Luca Turin gives this four stars and dubs it a "woody iris." It is practically a soliflore in his book, matched only by the Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist.
I find it to be a perfectly pleasant pure iris note, which on me is slightly plastic, very dry and evocative of a unique leather. Fath's Iris Gris is the penultimate in the iris experience, matching the iris with a lovely peach note.
The negative aspect of 28 La Pausa is its evanescence. It disappears so quickly, that its exorbitant expense makes it prohibitive as a purchase.
Too delicate, considering the Lutens has more presence for half the price.
All of the Chanel Les Exclusifs Iíve tried feature a conspicuous iris note, but in 28 La Pausa a rich, doughy iris root is the uncontested feature attraction. If a dessert chef were to make a spiced carrot and parsnip custard, infused with jasmine and a touch of smoky vanilla, it might smell a good deal like 28 La Pausa. The velvet soft iris note lounges on its cushion of spiced florals like a Titian nude in the Dogeís palazzo: lush, seductive, and just out of reach. This is a luxurious scent, but not loud or showy. Sillage and projection are both moderate, surrounding the skin in a loose envelope of fragrance. As 28 La Pausa dries down, it reveals a creamy wood base with a marvelously natural character. If the scent has any failing, it is endurance Ė the drydown arrives after perhaps two hours, leaving me wanting more.
Chanelís treatment of iris in 28 La Pausa is matched only by Serge Lutensís Iris Silver Mist and Maitre Parfumeur et Gantierís Iris Bleu Gris. But where the Lutens is opaque and shadowy, and the Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier lit in bold chiaroscuro, the Chanel is suffused with a gauzy, golden light. Lovers of iris root will want to try this, and those unfamiliar with iris in perfumery could find no better introduction to the note.
09th June, 2014 (last edited: 12th June, 2014)
28 La Pausa is very light, ethereal exercise in iris. Not the powdery, creamy orris butter that at the core of all the classic Geurlains; but rather a cool, airy rendition of this ethereal and obscure note, quite anemic if to be perfectly hones, and supported by ionone, irone and synthetic musks to extend its metallic presence without adding much longevity or blood. If the inspiration for it is the green-shuttered villa in southern France, then 28 La Pausa is the breeze blowing in the gauzy cotton curtains, bringing in the scent of a just-watered garden with iris and wet concrete pavement. There is a hint of indole in there, giving the ever so slightly warmth of jasmine petals. But it's not enough to bring in any of the relaxed, carefree Joie de Vivre spirit of southern France, nor its neighbouring Italian riviera the house is supposedly overlooking. If this is Chanel's mood on her vacations, then she's most likely sewing mosquito nets indoors, or else sketching patterns on a glass coffee table. She should be indulging in the fresh air, beaches and abundant Mediterranean scenery and loving sun. But she's not. She's cold inside her stone villa, letting only the cold sea breeze come in.
28 La Pausa, the orris scent, is quite lovely, but honestly - do we always have to have an iris scent in every exclusive/niche collection? Apparently, the answer is yes. And now Chanel had to dip her hand in that icy water of sparse iris scents, in order to prove that this house is expensive and trendy enough.
I am with those who are happy to stick with the tried and true Hiris de Hermes and Apres l'Ondee.
Notes: Iris, Ionones, Jasmine, Indole, Ambrette, Musks.
I've had three different takes in three different wearings, so this may be an impossible one for me to review or own.
In one wearing it was quite lovely - restrained, classic, a little ethereal, mannered, actually somewhat bright, the iris being fairly naturalistic. It was the big crystal vase of cut iris in the day room, chairs and settee swathed in beautiful summer cotton upholstery, the shimmer of refined light coming through gauzy curtains, a serene room of refined contemplation.
In another wearing, it became a flat and somewhat gray iris powder, a little drained of its life, a piece of pale opaque powdered papyrus in the room instead of a vase of flowers. Or the marble statue in the corner, beautiful but lifeless. It tended to drain the life out of me.
On the third wearing, it went somewhere in between, a semi-unsatisfactory place where it was struggling to be all it could be, but wasn't quite making it. It had the hints of a refined beauty, but struggled for life.
I'm not sure how to rate it. I see it's beauty, but also it's capacity for flatness on me, at which point the air goes out of it. Its good character on me seems to be partly a result of a shimmering air which gives sophistication to some respectable, tasteful, but somewhat flat underlying notes. I will have to compromise and give it a neutral.
16th December, 2013 (last edited: 05th January, 2014)
A stunning, yes properly translucent (with its heavenly rose-iris wave) and piquant iris with a fragile and tender consistence similar to a stellar dust and with a soft (wet) woody vetiver backbone. Vaguely musky, clear, fresh/dry, minimally hesperidic, "neutral" and slightly talky (powdery and peppery). The realistic iris substance is along the trip attested by its real but delicate rootiness (i would say botanic grassiness) in a while disgorging in the powdery territories. There is a tea like dominant vetiver accord throughout till the woody powdery floral dry down. Yes classy and gentle as a victorian garden, mannered in an almost baroque way but a bit too much evanescent and impalpable on my skin.
Pros: Classy and ethereal iris