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Iris Gris (1946)
by Jacques Fath

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Iris Gris information

Year of Launch1946
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
Not enough ratings.

People and companies

HouseJacques Fath
PerfumerVincent Roubert
Parent CompanyStar Fragrances International

About Iris Gris

Iris Gris is a feminine perfume by Jacques Fath. The scent was launched in 1946 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Vincent Roubert

Reviews of Iris Gris

danieq Show all reviews
United States
This review is for the reproduction by Legendary Fragrances

My very first impression upon opening the vial was of the strong rooty Iris found in Iris Silver Mist. However, once applied to skin, that hint quickly took flight and was replaced with a very strong, plastic carrot.. There certainly is a healthy dose of Iris here, but I'm not convinced it is natural as the synthetic vibe was enough that my husband immediately noticed it when I sat down beside him. His comments? "WHAT is that SMELL? It came with you. It's not good, smells like plastic!"

He's right. He actually continued to complain throughout the evening, which he doesn't do unless he feels very strongly and he rarely feels strongly about anything.

However, I chided him to wait for the dry down in case it improved over time. The initial strength did calm down and it became more of a skin scent. The carrot calmed and peach came out to visit. Sadly, what it reminded me of was a peachy play dough. This does have an underlying spice which also makes me think of ISM but it's not nearly as well done and the play dough really competes to win notice over the sharper spicy notes.

Another one I was reminded of was L'Artisan Skin on Skin, which is not a scent I care for. Again, the reason is a plasticky Iris note.

Now, here is yet more to confuse the issue. I applied my wearing today using a q-tip and that thing smells absolutely beautiful! The peach takes on an almost alcoholic flavor and the Iris goes as cold as ice. There is something crisp and refreshing about it. I get more of the realistic roominess of Iris like what is found in ISM, but it's a bit more on a crisp line, like a razor edge somehow. This makes me question whether the plastic feel is simply my own skins particular reaction.

I do need to say, that while those who've smelled the original IG often rhapsodize that it is the most beautiful perfume they've had the pleasure of smelling, I cannot say the same for,this reproduction. I do wonder if such rhapsodies are brought on primarily by the originals rarity. At any rate, this is NOT of that grand character to my nose.

Two hours have passed since application, the plastic has, thankfully, all gone and what is left is a soft, floral fruity rootiness. There seems to be zero sillage and I must touch my nose to my arm to catch the scent.

While I think it does have merit, the poor longevity makes me think it would not be a worthwhile investment to me personally. The parts of it I enjoyed are also found in Iris Silver Mist and so I'll stick with that.
13th October, 2014
This review is for Thierry Bellet’s recreation of Fath’s iconic scent and released through Legendary Fragrances.

Iris Gris is delicate and dry, drier than I thought possible, and totally unique in my experience. This is a wonderful balance between the orris and peach predominant notes. I kept thinking as I sampled it that it would have made a perfect parfum for scenting delicate leather. The dryness would lend itself to the garment and the scent would provide both lift and intrigue as to the wearer.

A great success in my estimation.

Mr. Bellet’s description of the restored Iris Gris follows: “Delicate and fragrant, the scent opens on a harmonious accord between the Iris Pallida and the downy Peach, delicately sustained by notes of Tuberose, Lilac, Lily of the valley and Jasmine. The scent settles on soft layers of notes of Cedarwood, Musk and Oakmoss with an iris/peach note still piercing through.”

Barbara Herman describes it as “peach-scented pastry dough. Her ingredient list differs from Mr. Bellet’s in that she mentions two notes he does not: Vetiver and Heliotrope, while he mentions two that she does not: Tuberose and Oakmoss.

Very worth the attention of every serious vintage scent enthusiast.
04th October, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The opening note is nothing short of amazing: a smooth iris of sensational quality and richness, with an apricot-peach background and orris. It has a velvety nut-aroma enveloping the iris - tremendously beautiful. In the drydown tuberose is added, and then carnation and lily-of-the-valley emphasise a bright flowery phase. After about three hours the scent is closer to my skin and its character changes into a cedarwood basis, with an echo of the iris still present. The quality of the ingredients is unsurpassed, absolutely sensational, with very good silage and projection initially. Overall longevity on my skin is six hours. This is possibly the most beautiful iris scent I ever encountered, a benchmark for all iris-based fragrances in the future, especially in the first half. One of the greats of fragrance history.
04th March, 2014
Sublime

Iris Gris is truly a wonderful perfume. It is the stuff of legend and so, compelled, I hunted down a small decanted sample of Extrait of this perfume. As with all discontinued perfumes I find I pray I will hate it so I won't be dogged by the misery of only experiencing it fleetingly. This is, without a doubt, worth the hunt in the full knowledge it won't be in my life for terribly long.... I am a user not a stasher so as soon as I got it, I had to try it... It's surprisingly spicy, modern and totally delicious. If I had to draw parallels - which, when a perfume no longer exists is all I can do, I would say its a mixture of serge lutens arabie (I kid you not) and vintage mitsouko with possibly a hint if iris silver mist. Having said all that, there is something "otherworldly" about the drydown - Iris Gris, it's is so hard to describe, it's hard to capture and convey the almost breathy quality, it's like whispering voice - you can hear it but can't make out the words but its impossible not to strain to hear - this is the olfactory version of such a feeling. I could happily bathe in it forever.

Pros: Utterly beautiful
Cons: Rare as hens teeth"

05th October, 2013
bokaba Show all reviews
United States
Queen Iris

Smelling the legendary Iris Gris, after long last, is one of the highlights of my fragrance career. I immediately noticed upon first unwrapping the wax paper that it is soft, smooth, and light—three things we don’t often see with today’s iris fragrances beating you over the head either with synthetic iris (the perfumer thinks you don’t know what iris smells like) or beating you over the head with the real thing—naked, exposed, and bare (the perfumer wants to show you how much natural iris he has used without regard to fragrance itself). I, of course, prefer the latter approach as in Iris Silver Mist.

Iris Gris has large quantities of orris butter and orris CO2 extract, but is it smooth and well integrated with the rest of the scent. Give my experience is strictly from a blotter and not from skin, it will probably vary slightly. I understand the Osmotheque does not allow skin contact with their scents because they do not conform to IFRA standards and they do not want to be liable if someone were to go blind or die because oakmoss touched their skin for a moment.
There is peach, the peach aldehyde C-14 just as I suspected. C-14 is quite potent (my whole house still smells like peach after storing a small blotter of the stuff) so I presume it is light and just enough to diffuse the rough, rooty edge of the orris. I further believe that the orris is smoothed out with a little violet leaf (this is confirmed by Jean Kerleo himself who presumably designed it in a French language interview mentioned in an earlier post). The overall feel of the orris is peachy and rich with a little powder and a slight metallic/cold edge though it remains warm and velvety throughout.
The heart is a white floral bouquet, typical of the time period, using top quality floral ingredients. There is something quite indolic though it never becomes fecal. I suspect this is jasmine grandiflorium, also known as Spanish Jasmine coupled with a conservative dose of tuberose. I never much care for tuberose, but it adds depth and indole in small doses. There is also lilac, muguet, and heliotrope. The heliotrope was the most noticeable of the flowers after the jasmine and tuberose.
The base is more difficult to discern. It is somewhere between a classic chypre and a musky, slightly soapy wood. I would suspect Atlas cedar for depth and a bit of that cigar box smell, a light vetiver accord for a hay-like grassiness, oakmoss, Mysore sandalwood for a rich creamy and buttery texture, a top quality vegetal musk—perhaps ambrette seed or angelica root, perhaps a little cassie oil to give a sweet oily density, a light carnation note for a little spice, and finally, dare I say—Peru balsam to add a velvety texture.
So for a note structure, we have: peach, orris (Florentine presumably), violet leaf, Spanish jasmine, tuberose, lilac, muguet, heliotrope, cedar, vetiver, oakmoss, musk, sandalwood, cassie, carnation, Peru balsam.
To be certain, Iris Gris is great fragrance, perhaps one of the greatest of all time. It was originally released for women, but it could be worn by any gender, so long as the wearer is sophisticated with a sense of tradition and historicity. It does not, by any means, smell old-fashioned or out of date—it smells timeless, sophisticated, and simple. I think a fragrance like this would be popular today even as long as it could be sold alongside other living legends like Shalimar, Jicky, and the like.
Smelling this blotter was the culmination of several months of research into the orris root. Further, a renowned perfume historian recently revealed to me that Iris Gris contained an extraordinarily expensive orris base made a Swiss perfume company. I take that to be either Givaudan or Firmenich. Firmenich makes an expensive base called Iris Rhizome Resinoid of Florentine Orris—perhaps this is it.
14th September, 2013
cacio Show all reviews
United States
monumental iris

This is for the Osmotheque reconstruction smelled on a paper strip - I only wish I could have smelled it on skin.

The fabled Iris Gris does deserve its fame. The first whiff is an unusually powerful, freezing, powdery iris. Chill, rootiness, and powder and turned on to the max, and there is none of the bready note of many modern irises (nor much carrot). Rather it is overlaid with a fruity, but not particularly sweet, fruit skin note, that however stays in the background and only peers out now and then. Luca Turin compared it to the reddish reflections on a dark bird, and I think that's appropriate, as the primary note is the iris. Overall, it gives the impression of a cold, impossibly elegant woman with whom no contact is possible. Several days later on the paper strip, the fruit has become more prominent, and the iris has developed an ancillary swampy, root-decay note, which however never takes over, and only adds an additional disturbing dimension to the composition. The reason why this perfume is not likely to come back is the fact that it clearly contains a huge amount of top quality iris extract, too expensive for current perfumery.

27th May, 2013

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