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

DID YOU KNOW?

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

SOTD

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.

FUN FACT

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

SOTD

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!”).

RIDDLE 1

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

RIDDLE 2

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

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

 

Iris

 

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

LINKS, LINKS, LINKS

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…

DID YOU KNOW?

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.

 

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.

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Mission: Impossible Iris

She is tall and slender, with very feminine forms, humanoid face and unmistakably alien head with tentacle-like protrusions. She walks a little strange, balancing from side to side. With her light blue skin, navy lips and black nails there’s nothing human in her appearance. She looks cold, emotionless and reserved. She’s a monster. But then she starts singing and everything changes: she warms up, becomes alive and you just can’t stop watching her facial expressions and moves of her hands while she performs the composition in [almost*] humanly impossible ranges. She seems really beautiful and almost human.

Diva Plavalaguna

Impossible Iris is a great name for a perfume. How does one live up to such a name? Ramon Monegal found a perfect solution: his Iris Impossible isn’t about iris. Of course, iris is present but not only it is not in its expected and well-recognized earthy-root-y facet but it is also so well blended with other notes (according to Fragrantica – mimosa, raspberry, Ylang-ylang, jasmine and Virginian cedar) that regular people (the ones without a super-nose or a list of notes) wouldn’t be able to identify what they smell. Reviewers are all over the place describing which notes they smell the most prominently in this perfume. I declare my inability to pick out any of them – even though I think I know how those notes are supposed to smell.

Impossible Iris starts strange and a little aloof (especially if worn in the colder weather). It smells… the word “artificial” has a negative connotation, which isn’t my intent, but I don’t know how to describe this perfume better. It smells not natural – similar to how Mugler‘s Angel smells not natural (though I’m not trying to compare scents themselves). I do not recognize the scent of any of the listed elements but the composition smells good. As time goes by, Impossible Iris warms up, loses its otherworldliness and becomes more familiar and approachable. It sings on skin and it is beautiful.

Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris

Impossible Iris for me is that Diva Plavalaguna of the Perfumeland. I got the first sample because I liked the name. When I applied the perfume for the first time, it wasn’t what I expected or wanted it to be. But it was weird and interesting. And captivating. And I couldn’t stop sniffing my wrist – all the way through a couple of samples to a bottle in my collection.

I don’t know what it is with me, iris perfumes and aliens: it’s the second time I drew that type of association (the previous time it was Alien wears Prada Infusion d’Iris). If you haven’t seen it yet (or don’t remember it well), watch the clip and tell me if you see what I see:

 

Images: Diva Plavalaguna – from the video; perfume – my own

* IMDB trivia on this movie mentions that the singer, Inva Mula, commented to the composer that “some of the notes written were not humanly possible to achieve because the human voice cannot change notes that fast” so she performed those notes in isolation – one by one, and they were edited into the aria. Since then there were at least several claims by different singers of performing the same composition live. You can easily find their clips online but I don’t know either if those are really unedited recordings or if they actually are doing it exactly to the original (my abilities are not good enough to hear that).

In the Search for the Perfect Iris

 

Favorite flowers

Playing with numbers for the Entertaining Statistics post about favorite flowers of Birgit’s (Olfactoria’s Travels) readers reminded me that I planned to write this post for a long time. It was half a year ago. And I haven’t got to it since then. Last week when hajusuuri shared a cute idea of this week being an iris(h) week  I decided it was my cue.

I like iris as a flower; it was my favorite flower before I knew it was used in perfumery (which wasn’t obvious since irises do not have a pronounced scent). A scarf with irises (at least that was the idea, don’t judge my tracing/drawing abilities too harshly) was my first (of three) silk painting exercises.

Silk Scarf with Irises

Compliments

That day I was wearing my favorite iris necklace and Iris Silver Mist. At an antique shop, as I was paying for two vintage perfume minis, an owner – a woman in her sixties, I guess, – first complimented me on the necklace and asked if it was antique. I told her that it was contemporary and “made by the same designer who made those spoons” (and I pointed to one of the glass displays where a variety of Franz Collection’s porcelain spoons were presented). And she actually remembered the name without looking it up. Then, while wrapping my purchase, she also said something like: “Oh, something smells really good!” She thought it was one of the perfumes I was buying. But actually it was my Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens.

Franz Collection Iris Necklace

Later the same day at Ann Taylor store a sales associate girl in her early twenties complimented me again on the necklace and my outfit. I told her that a piece of it was from the brand and she recognized a blouse. But she really liked my necklace: she told me again how pretty it was and even pointed it out to the girl who worked at the next register. “It looks almost as if it’s made of porcelain!” – she exclaimed. To which I responded: “It’s because it is.” Then she asked me if it was still available and gave me a piece of paper to write down the designer. As I was scribing the name she kept praising the necklace: “It’s sooo beautiful! I’ll try to find it… for my mom – she’ll love it!”

I stepped out from the store and, laughing, told my vSO who waited for me outside about the “compliment” I got. Theoretically, I could be her mother and I can just hope that it’s her mother (who must be at least slightly older than I am) looks younger and not the other way around. But I was glad she didn’t inquire about my perfume: judging by the antique lady’s compliment it could be right up the alley of this girl’s Grandma’s tastes.

Iris perfumes

I found not one but many perfect iris perfumes. Most of them are well-known, well-reviewed and well-loved so I’ll skip the usual part of giving all the details and just name those iris perfumes I enjoy the most.

Iris Perfumes

Infusion d’Iris EdP by Prada (have you read my story Alien wears Prada Infusion d’Iris?), №19 EDT and parfum by Chanel, Iris 39 by Le Labo, Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle (it was featured in two of my Déjà vu episodes; if you’re curious take a look here), Hiris by Hermes (I want to thank again Portia of AustralianPerfumeJunkies for the mini bottle of this beautiful perfume), Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne, Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens (even if you do not want to read at least take a look at the picture from Natalie’s post; that image stayed with me since I saw it and with which I always associate Iris Silver Mist now), La Femme Bleue by Armani Prive and my most recent perfume crush – Impossible Iris by Ramon Monegal (I think Rusty likes it: it was the only bottle in the group he sniffed for a while).

Rusty And Iris Perfumes

The following perfumes I’ve tried but didn’t fall in love with: Iris Ukiyoé by Hermes, Iris & White Musk by Jo Malone, Iris & Lady Moore by Jo Malone, Iris Pallida 2007 by L’Artisan Parfumeur, Iris Ganache by Guerlain, Bois d’Iris by The Different Company, Iris Nobile by Acqua Di Parma, №19 Poudre by Chanel, 28 La Pausa by Chanel, Irisss by Xerjoff and Iris Noir by Yves Rocher. Most of them were nice and I wouldn’t mind wearing most of them (but Iris Ukiyoé – it smells unpleasant on myskin) if I happen to own them but I do not plan to pursue any bottles from the list.

 

If you like iris in perfumes what are your three top choices? (You won’t have to give up the rest, I promise!)

 

Images: my own