More oriental than iris, Iris Oriental wraps a rooty, ammoniac iris up in a thick blanket of resins, woods, spices, and a syrupy, souk-like amber, making for an iris that, although built for comfort and not speed, is far from sophomoric.
The treatment of iris here is quite novel. It is only really evident as a note in and of itself in the first hour or so, when it displays a high-toned, almost acid yellow fruity brightness that sings in the same register as bergamot. So when the slightly metallic iris root note begins to bleed into the lower layers of honey, amber, smoky resins, and woods, it’s hardly any wonder that my mind flicks sideways to Shalimar. In fact, I credit Iris Oriental for making me understand, finally, just how important the iris note is in Shalimar. But Iris Oriental is not derivative or copycat; it references some of the building blocks of Shalimar but is its own creature. So much so that if you weren’t a devotee of Shalimar like me, the connections might not even enter your head.
In maintaining such a careful balance between dry woods, spicy cardamom, smoky resins, wet honey, and powdery-fruity iris, Iris Oriental tends towards fuzzy abstraction instead of clarity. On cloudy, windy days when the grey threatens to swallow me up, Iris Oriental is a soft, honeyed thing made of spun sugar and gold to wear upon my person, like a protective amulet.
Genre: Woody Oriental
With iris fragrances sprouting like toadstools these days, I’m happy to report that Iris Taizo is not your standard issue orris root concoction. Whereas the majority of recent iris compositions range from rooty and earthy to demurely powdery, Iris Taizo goes in an entirely different direction. In fact, I’m not sure if it qualifies as an “iris” scent at all. I detect plenty of iris root alright, but the iris isn’t really the featured attraction in this scent. Instead, Iris Taizo reads as a clean, fruity leather scent along the lines of Serge Lutens’s Daim Blond or Parfum d’Empire’s Cuir Ottoman.
While the iris root doesn’t dominate the composition, it does steer the leathery base toward suede gloves, rather than equestrian tack or bikers’ jackets. With an intense sweet-tart apricot and floral accord that’s reminiscent of osmanthus at its heart, and a warm labdanum in the base, Iris Taizo is a dignified, comfortable, and eminently civilized fragrance. In mood and general structure, it reminds me of it’s near-contemporary, Dior Homme. And while it will raise a few hackles if I say so, I see Iris Taizo as what the wildly overrated Dior Homme might have been were it a better scent; i.e. stripped of its ghastly, cheap Jolly Rancher candy note and given a more elegant and interesting drydown.
Sillage and projection are both moderate, so that Iris Taizo registers easily, but never becomes intrusive in enclosed spaces. Longevity is also more than adequate at six hours or more, during which the extended drydown is a treat. Though it’s a bit sweet, I consider Iris Taizo to be gender neutral, and any man who’s comfortable with Dior Homme should be able to wear this with ease.
Now called Iris Oriental - this is a lovely spicey, powdery iris scent. Sweet woody and loses some of the iris on my skin later as it dries down. It's good but not an iris I would buy for an iris craving. Unisex.
I am not a fan of florals, but Iris Taizo (Oriental) is one of the few that I can love. It's floral with a focused Iris note amidst a refined spicy incense accord to carry it with complexity and decisiveness, grounded by a smooth warm woods and vanilla base. It is indeed on the powdery side, but it's oriental vanilla elements keep this from being wimpy or old lady. This is for a woman who knows what she wants and embraces the power of being feminine. Refreshingly uplifting and uncommon. Although leaning towards the unisex side of feminine, as a guy, I won't wear this one. It's for her only.
Honestly I got this sample because it included Jinkoh wood, which I've never heard of so my interest was peaked.
After wearing it for a few hours I get what is wrong with it: it is not marketed correctly. This is not an oriental, but an oriental woody spicy. It is also not for men and women, but for men.
But what a lovely woody spicy for men it is! This is a sweet, delicate wood with a lovely drydown.
Now here is what I find interesting: I always read about Bal a Versaille, Shalimar, etc. and their references to 'sexy smells'. 'Dirty panties', 'freshly used sheets', etc.
This scent, to me, is what 'sexy scent' should smell like (on a man). It's refined suggestive pleasure in a bottle. If Marilyn sleeps with just a drop of Chanel, the Statue of David could dress with just a drop of Iris Taizo.
I"m goign to see what my BF smells like in this...