris into its woody gown is the most fantastic and enjoyable part of this fragrance. The subtle way it changes and solid effect that is obtained give such a contrast that it’s impossible to miss this part in the progress of Van Cleef & Arpels scent.

Bois d’Iris sources its woody iris from driftwood – that is a name for wood that has been washed onto a shore or beach of a sea, lake, or river by the action of winds, tides or waves. It posesses a very refined, smooth and pleasantly woody aroma. When I smell this phase of the perfume I envision a lonely beach with a pale beige sand and a big piece of wood that once was a tree before it somehow landed in the ocean and all its bark and sharp edges got smoothed by the waves of the sea. I am there, listening to the gentle whispers of the breeze.

Along with the woody notes my nose sometimes catches a smell that I think is salt. Like there was the ocean, salty air captured in this perfume. Or maybe that was just an illusion of ambergris or myrrh, the latter can sometimes be salty. There’s also a sugar note in Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire Bois d’Iris and my nose gets it but it depends on the weather and temperature. Sometimes it can be very strong on me, sometimes it barely appears. Other notes include vetiver and galbanum that I didn’t trace down.

To me this perfume is very unique and unusual. It renders the precious note of iris in a very interesting way combining it with warm ingredients such as amber, incense and a driftwood which gives a final touch of elegance to Bois d’Iris. This perfume is also dear to me, I bought it to award myself after obtaining my bachelor degree at university last year.

I think this perfume tells a story of going to the seaside. It’s the secret story of the driftwood. Nobody knows where did it come from, how long was it drifting on the waves and how long ago was it washed onto a shore. So many things you don’t know about it. But now its in front of you – white, laying on the soft sand, ready to be smelled and touched to give you the feeling of smoothness. This wood surely survived a lot. So remain quiet, close your eyes and listen to the breeze, it might tell you the story of this mysterious piece of wood.

Bois d’Iris has a very good lasting power and decent sillage. To me it’s quite unisex, but some may suggest that it smells more feminine to them. This may depend on the number of sprays, weather conditions and skin matters of course. Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire scents come on 75 ml bottles of a simple and elegant design, eau de parfum concentration. The solid glass bottle bears a black lacquered cap, around the bottle neck there’s a string with a pendant with VC&A logo.

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