This is a puzzling one. About half the time I wear it, I like it a lot but it's slightly gauche and I think my decant will do me fine. On the other days it's heartbreakingly beautiful and I must have a full bottle, maybe two to be safe. Definitely recommend. It has great lasting power and the drydown is especially lovely.
Update: did get the full bottle - gorgeous. 'Gauche' above wasn't quite what I meant either- it's beautifully put together. There can be something a little unsettling in the way the iris plays with the violet and carrot seed but that's half the beauty of it.
20th September, 2015 (last edited: 10th December, 2015)
So Iris de Nuit by James Heeley is a fragrance composed around orris root, the root of the iris flower. Personally, I love iris. My signature perfume has an iris/orris root note and I love how it smells clean and earthy at the same time! Here we have a clean, slightly earthy orris note paired with powdery violet and clean vegetable musk (ambrette seed). A very clean musk. There is also a carrot seed note which I think must be similar to (although I haven't tried it - Hermès - Hiris, which has the same note). Either way, I like this one... and as I was wearing it today I received a compliment! Which rarely happens! To me this reminds me of very clean laundry sheets, and earthy powder (hard to describe actually)! A lovely fragrance. Especially as I am a huge fan of iris/orris root. For me personally I have already found my perfect iris fragrance, which does not smell like this one. So for me I don't think I would buy but if you like a "clean" but interesting smell you could try it out.
Heeley’s iris scent is a lovely one, as close in its dark rooty ambience as any I’ve smelled to Maurice Roucel’s iconic Iris Silver Mist for Serge Lutens. Iris de Nuit shares with Iris Silver Mist both a hint of anise and a certain doughy, almost foody character lacking in most other iris scents I know. It is, however, at once milder and more natural smelling than the Lutens, and so I find it easier to wear.
On the downside, sillage and projection are both moderate at best, and I have to apply a lot of Iris de Nuit before I start noticing it. Whether olfactory fatigue contributes here or not I cannot tell. The rooty, yet oddly translucent iris accord persists in a linear fashion, fading, rather than altering, into its soft, musky-woody drydown. Iris de Nuit is neither very powdery nor very floral, and I believe it could be worn with ease by either men or women. Though not among the strongest, I do think it one of the finest iris-centered scents available.
Iris de Nuit is in my opinion one of the best contemporary iris on the market, together with L'homme de coeur by Divine, with which it shares a similar approach to the material. A transparent, cold, sharp, perfectly shaped and restrained yet dense and substantial iris note, angular and straightforward, with a few else around: a light hay note on the base (something making Iris de Nuit quite close to Cuir Pleine Fleur), carrot, light green notes. The main iris note is deprived of any "buttery" waxy rootiness – it has a slight carroty-rooty smell, but it's dry and light. It strikes me how this manages to smell almost "rural" thanks to carrot and hay, still completely "contemporary" in its sophisticated, almost abstract meaning. Great job with notes and composition here. Really elegant, pleasant, versatile and totally unique. The drydown comprises also a light ambery note, although it's overall quite linear and does not change much (this may be the only slight "con"). For me, one of the best Heeley's around together with Cuir Pleine Fleur.
24th January, 2014 (last edited: 14th July, 2014)
Smells very much like one of the Prada offerings..
A soft and subtle iris with good sillage and projection..
Kind of plastic smelling imo in the opening with a very mellow cedar and amber drydown. Very tamed..
Well composed but not my cup of tea..