Iris 39 has a really beautiful opening. The iris flies out pretty quickly and I get a real sudden blast of apple. The iris is warm (weirdly), powdery with that gorgeous doughy – wheat like note that all us iris lovers craveeeee. The apple squeezes some juice over the bread, and the pairing is wonderful, rich and mouth-watering. The apple note turns a little sour and more citrus’ until a familiar lime not comes forward – I’ve said numerous times how much I love lime as a replacement for bergamot and other generic citrus fruit top notes…
Within five minutes or so, once the juicy citrus has calmed down and the iris has tamed into somethings delicate and warm, I get some clean tea rose, and a lightly candied violet – with the rose slightly dominant over the iris. After noticing these, I smell a patchouli becoming more and more present until Iris 39 brings to mind a more potent, floral Voleur Des Roses – a clean rose, patchouli made slightly metallic by the crisp iris, with a light violet on top. I’m not saying these are extremely similar, but it is the first fragrance that comes to mind when I sniff the heart of Iris 39. It’s at this point when the fragrance becomes to me, more of a rose/patchouli than an iris – but the iris still has an important role.
The rose and patchouli are both CLEAN. The earthy iris and violet (as usual) are CLEAN. Iris 39 is perfumey, and scrubbed up until it squeaks. It literally gleams a shiny scent that I’m surprised isn’t overloaded with aldehydes on the opening. I really enjoy it though
I smell something green which I don’t think is the patchouli, it’s more the scent of distant cut grass – a dewy freshness of leaves that is faint, but really puts a translucent shade of green over the entire composition – like a “bamboo accord” or something.
In the later drydown, there’s an introduction of musk (which obviously works harmoniously with the still carroty-doughy iris), I find the musk to be relatively clean as well – but I think could be perceived as dirty considering it is the only thing that has the merest hint of skank in Iris 39. The rose/patchouli duo do begin to separate so that their accord isn’t quite so familiar and traditional. The violet evaporated long ago, and instead the merest hint of ylang creeps in.
The drydown (and most of the fragrance actually) feels very handsome and polite – whilst it isn’t something I would choose to wear, I really enjoy the smell of it and would love smelling it on someone else. I think it may just be a little mature for me…
All in all, a lovely iris *cough*rosepatchouli*cough* which reinforces the fact I have to explore more of Le Labo… and iris’ in general.
Iris 39 50ml Le Labo – £95 Liberty