L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc ~ quick fragrance review & quick poll

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc, product range

I started to review L’Occitane’s new Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc (the latest fragrance to join La Collection de Grasse) together with The Different Company’s I Miss Violet, but that wasn’t working out so well, so here is a quick review of just the Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc.

I’ll start with the name, which should save time for at least some of you: if I was naming it, it would be called Iris Blanc Eau Fruitée or something like…

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Houbigant Iris des Champs ~ fragrance review

Houbigant Iris des Champs, Eau de Parfum and Extrait

Houbigant Iris des Champs was released in fall 2014; it is the brand’s first launch since Orangers en Fleurs, a fragrance that I happened to enjoy quite a bit. Iris des Champs is described as “a heady, plush homage to iris,” with notes of bergamot, pink pepper, rose, lily of the valley, pear, iris, jasmine, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, amber, woody notes, vanilla and musk. It was developed for Houbigant by perfumer Mathieu Nardin.

I looked forward to trying this fragrance, especially since I like many iris fragrances — and how beautiful is that packaging, right? Unfortunately, Iris des Champs didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I’ve been sampling the Extrait de Parfum version this week. It begins in a promising fashion, with a rooty-green iris accord. Weirdly, that iris only lasts about a half-hour…

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Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Violette Sacree & Rose Irisee ~ fragrance reviews

Au Pays de la Fleur d'Oranger Collection Les Inédits

The Neroli Blanc Collection from French niche perfumery Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger was one of my happy discoveries of early 2014: it’s a trio of well-made, reasonably priced interpretations of neroli and orange blossom, and my samples brightened a few long winter days for me. This fall, I’ve been exploring the company’s Collection Les Inédits, a range of more complex fragrances. My two favorites are Rose Irisée and Violette Sacrée, both developed by perfumer Jean Claude Gigadot and released in spring 2014.

With Rose Irisée and Violette Sacrée, Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger presents two classical perfumery themes reinterpreted with a modern sensibility — and you know I can never resist that kind of promise…

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Aerin Iris Meadow & Waterlily Sun ~ brief, only slightly cranky perfume reviews

Aerin Iris Meadow

I wasn’t sure what to expect when the Aerin fragrance brand launched in 2013, but after smelling the first five, I got the general drift. The latest two, Iris Meadow and Waterlily Sun, are in the same easygoing light floral mold as Lilac Path, Ikat Jasmine and Gardenia Rattan (the other two, Amber Musk and Evening Rose, had a little more heft). None of them are the perfumista-bait some of us had hoped for, but they’re wearable enough, and I’ve come to think of the Aerin brand as a sort of mashup between the (early) Jo Malone brand and the (later) Guerlain Aqua Allegoria range: (ostensibly) material-driven, clean, youthful and easy to wear. The bonus factor, I suppose, is the casual-luxe “Aerin lifestyle”, which seems to be the key selling point of the advertising

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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Scent of Hope ~ fragrance review, with an aside on Jacques Fath Iris Gris


I can’t think of another fragrance that matches the mystique of Jacques Fath Iris Gris. Sure, perfume lovers scramble for vintage Mitsouko and study its qualities by the batch number, but Mitsouko is still on the market, and vintage bottles are relatively easy to find. Jacques Fath, perhaps Dior’s closest competition in the New Look years, died in 1954 at the stupidly young age of 42, and Iris Gris — even the name is mysterious and moody — disappeared soon after. Scent of Hope is a recreation of Iris Gris that indie perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz originally made for a private client.

Perfumer Vincent Roubert developed Iris Gris in 1946, just as France was shaking free of World War II.1 Thanks to Denyse Beaulieu of Grain de Musc, I’ve been lucky enough to smell a sample strip dipped in a bottle she bought unopened. I was surprised at how clean it smelled, and how rich the iris was, but of course that bottle was at least 60 years old. I cherish the amber-stained but now-scentless strip as a talisman. But how would Iris Gris smell fresh…

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