Acqua di Parma launched Iris Nobile in 2004. The fragrance was created by Francis Kurkdjian and Francoise Caron and features notes of iris petals, star anise, mandarin, bergamot, cedar flower, orange blossom, iris roots, vanilla and amber crystals.
Iris Nobile starts with sharp, sparkling citrus and strong undertones of anise. Over the next 20 minutes, the anise fades, and in its place comes a soft orange blossom over a bed of buttery iris. The iris itself is very delicate and subdued, with just a whisper of powder.
It is an elegant, unobtrusive, very feminine perfume. It is lightly sweet, but not overly vanillic, and I do not notice the amber. There are no earthy notes, and fans of the dirt-caked-roots style of Hermès Hiris, Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, and The Different Company Bois d'Iris may perhaps be disappointed. Personally I need all four fragrances.
Iris Nobile is an Eau de Toilette, and it is very light — a little dab does not do it justice. I first tried it from a mini splash bottle, and I hardly noticed the citrus or the anise, and found it very short lived. I thought it was pleasant, but not something I needed to buy. Later a spray sample came my way, and I was hooked. Two sprays last about 4 to 5 hours on me.
Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile is $74 for 50 ml, and is also available in 100 ml, bath salts, soap, body lotion, and deodorant spray. For purchasing info, see the Acqua di Parma listing under Perfume Houses.
Update: see also review of Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile Eau de Parfum, which launched in 2006.