Bas de Soie tricks you into thinking it’ll be an iris not too dissimilar to Iris Silver Mist on first spritz. There’s the iris right up top, doughy and earthy that within seconds, gets a little green and a little spicy, until it falls into a whole new category of iris. Bitter galbanum – a dense greenery partners with one of the best hyacinth notes I’ve smelt. It’s slightly spiced, green, almost vegetal… I find that natural hyacinth almost smells “swampy” – and that’s exactly what it does here. It’s not dirty however, handled with the slightly powdered, almost starched-clean iris to create something that smells extremely classical and restrained.
The iris smells bright white, amplified by some clean musk to create something that borders on laundry, tinged with a metallic vibe for a few fleeting minutes – with the naturally spiced greenery cutting through the density of the still-present doughy quality underneath. There seems at times a hint of violet, but it comes in and out of focus. What the heart is made up of, is a straight forward but bold structure of iris/hyacinth and galbanum - melding together in a crisp green floral that doesn’t smell like a natural spring scent, but a definite perfume. The bitterness of the florals and the cleanliness of the whole composition means that to my nose at least, it smells almost gentlemanly, or a stern feminine that doesn’t crack a smile… something many say about Chanel No.19.
It’s a little sharp for the first half an hour, that metallic note popping in and out, a little jarring but not uncomfortable, no where near as much as it was in Iris Silver Mist for me. At times there are hints of clove, pepper, I even get nutmeg… whether it is just the hyacinth, I don’t know – but it adds a warm quality to Bas de Soie which increases as it lives on your skin, the fragrance transitioning from cold to warm.
I guess I understand the comparisons to Secretions Magnifique… but it’s a long shot. In the drydown the memory of the metallic notes, the iris and the woods and muskiness, does bring to mind a broken down version of SM, but there’s none of that horrific “turned” milk, and the subtlety here results in a completely different experience. It shouldn’t be something to put you off… or come on, no one would wear this.
It’s long lasting, although in time, close to the skin. Remaining slightly sharp, formal, but easy enough to wear whenever. It is a scent that comfortable fits next to Stephen Jones by Comme Des Garcons in my collection. It makes me feel smart and is desperately classy