Month of Irises: Week 1 (Feb 1st – Feb 7th)

Welcome to our Month of Irises project!

This post will be updated continuously during the next 7 days. For more details see here, but in short – come back every day to read something new I added for the day, see what perfume I chose to wear and share your SOTD.

February 1, 2018


As I discovered (and more or less confirmed beyond just reading Wikipedia), it is not a coincidence that iris plant has the same name as Iris, the Goddess of the Rainbow: there is an opinion that the name refers to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species of irises. How many? 260–300, according to the Wikipedia article in English. I’m mentioning the language because, as I noticed by browsing pages in several different languages, the number of species varies significantly from language to language (e.g., it mentions 100 in Greek, 210 in French and 800 in Russian) but only English version has citations for the numbers – so it seems the most trustworthy.



SOTD 2/1/18

I decided that it would be fitting to start this month with the perfume that serendipitously had all of the notes in my perfumista-style rainbow mnemonic:

Rose, Oakmoss, Ylang Ylang, Galbanum, Bergamot, Iris, Vetiver

As several of you correctly guessed, it is Chanel No 19 EdT. And since it’s one of those perfumes that does not require an introduction, I’ll just leave it at that.

February 2, 2018


In how many projects can one person participate with the same perfume on the same day? My goal for today was to fit both this project and NST’s Groundhog Day community project, for which each of us is supposed to randomly choose between “winter” and “spring” perfumes, predicting that way what to expect from this winter.

Since my Winter and Spring iris perfumes come in bottles, it would have been hard to “randomize” them. Instead, I decided to trick Rusty into making that choice for me. Two balls made from tissue paper were to represent Winter (blue) and Spring (green). After careful consideration, Rusty ran away with the green ball (all pictures are from the same sequence, I didn’t touch the paper balls between shots – hover over each picture to see the steps description).



So, according to Rusty, there will be an early spring – and I’ll be wearing my “alien” Spring perfume Prada Infusion d’Iris EdP. Now let’s wait and see whether Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow.


Angela Zito, a co-director of the Center for Religion and Media at New York University, screens the film for students in her Buddhism class. She said that ”Groundhog Day” perfectly illustrates the Buddhist notion of samsara, the continuing cycle of rebirth that Buddhists regard as suffering that humans must try to escape (a belief, Dr. Zito noted, that was missed by executives at Guerlain, who, searching for an exotic name, introduced a perfume called Samsara in the 1980’s, overlooking the negative connotations).

Groundhog Day is one of my all-time favorite movies. I own it on a DVD, watched it many times and plan to watch again today to celebrate this day. I expect Rusty to particularly enjoy it too since the only place I can watch it is sitting on the sofa, and he’ll get to spend the whole evening sleeping on my lap.

February 3, 2018


Infusion d’Iris that I wore yesterday was great, and I could still smell it through the whole movie we watched but I hope not to be stuck in the same day wearing it…

I know that 6 more weeks of winter was predicted, so to everyone who suffers from cold weather, I’ll cite beautiful lines from Coleridge’s “Work Without Hope” that I noticed today for the first time in the “Groundhog Day”:

And WINTER, slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!

By the way, I was right: Rusty must think that this film is the best thing… OK, not ever but since Die Hard, which we watched for Christmas.

Today I plan to wear Chanel 28 La Pausa: since it’s a weekend, I plan to try “hajusuuri’s approach” – 8 sprays (or as many as I have left in my sample) to see if it sticks around (and I still can’t stop giggling at Lucas’s comment:“At least it doesn’t need 28 sprays!”).


Saturdays are usually lazy, so I’ll leave you with a short riddle:

What do Pacific Coast, Rocky Mountain and Louisiana have in common?

February 4, 2018


I’m not sure whether nobody saw the riddle (post updates do not trigger e-mail or other notifications, so I don’t know how many readers remember about my “rolling” post), or just wasn’t interested, or didn’t know the answer – so I’ll give the second clue, and tomorrow provide the answer.

Pacific Coast, Rocky Mountain and Louisiana have in common the same thing as Bamboo, Blood, Blue flag and White cemetery. What Is that?

SOTD 2/4/18

While 28 La Pausa was very nice and, applied with a heavy hand, stayed longer than I remembered, I’m glad to report that I do not regret not buying a bottle of EdT while I could. But still – very nice.

I plan to wear Guerlain Iris Ganache hoping that my decant is still fine – I haven’t touched it in a couple of years, which probably means that it was a good idea to buy just a small portion instead of going for a bottle. But I’ll report back.

February 5, 2018

The answer to the riddle: “What do Pacific Coast, Rocky Mountain, Louisiana, Bamboo, Blood, Blue flag and White cemetery have in common?” – these all are common names for irises.


Speaking of names, did you know that there is an iris cultivar called Perfume Counter?




SOTD 2/5/18

I plan to wear Atelier Cologne Silver Iris – one more decant that I’ve been neglecting. Iris Ganache (older version, not the one re-released last year) was very pleasant but I was right: I don’t need more than I have since there are so many perfumes that I enjoy more.

February 6, 2018


Silver Iris that I wore yesterday was very pleasant but … too office-friendly: not being too strong to start with (just enough oomph for me to find it interesting), it sets down to almost nothing within a couple of hours. But it seems that it behaves differently both for Lucas (Chemist in the Bottle) who likes it very much and Angela (NST) who didn’t love it herself but thought it was good perfume to test for those who were “starting out on […] iris quest.”

And this is Victoria’s (Bois de Jasmin) review for Mugler’s Oriental Express – perfume that a couple of readers wore yesterday, even though it doesn’t list iris as an official note. I can confirm that from my own impression it does smell like iris.

SOTD 2/6/18

Since I have a couple of meeting during the day in a small conference room, I need something quiet – so I decided to go with Hermès Iris Ukiyoé.

February 7, 2018

The last, seventh, day of the first week of the Month of Irises. It is probably a good enough reason to have a celebratory drink…


Orris root is among the most common botanicals in gin. It is used, mostly, not for its own taste profile but rather as an aromatic fixative that helps to preserve other aromas in gin.



SOTD 2/7/18

Iris Ukiyoé, which I wore yesterday, is probably the most floral of my iris perfumes (as tiffanie perfectly described it in her comment below – “not-iris iris perfume”). And it’s extremely quiet. So today I want something “louder.” I should probably go with Le Labo Iris 39, one of my most favorite iris perfumes.


What are you wearing today?


Images: from Wiki Commons red iris – KENPEI, orange iris – Kor!An, “green” iris – Simone; the rest – my own.


My First Unsniffed Purchase: Chanel №19 Poudré

It started completely innocently: less than two months ago another perfume blog (APB) published a brief article about the upcoming launch of Chanel №19 Poudré. It was a big surprise for me. Not because of the launch itself but because this was the first time I heard about it, and the information was coming not from my “regular sources,” big and well-known sites and journals (I read a lot of perfume-related noise) but from a fellow-blogger. First, I thought I’d somehow missed it so I went and searched all my usual suspects. Nothing. Then I searched Google, Facebook, Twitter. With similar results: all I found was a couple of vague tweets from random users and trademark registration information. Of course, within a week the picture changed, there were articles appearing here and there, but I still think that APB pioneered with that information in our perfume-related part of the blogosphere; and I felt strangely intertwined with it.

When I read that Chanel №19 Poudré was going to be available for preview at Selfridges in London starting June 1st and no specific date for the U.S. launch, I felt I couldn’t wait. I wanted it. NOW. Luckily (?) for me a friend of mine was on a long business trip to the U.K. and he agreed to buy this new Chanel’s flanker and hand deliver it to me. And he did.

Rusty and No 19 Poudre by Chanel

Chanel №19 Poudré – created in 2011 by Jacques Polge, notes include neroli, galbanum, jasmine, iris, white musk, vetiver and tonka bean. It comes in the eau de parfum (EdP) concentration.

I’ve been testing it for the last two weeks in different environments and combinations – in the office, during the weekend and on a vacation; in sunny weather and under the rain; alone and alongside with Chanel №19 in all possible concentrations – EdT, EdP and Parfum. Here are my thoughts.

Chanel №19 Poudré opens very nicely with a strong iris note which I like more and more with every next wear. While anxiously waiting for my bottle to arrive, I read so many discussions and speculations about the perfume that now I’m not sure if it actually was just a speculation, but I want to state that I do not think it’s a powdery scent at all. The iris in №19 Poudré doesn’t smell powdery, or cold, or earthy, or dirty as in many other perfumes that I like. Iris in this perfume is very well-behaved and appropriate, it’s soft and creamy. And just a little daring – like a single hair lock carefully places to look like it spontaneously broke out from the elegant updo hairstyle. This is the most interesting stage of this perfume’s life cycle, and it will probably sell it well to those shoppers who make their decision at the perfume counter. In ten-fifteen minutes iris subsides almost completely, and №19 Poudré becomes a softer, “rounder” and, in my mind, less interesting version of the original №19 EdP. I only have a manufacturer’s vial of Chanel №19 EdP of an unknown vintage, so I do not know how the current version smells but assuming it’s not too far from the one I tested, №19 Poudré EdP has much less character than the original №19 EdP, though it strongly reminds of it.

Unless you’re one of those people whose body constantly produces heat, I should warn you that an air-conditioned environment (and maybe cold weather but I haven’t tested under that condition) kills this perfume for me: I could hardly smell it on my skin after a generous application in two hours in the cool office. On the other hand, on a warm and humid day six hours into wearing I can still smell it without pressing my nose to the skin.

If your favorite Chanel №19 concentration is eau de toilette (EdT) №19 Poudré might be not a bad idea since it’s even farther from №19 EdT then any “native” variations. But if you love №19 EdP or parfum I do not think №19 Poudré will work for you: it’s not different enough to justify the changes.

My cat Rusty who favors Chanel Beige when offered two wrists – one with Chanel №19 Poudré EdP and the other one with vintage №19 EdP, sniffed the latter for much longer and much more attentively. I think he prefers the classic one.

Do I regret my unsniffed purchase? I’m not sure. Yes and no. I will be using it from time to time, I do not dislike it. But I think should I have tested it in the store I would have bought Chanel №19 EdT instead. But it’s definitely not the worst outcome.

Do you remember your first unsniffed purchase? Was it a hit or miss for you?

As always, feel free to post a link to your blog’s post(s) related to the topic.

Image: my own