Iris Silver Mist – Serge Lutens

I was desperate to try this fragrance. When my sample arrived, I quickly wrote out my initial impressions in this essay, and have only just revisited it (07/06/2012) and couldn’t believe I’d left it like this. Iris Silver Mist is an outstanding fragrance, and my review just was amateurish and didn’t match. So here’s the new version…

Iris Silver Mist opens so beautiful, it literally leaves me speechless – with my fingers hovering over my keys. In description – it is ethereal, a deep shade of grey. It starts both slight and fragile, and yet so full and dense it becomes an overwhelming intensity.

An iris, so dense and doughy it becomes a solidified mould, envelops the skin with a raw carrot aroma. The wet carrot shards grated atop a thick doughy/bread, give ISM a savoury/wheat like accord, counterbalanced by the light dusting of powder from the iris.

The top is a blinding light, rounded with a glow of careful aldehydes. A smooth, round ball of orris root (from iris) remains damp, seeping out this celestial liquid which embodies the aroma of the carrot, heavenly perfumed powder, a warm dough – whilst a rising note of clove adds a cool, almost medicinal edge. The clove is in perfect balance, never overwhelming, and never melding with the dough-like scent to create anything reminiscent of bakery. It gives the iris an even more abstract, clinical feel, cold and almost heartless.

Underneath the alien floral, is a bone-dry scent of frozen earth. You can just about smell the soil – packed solid, almost dusty. A delicate sandalwood adds to the velvet floor, and a pale musk softens the harsh aspects of the iris powder. The cool, camphorous aroma of clove interweaves with the earth, creating something only just recognizable and familiar. As it becomes visible behind the supernatural opening accords, it is engulfed into a super-being-of-a-scent, and melts into something that becomes only what it is – Iris Silver Mist.

It is melancholy, and yet unifying, becoming tranquil over time. The cool, harsh accords that pierce the smooth regularity, never fully allow you to be comfortable in Iris Silver Mist, and from my experience with it so far – it always wears you – always. Having said that, it is something to slowly become more and more familiar with and it does get more comfortable the more you explore and understand it.
It’s linear nature means it is always predictable but never mundane, and the opening accords of carrot-y iris root, with the medicinal edge of cloves, calm into a ghostly trail that hovers delicately around you all night long.

It is a truly beautiful iris fragrance, and a soliflore like no other. The treatment of the iris note is pushed in every possible direction and expanding until it is incomparable to its core. What I mean is: the single note manages to become many other things – carrot, dough, powder, iris flower etc. It becomes this note of sheer absolute, that manages to morph its surroundings and play with your nose – a rose is a rose, but an iris is so much more.

Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist 75ml bell jar – 130 Euros

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12 thoughts on “Iris Silver Mist – Serge Lutens

  1. chris says:

    This is a Stunning Fragrance. A Work of Art. My all Time Favourite, So Unique.

    • I’m very glad I’ve tried it, but it will definitely need multiple wearings before I love it. I just find if fascinating and beautiful right now. The drydown for me was a disappointment, a little soapy I’d say, but this was from a dabber, I’ll transfer it to a spray and get the full feel.
      First impressions were great though, as with most Lutens’

  2. Sounds interesting, I’m starting to like the florals myself. Although, I’m getting a bit frustrated by the fact that not all Serge Luten fragrances are available in the US. I really want to check out La Myrrh after reading some great reviews. Frustrating!

    • You can get yourself a sample through The Perfumed Court :)
      Yes you can’t keep yourself away from florals. You’d be missing out on so much!

      • I never thought about going through the Perfumed Court. Perfect! Thanks!

      • They have all the exclusives, they are just painfully slow is all. I ordered six samples which took 6 weeks from order to arrival and it was split over three packages as it doesnt say when things our out of stock. Pain in the bum, but, only place to get them :) price is reasonable.

  3. Hamish says:

    Iris is atypical of the florals becuase the iris commonly used in perfumery is extracted from the rhizome (a type of underground stem) of the plants.

  4. I am glad you find it interesting. This means that eventually you will love it. And yes, iris is not technically a floral ingredient. It is often combined with florals to accentuate the soft aspect. Iris Silver Mist is a perfect example of what it can do on its own.

    • I’m sure I will.
      I’ve found that I’m instantly fascinated my numerous Lutens and have lunged myself into a rushed purchase (Tubereuse Criminelle for example) and THEN grown to adore them. I’m sure this will happen with Iris Silver Mist, it’s so ethereal and a perfect melancholy fragrance that I can wear.
      Thanks for reading :)

  5. Pojkfröken says:

    Oh I really love your reviews and the way your writing them! Thanks for sharing.

    And btw, I adore Iris Silver Mist and got myself a little bell jare of the good juice somewhere in the closet. It’s just hard to know when to wear it, it’s so gothic and vampiric? But not in the cute “college vampire boy” way. More of a mesmerizing countess Bathory style. Absolutely beautiful.

  6. Thanks for reading,
    You’re very lucky to own it.

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