Good irises come in pairs. At least, it sure seems that way. Two of my favorites are the matched Prada pair, Infusion d’Iris and Infusion d’Homme. They’re even better in French – as member JaimeB taught us on Basenotes. Most people don’t like their pronunciation of fragrance names corrected, but I have yet to meet anybody who doesn’t agree that the romantic sounds of AHN-fyoo-ZHEE-ohn dee-REES and AHN-fyoo-ZHEE-ohn DOHM basically prove that French is truly deserving of its status as the mother tongue of fragrance.
And then there is Dior Homme. If you count the cologne, two pairs. Don’t get me started. I own nearly the whole line. Dior Homme. Dior Homme Intense. And the AMAZING Dior Homme Sport. This was not only how Olivier Polge changed the gender of iris, and started the recent note-gender-crossover trend in men’s designer scents – I really think this was where his snaggage by Chanel was almost a foregone conclusion – provided that he’d take the job. Which I had hoped for, desperately. Olivier Polge and Coco Chanel are that situation where you have two friends who are perfect for each other, and everybody knows it – even them. It’s as if the only reason they don’t get together immediately and irreversibly is because they have to prove to the world that they’ve got it – that they’re brilliant and desirable and the best in the world without each other, so that when they finally do come crashing together by destiny, it’s even more romantic.
Know what I’m sayin’?
But anyway, back to irises, per se. In addition to Le Labo’s Iris 39, which is both stunning and rather loud (so much so that it is sometimes offensive to my wife), Primrose also sent me two other iris scents that I simply MUST tell you about. They are almost a matched pair – one for the boys and one for the girls. Sadly, the one for the ladies is going to be hard to find. But the one for men is MOST awesome, and the good news on that one? Technically, it’s also for ladies.
OK – ladies first.
L’Occitane Iris Eau de Parfum is surely a good one for the girls. The problem is, this fragrance seems to be either HTF or DC – which in Perfume Forumese translates as hard to find or discontinued. I’m not even sure which variant of long-gone L’Occitane iris scents this is, because there appears to have been multiple marketings of them. The only place I found one currently online at any L’Occitane en Provence storefront, was on their Arabian website, of all places. Yup. Not even on the French site.
But there are a few reviews for what is either the same or a very similar fragrance from L’Occitane, on Basenotes and elsewhere, and they basically will tell you what I’m going to tell you. This is iris and violet. It is crisp, clean, smells very nice, and a bit girlier than Infusion d’Iris, thanks to the violet. Not for me, but I can imagine a lot of women liking this. Personally, I prefer violet scents that are a bit spicier and more polyfloral – the new Bvlgari BLV II Eau de Parfum is quite awesome to me, as is the old Bvlgari pour Femme, which my wife has always loved. So I would not necessarily recommend this to somebody who was looking for a really great but specifically iris experience. However, if you love iris and violet, then this really great iris and violet experience is seriously worth checking out.
So, now, a more accessible treat for both guys and gals.
I liked this stuff the moment that I smelled it. And there is a reason for that. Alberto Morillas. This guy just knows how to please me. My first Morillas favorite was the old Givenchy Pour Homme, which was the woody sport scent that attempted to succeed Givenchy Gentleman and never really did. Nevertheless, I grew to love that newer, weaker, clearer juice as much as my older, stronger, greenish-yellow GG.
Years later, I saw this ad for Pour Homme, and never forgot it. I thought the ad was a brilliant lie. No way was this stuff a substitute for Givenchy Gentleman. But, I had to admit that the marketing was clever as hell, and the ad copy sexy in the same way that Hitchcock is scary – by showing nothing and implying everything.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Iris. Iris Prima is easy to describe. Infusion d’Iris and Infusion d’Homme – strange Prada couple that they are, wearing thousand-dollar orange rubbery plastic flat-bottom sneakers and slicked-back hair with no smiles – decided to have a little naughty action with BVLGARI MΛN, because he’s oddly normal and loves his day job, and – well – things happen. We won’t ask what kind of genetic chimera was necessary to pull this off, but the future TV program My Three Parents will surely explain it all for the 75% of Earth people who never went to school because their robots did, and who do all their Mars shopping by Amazon Space Drones on their ΣβΘ cards.
Or something like that.
Anyway, this is good stuff. Penhaligon’s does their best to try to make this scent as classy as they can, with a pile of ballet slippers that looks like what people who don’t stack beer cans do when they have too much white wine.
Don’t fall for it, BRŌZ. As everybody points out, this stuff is Dior Homme or Infusion d’Homme, only I would go further, and say that it is more of a sport scent – more yuppie and easier to wear in the office. The iris is clear, but there are plenty of spices behind it to keep it manly. And yet the freshness is comparable to Infusion d’Iris, which I always contended was more of a sporty scent than Infusion d’Homme, which is actually the “perfumier” of the pair.
But don’t worry, ladies. You can pull this one off. It’s a brilliant balancing act – and really fits the ballet metaphor. Enough that you and hubby will surely fight over the bottle, and then both use it, when he wants to go to the ballet, and you want to go to the rodeo.
Or something like that.
OK. Gotta be fair.
Here’s one for the ladies+, IYKWIM. See if you can guess who he is. Answer here.
PS – Again, thank you, Primrose. We definitely had a keeper here – absolute top of my list from Penhaligon’s now!