by, 19th October 2011 at 02:33 PM (1151 Views)
Okey Dokey. For everyone who asked me to report back, here we are. For everyone who is not interested in this thread, well I would move swiftly on if I were you.
First, a caveat, I am just a keen novice and these are only my views....
..and Sari, I hope that you are here. I have something to tell you!!
WHY THIS QUEST?
Well, I like Iris, and I like Leather, and I was thinking about Iris and Leather together. It seems to me that there is something elemental about that combination somehow, something powerful, of earth and flesh, air and muscle, even fire and brimstone perhaps. So, I enlisted the help of Basenotes friends and the recommendations came in. Since then I have been spraying, sniffing, wafting, sampling, on skin and on paper, noting, comparing, choosing, making up my mind, changing my mind..... but most of all I have been on a voyage of discovery and it has been a blast.
So without further ado, my winner is...........
Well, therein lies the problem.
PARFUM D'EMPIRE CUIR OTTOMAN; THE MOST BEAUTIFUL....
Iris and Leather for sure. Sometimes described as sweet, but no, I don't think so. In my view it is soft, not sweet. A lovely Iris, floral, not earthy or vegetal, a whisper of other florals...jasmine. Napa Leather. Well balanced, luxurious, and with the most beautiful drydown. An amber base, benzoin, myrrh and perhaps some vanilla, again each as soft as the other. Why is this not my winner? Well I wish it was but here is the problem. Can I tell you that I have never been aware of my skin chemistry having any particular impact on a fragrance, but with this one... well, on paper it is lovely throughout it's development but on me there is a very dominant plastic/plasticine note in the opening which lasts for as long as the first hour and I find it unpleasant. When it fades I enjoy this fragrance immensely, but I want to be able to enjoy the whole ride.
PARFUMERIE GENERALE CUIR D'IRIS; THE ELEMENTAL ONE....
This time Leather and Iris. Less tame. Heathcliffe and Kathy. The comparisons with Cuir Ottoman are interesting, but I am not going there, not least because that has already been done so much better by Sugandaraja in a fantastic post from 2007 which is still so fresh, and relevant here, so please take a look at that. So, Cuir D'Iris has a fleetingly strange opening, almost fruity then straight into warm animalic leather, castoreum? Then the Iris. On me the Leather remains dominant in this one. It lasts a long time. It is great, but not what I am looking for.
LABORATORIO OLFATTIVO DAIMIRIS; THE CHARISMATIC ONE....
Saffron/Iris/Leather. Oh Thank You Saripatates. This is incredible! Very sophisticated. I have been looking forward to telling you about this. There is a paradox in this fragrance. My first smell of this and I had a BOOM/ SHOCK of olfactory memory. I couldn't place it for a time but I was so preoccupied with this smell that I couldn't really engage with the fragrance as such. It reminded me of an old fashioned Doctors Surgery, or some preparation that was used when we were children....or something, grrrrrrr. Then it came to me so clearly. It is the SAFFRON. This is the truest Saffron note that I have ever smelled in fragrance.
Now, there are varying opinions around here about what Saffron actaually smells like. Some say that it smells like hay,(which it can do). I have also seen it said that it has no smell, (which I don't understand). I know Saffron. I cook with Saffron. In fact good quality Saffron has a strong, somewhat unexpected smell. Unexpected because for a substance which is used in fragrant and aromatic cooking, the smell of Saffron can come as a bit of a surprise. WHY? because, it is actually BITTER, TINCTURE LIKE, to me it is reminiscent of IODINE. If you doubt me go and find one of those tiny glass bottles of Spanish saffron and stick your nose in it. So, it is this note which introduces this fragrance to us. It is medicinal, tincture like, yes bitter, ever so slightly aromatic. How does this work with the Leather and the Iris. Well that is the paradox, it does, and the whole is exceptionally elegant and refined.
In the end Daimiris surprises us again with a low key and surprisingly soft amber, the other end of the paradox.
Why is Daimiris not my winner when I enthuse like this? Well, I don't think that I am the right wearer somehow. This is a sophisticates fragrance. Just a bit on the clinical side. If I get the alcohol note it is not rum for me but surgical spirits.
( FYI I don't get the advertsing blurb at all ...mans gaze..womans body..caress..purple.. blah blah blah.) I actually find this very masculine, A scent for a suave gent. Sherlock Holmes should wear this. All of that said, I can see myself returning to this, but to wear? I doubt it. Have you tried it yet Sari? If not please do and tell me what you think.
DIOR HOMME; THE EASY ONE...
Great recommendation. Does fit the brief actually. Big on the Iris, whisper of Leather. Loved it instantly. Bought it. Easy, almost too easy.
L'ARTISAN PARFUMEUR TRAVERSEE DU BOSPHORE; THE EXOTIC ONE....
Opening reminds me a bit of of Dzongkha, and why not! Lovely Iris and Leather. This one also has Saffron, very integral, also sweet almond and of course roses sprinkled with vanilla sugar. Iris/Leather/Turkish Delight/Vanilla. I will go back to this at some stage.
HISTOIRES DE PARFUM MOULIN ROUGE; THE FUN ONE....
Cello said it before me but I have to say it again! This is the most fun you can have with a fragrance!! All I am going to say is get your hands on Baz Luhrmans Moulin Rouge Movie, put it on, watch the dance scenes in the club, let this fragrance tumble out of its bottle as it does and if you fail to become delirious, well, I am too polite to say. Glorious.
CARON TABAC BLOND; LARIMARS ONE....
I have to confess. I haven't tried it yet. But wait! For good reason I belive. I think that Tabac Blonde may be a journey in itself, which I wil set off on when I am ready, with guidance from Larimar, if he will be so kind.
L'ARTISAN PARFUMEUR IRIS PALLIDA; THE ELUSIVE ONE;
Can't get it. Bummer.
So, there we have it. No actual winner and my journey continues but I have met some unforgetable characters along the way.
For now, well. I am not one for "layering" fragrances. I like to experience them as they were intended. But do you know what Rogalal? A spritz of Dior Homme on Tuscan Leather or Iris 39 on Cuir De Lancome does seem strangely wonderful.... Elemental, my dear friends.
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