Iris Poudre (2000)
by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

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Iris Poudre information

Year of Launch2000
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 244 votes)

People and companies

HouseEditions de Parfums Frederic Malle
PerfumerPierre Bourdon
PackagingFrederic Malle
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies

About Iris Poudre

Iris Poudre means 'Powdered Iris' in English. The fragrance is an aldehydic floral, so may be too feminine for some. Created by 225 who also created classics such as Cool Water

Iris Poudre fragrance notes

Reviews of Iris Poudre

Editions de Parfum Frédéric Malle wasn't Pierre Bourdon's first go-around with ultra-luxe brands, as he was the "ghost perfumer" behind scents like Creed Green Irish Tweed (1985), and Bois du Portugal (1987), so he was already well-equipped to deliver on the promise of olfactory exclusivity and prestige promised by the bottle graphics. Bourdon's creation helped launch the Editions de Parfum Frédéric Malle label back in 2000, which is when Iris Poudre hit counters. The concept behind this one was an honest-to-goodness aldehydic floral based on "powdered iris", which is effectively delivered in the dry down. Obviously, a scent like this was a direct stab at the classic early and mid 20th century feminine florals, which have increasingly become more suitable to men as tastes expand and barriers crumble, but unless you fancy yourself a modern dandy or are very liberal with your sexuality like myself, you might want to stay away from this one if you're a guy. I won't condemn this to "grandma's Avon" but it's pretty close with it's piquant top, creamy aldehyde heart, and musky base. Pierre Bourdon has certainly done better work (for less), but I find no fault in this since he was working under the context of a pretty strict theme, like with most Malle creations. Iris Poudre is absolutely nothing novel, nor even really anything particularly interesting, but you likely new that after reading the title of the perfume, and like a period-correct Penhaligon's scent, will appeal mainly to folks who romanticize this era of perfumery and it's surrounding culture.

Iris Poudre opens with bitter bergamot, orange peel, a faint rosewood, ylang ylang, and carnation, feeling like a "Sgt. Peppers" of old-school women's florals right away, and this opening lasts quite a while actually. I don't get much iris from Iris Poudre, at least not right away, and the florals give way to (wait for it)... more florals in the heart. The aldehydes aren't apparent right away, but when they show up, they're conjoined to a muguet note with just a drop of jasmine hedione. Magnolia is supposed to be here too, but I can't get a read on it personally. I'm also not getting much rose from this, but when you have two out of three tiers in a note pyramid dedicated to florals, this is bound to happen. The base here is as expected for this venerated type of scent, with musk, amber (hello Avon), vanilla, sandalwood, and finally that claimed powdered iris. It's the faintest of things right near the end, and although there at the finish for the skin-scent phase, really doesn't actually justify the name of "Iris Poudre" given, but maybe that's the point. Pierre Bourdon was instructed by Malle to make an old-fashioned floral aldehyde scent, and like most of them from back then playing on a single note theme, Iris Poudre gives the impression of the eponymous note through a build up of other notes, in effect being a high-end take on a drugstore synthetic iris scent a la something from the likes of Coty or Prince Matchabelli. Iris Poudre has a wear time that is in line with it's high-end theme, so if you dig what is presented here, a few sprays will keep you in a small bubble of flowers, aldehyde, and musk all day long, and is quite strong out of the sprayer, so be careful. I give a thumbs up to Iris Poudre for it's earnest approach to this kind style, but it's not really so much my thing.

Iris Poudre was likely a fun exercise for Pierre Bourdon back in the day, as 2000 was not exactly the time for aldehydic florals, and to be asked to go back in time 50+ years to make something this classic in style, and to do so with relatively low budgetary constraints is like asking a musician to record with vintage equipment his or her heroes used in decades past, and part of that "recreating history" shows in Iris Poudre. Is it wearable in the 21st century? Well, that depends on how much you care about what others think of the way you smell, but in the strictest of terms, not really. This is a very prim and proper scent regardless of gender, and feels like a cousin to something like L'Air du Temps by Nina Ricci (1948) or Wind Song by Matchabelli (1953), which is definitely a hard sell unless you're a rich hipster particularly into postmodernism through fragrance. I like Iris Poudre if only because I like how unapologetic it is about what it wants to be, and there is just something very comfortable about it's airy opening, smooth transition between floral layers, and eventual soft musky glow. I do detect some faint aromachemical assistance right at the very end, but it's nothing like the norlimbanol/ambroxen bombs that Malle is passing out nearly 20 years after this member of his debut lineup launched. Pierre Bourdon's dandy display of flower power will set you back a few hundred, so I'd definitely hit up a counter to sniff before you go home with a bottle, since many of the originals from the era this emulates still circulate online for a lot cheaper if you want to get your foot in the door on this style. That having been said, this is perfectly buttoned up for work or casual use in almost all seasons save winter, and the Malle faithful likely don't see the investment needed to enjoy the retro-modern Iris Poudre as that big of a deal.
19th August, 2018
Sharply pretty: nothing romantic or touching about it but tough, modern and likeable. It mellows a little in the far drydown. Nice to wear and a salutary shake-up after lots of vintage.
29th November, 2017
I was really hoping to love this one because Iris Poudre sounded like just the kind of thing that would up my sophistication game. I have a decided lack of floral aldehydes in my perfume repertoire, but wanted to change all that after falling for Amouage Gold. Here, I thought, was an even more classy, glamorous scent that would prove that I have good taste after all!

No such luck. I really like the opening foray: the citric aldehydes bubbling away and the delicate florals that make me think of Chanel, but soon something I could not recognize or name started to make me go increasingly squinty-eyed. This note (or notes) smelled chemical and synthetic in a highly unpleasant way--a scratchy, irritating melange of...something. I still don't know what this/these woody-ish base notes are (ebony??), but I do know whatever it was ruined my interest in this particular Malle. Oh, well, I'll always have Une Fleur de Cassie.
05th October, 2017
Elevator to the Gallows by Louis Malle 1958
09th September, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I get the iris fairly early on, after the slight orangey-bergamot citric opening blast rescinds. It is a dry iris that on me is never really sweet by it itself. It is characterised by a light and fresh contemporaneous powderiness that is never stuffy or crusty.

The drydown sees an enhancement of the floral core of this creation, mainly jasmin with while florals like magnolia, which are freshened up by a decent lashing of alhehydes - hence the comparisons with Chanel No.5.

The base sweetens gradually, with ylang-ylang and a fairly restrained tonka impression coming to the fore, underlined by a nonspecific amber-infused woodsiness. Still, the iris remains palpable until the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin,

This spring scent is a lovely take on the iris theme, although at times a tad too predictable and several notches in quality below the great and incomparable Iris Gris. Still, one of this house's more memorable products. 3.5/5.
02nd August, 2017
I've worn and loved No. 5 since I was 19, so it is probably all too logical that I'd like this perfume. I definitely smell a lot of similarities, although Iris Poudré has a few twists of its own. It does smell very powdery, so much so that I have a hard time detecting iris, but I don't particularly mind.
Projection seems very good, there's a very nice and pleasant cloud around me as I type this. Unlike Carnal Flower, where I actually preferred the scent straight up and didn't enjoy the dry down, this one smells fresher and more pleasant in the air than on my skin.
If I didn't already have No. 5, I would consider getting this. As it stands, I will pass for now.
06th December, 2016

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