Summer Iris

While most of classifications, such as gender or seasonality, as well as more specific designations – genres, families and notes – are relatively abstract and often very subjective, we still use them, even when we break all the rules and wear heavily pronounced oriental perfumes in a heatwave or cheerful citrus number in the dead of winter.

In my mind iris perfumes belong to spring. It doesn’t mean that I don’t wear them all year round, especially considering our local weather, and I had a full winter month of iris perfumes (do you remember last year’s Februiris (©Lucas)?), but mentally I place my favorite Chanel No 19, Prada Infusion d’Iris or Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris somewhere in March, maybe April when their warmth and cool duality perfectly matches an early Spring weather (or, at least, my conceptual image of it).


Butterfly Iris


As it often happens in Perfumeland, I tried this perfume by chance: last year my occasional guest writer and perfume twin hajusuuri sent me Swarovski studded atomizer filled with Houbigant Iris des Champs. I do not remember the exact story of that atomizer but I think hajusuuri got it from a friendly SA with a purchase of something else, tried it and passed the remaining portion to me.

It was such a pleasant surprise! From the first time I sprayed Iris des Champs on I was charmed by it: it was a very subtle and beautiful floral composition with warm powdery iris nicely blended with Lily of the Valley, rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang (additional notes listed are bergamot, pink pepper, sandalwood, amber woody notes, vanilla and musk). I quickly finished the decant, refilled it from a bottle I bought soon after that and sent it back to the original owner.


Houbigant Iris des Champs


I do not think that Iris des Champs is not suitable for a colder weather: I wore it in December and enjoyed it very much. But either because I got my bottle in summer or it actually fits me better when it’s warm, but I consider Iris des Champs my summer iris. All those notes I listed above? I don’t know, if you tried this perfume, please tell me what you can smell besides iris. I think that a slight soapiness that I get comes from rose (and, strangely, I do not mind it here, even though usually it bothers me). And I could probably vouch for whatever could be considered very light amber. But beyond that you could take or leave any of the notes, and I’ll believe we’re still talking about the same fragrance (as I stated earlier, it’s abstract and subjective).

Iris des Champs is elegant, light and extremely office-friendly while not boring. You might not like it (I don’t think it’s everybody’s darling) but I find it original and unusual enough to have it in one’s collection if you happen to like it. Also, the packaging is nice, and price is more than reasonable if you do not mind shopping at discounter sites.


Rusty and Houbigant Iris des Champs


Images: my own


27 thoughts on “Summer Iris

  1. How nice that you’ve found your summer iris.

    I was missing iris this summer but wearing Iris Silver Mist over Seville a l’aube has helped. I wear No.19 in the spring but usually reserve ISM for autumn because it so rooty and misty.

    Great photos. Now I want to buy a bunch of irises.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember seeing you mentioning that combination: it would have never occurred to me to wear these two together. I’ll revisit the updated ISM to see if I want to get it and if I do, I’ll try this layering.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! Iris is a more recent love for me, but I’ve enjoyed several this summer: Irissime by Jacques Fath is one, though I think it’s discontinued (I bought it at TK Maxx in London at the start of the summer). I also love Nirmal, by Laboratorio Olfattivo, and Terre d’Iris, by Miller Harris.


  3. I adore Iris and I agree that Iris de Champs is perfect for summer. It’s so light and airy and a.bit cool feeling.
    Perfect for a hot day. Swan Princess has a similar feel for me.


  4. Now, that’s a perfect topic for me! Iris lovers unite here and now!
    Februiris was a great project that I have fond memories of!

    Iris des Champs was one of those fragrances with iris that I wasn’t sure if I like it or not upon the first trial but it kind of grew on me the more I tried it from 2-3 samples I’ve gone through.

    You know, in my calendar iris is a year-round note for perfume but there’s something quite true that iris feels the best in the spring time or in early autumn (think September/October).

    Quite a summery iris (but not only) that joined my collection a while ago is Dusita Splendiris. I will eagerly send you a sample when we plan next parcel swap, because I’m curious what would be your thought on it.


    • Unless you decide to go for a bottle of it, I’ll send you the next decant once it gets cooler.

      I’d love to try Splendiris, so unless I get to it somewhere at a store before the swap, I’ll take you upon your offer.I know that iris, in general, might be worn at any time but since I usually cannot wear heavy ambers in summer or light florals and occasional citruses in winter, I try not to occupy those seasons with perfumes that can be worn all year round.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So happy to see your review of this iris perfume. I really like it, but have not yet found a bottle at a very affordable price (having to count in postage fees, customs clearance fee and what not). I’m fairly sure I’ll have a bottle within a year nonetheless. Such an uncomplicated iris to wear and iris seems to read as clean and office friendly to most people.


    • You should find a perfume mule! I couldn’t believe how cheap it was on Internet compared to the B&M store. And since it’s not the most popular perfume, I’m pretty sure it’s not fake. I hope it works out for you: it is beautiful.


  6. I wear iris all year round Smas you do as well and I also agree it is specially appropriate in spring. Other than the themed month Februiris or themed iris weeks. I think I end up wearing iris a lot because they tend to be the ones on heavier rotation and easily accessible. I have to revisit the Iris des Champs when I locate it.


    • So many perfumes, so little time! But I hope you’ll find it. And you know where to get more if you don’t need a “large sample.” ;) That travel atomizer can take a couple more round trips between coasts.


  7. I love the Houbigant Orange Flower scent so I wonder if I would like this? For some reason, I don’t seem to seek out iris scents very often. I’m not sure why, except that for me it is like the violet note: either love or hate. Although it is not an exciting scent, the Prada Iris is just about perfect to me. So classy and easy to wear. I will seek this Houbigant out next time I walk through a Neimans. (My dept store sniffing has suffered this summer with my broken ankle–very housebound!) On another note, why do you not like the name Swan Princess? Too girly? Just curious…I liked it for the ballet reference, but then I also look at labels when I pick wine, lol.


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