March 15, 2016
George Lawrence Bulleid (English painter, 1858-1933) Iris
When you think of perfumes from The Different Company , the ground-breaking Rose Poivree, the edgy beauty of I Miss Violet and the spot-on realism of Sel de Vetiver are among the first to come to mind; all wonderful fragrances that garner a lot of well-deserved attention. But today I’d like to shine a little light on my favorite of the house; the impossibly elegant Bois d’ Iris. It doesn’t get a lot of buzz, but impeccable taste doesn’t need to shout to be noticed.
Bois d’Iris was released in 2000 and created by none other than Jean-Claude Ellena. The maker left his indelible mark on this perfume, using his magical alchemy to somehow add by taking away, to make a fragrance more beautiful and intricate even as he makes it sheer and translucent. M. Ellena shows once again that the delicacy of water-color is no less beautiful than oils on canvas.
Vincent van Gogh View of Arles with Irises
Bois d’Iris opens, as so many of my favorite perfumes do, with a piquant dose of bergamot. The bergamot melds perfectly with geranium in the heart, but this fragrance is aptly named; iris and cedar are there from the very beginning. Both notes are dry and crisp. The iris is dry without being powdery, and the dryness of the cedar keeps it from getting too sharp. Violet isn’t listed in the notes, but I swear I detect just a hint, supporting and adding sweetness to both. Narcissus and a bit of vetiver contribute a slight earthiness to the fragrance.
Portrait of Woman w Shawl by Tamara De Lempicka 1898-1980
Wearing Bois d’ Iris is like wrapping yourself in a beautiful silk scarf that’s been kept in a cedar-lined drawer. Memories and a trace of perfume linger on the scarf, and you smile softly, knowing that more memories are soon to be made.
Vincent van Gogh, Undergrowth with Two Figures
Despite the floral notes, Bois d’ Iris could easily be worn by anyone, especially anyone who loves cedar. The geranium and cedar really stood out on my husband’s skin, while the iris and cedar were most prominent on me, and the cedar was noticeably sweeter.
NOTES: iris pallida, vetiver, bergamot, cedar wood, narcissus, geranium, musk
DISCLOSURE This review is based on a (nearly empty!) bottle I purchased myself.
Tammy Schuster, Contributor
Iris pallida, Pierre Joseph Redouté (1759-1840). From P. J. Redouté's Choix des plus belles fleurs, published in parts (each part containing four plates) in Paris from 1827 to 1833. Plate 64.
Editor's Note: The creation of this fragrance is quite remarkable. As far back as 2000, Jean-Claude Ellena had a different way of working- justoposing Iris and Wood. Androgynous. Its richness and its olfactory character is partially a result of the high percentage of natural Iris roots. Iris is a note that many have been trying to imitate, but rarely has this root had this particular treatment of 8 yrs of complex processing. 40 tons of rhizomes were required to extract one liter of iris absolute. It takes 70 kilos of Iris Pallida to make 90 ml of Bois d’Iris. As the Equinox approaches, Iris know as the flower of spring, is a perfect perfume to usher in the season.
Art Direction: Michelyn Camen
Thanks to the generosity of Luc Gabriel the Creative Director of The Different Company we have a world wide draw for a 50 ml bottle of Bois D’Iris for a registered reader. To be eligible please leave a comment with what you enjoyed about Tammy’s review, if you love iris fragrances, your favorite The Different Co. Perfume and where you live. Draw close March 18, 2016
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