Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens

Total Reviews: 13
This is not perfume.

It is either art or a form of water boarding, but it’s not a perfume.

Iris Silver Mist teeters on a tightrope between aching beauty and ugly brutality for much of its duration. The first blast out of the gate is of the purest iris root note I have ever smelled – it an exhalation of pure luxury.

Then, as suddenly as it began, the buttery iris root note is whipped away and replaced with a wall of poisonous aromas that lunges for your throat and just keeps coming.

I can almost taste the smell on the back of my tongue – mud, earth, metal, roots, dry ice pumped from a machine at a festival. The mix of aromas is unsettling and quite brutal, a cold stew of raw potatoes soaking in ice cold water, rotting carrot tops, and something that recalls the acrid fug of alcohol fumes that comes off a hot Poitín still.

There is also the high-toned acid sting of fresh urine about it – like that of a baby’s nappy but devoid of any of the warm, sweet-sour honey and hay overtones that makes baby pee such a friendly smell. The urine aroma here is cold and denatured, ureic acid grown in a sterile lab. This is not of human origin.

This striking stink is, of course, iris – pure iris rhizomes pushed to the limit by Maurice Roucel, who, under the urging of Serge Lutens to make it more, more, MORE iris, dumped a little-used iris nitrile called Irival into the mix. Iris fragrances are usually icy, polite, and suggestive or either lipstick or the lining of an Hermes purse.

Iris Silver Mist is the bared teeth of a dog. It snarls.

It’s not at all nice to wear, at least not in the first hour, but it stirs my soul in a way that more pleasant, wearable perfumes do not. The drydown is a soft iris suede with dabs of creamy woods and a soft breath of spice. Not distinctive at all, and actually kind of weak, but we still have the memory of that opening to drop our jaw to the ground.

Iris Silver Mist makes me think of uncomfortable scenarios – teenagers facing the wall at the end of the Blair Witch Project, the tops of those dark pine trees swaying in the wind in Twin Peaks every time Coop entered the Red Room in the Black Lodge, the guy in nothing but y-fronts and a WW2 gas mask striding across a corn field at the end of episode 3 of True Detective…..

Think of basically anything that has ever chilled your soul, and that’s Iris Silver Mist.

It is a work of art. Art in a gimp mask, yes – but still, art.
20th March, 2016
I'm still trying to figure this frag out. I get a powdery carrot smell in the opening that doesn't seem to change. It's safe to say that this frag is linear. My son told me it smells like leather but he's 8. I personally don't get the leather he gets but I can find it to have a suede appeal to it. This wouldn't be classified as unisex in my catalog but it's not overly feminine either.

I'm looking to get rid of it but I think I need to give it another try in a few days. I mean, it's not awful but you have to be easy on the trigger otherwise it could be cloying.

I will edit it if I have to the next time I try it.
14th November, 2015
A cold misty iris root that is as everyone says like the smell of carrots. It's powdery and woody with a earthy note.

Different and strange smelling to my nose.
11th June, 2014
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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Brief and green

A nice green top note develops into a good iris scent with a hint o light wood - a bit synthetic but all right. Gone after ninety minutes on my skin. Nice while it lasts and quite unlike others.

25th May, 2013
Went to Paris with this as top of my must try list. So disappointed that my reaction was 'oh, another iris'. All the hype, the peons of praise, the adulation and ... It was just another iris and sadly it didn't stand out to me.
06th March, 2012
This, to me, is the makeup-y, doughy version of Iris -- it almost smells like wet paint in the can. It's clearly well-made, well-blended, and done with high quality ingredients. I just don't think I want to smell like this.
25th February, 2012
This reminds me of Guerlain’s Apres L’Ondee, but more metallic, more austere. I don’t get a carrot note here that others talk about. Unusual and very different than any other Lutens I have tried. If I were considering purchasing this, I would suggest trying Apres L’Ondee first.
18th July, 2010
The very first notes are intresting; just metalic and ozonic but in a minute it grows misty spicy; while i was expecting it to grow into a gross curcuma and little bit clover, it became powdery sweet carrotlike iris. Suprising but not tempting yet.
In an hour carrotish benzoin goes away and scent becomes a very lovely solo powdery iris; still a bit aquatic. Even appealing for a me though i do not appreciate iris scents in common.
the openning notes are very importand to me. when i wear a scent i mostly smell them. Then nose becomes a bit deaf and the middle notes of the scent are for the ones who are around. so i would not like to wear this scent but it would be very nice if a friend would wear it.
26th December, 2009
Tortola Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I agree with JessicaGrace below, I think you need to be a fan of "cold" scents to like this. For instance I love Mitsouko and Shalimar but cannot take to L'HB or Apres L'Ondee. To my mind ISM is a linear, rather flat iris root scent with lots of chilly earth. I'm giving it a neutral because I can see that if you do love this kind of scent you will no doubt adore ISM. A distinctive fragrance which matches it's name perfectly (and by the amazing Maurice Roucel), it's just not me. Guess I am more an iris flower - rather than earthy iris root - kind of person.
07th December, 2009
I'm learning that perfumes that are commonly described as "cool" rarely ever excite me. I like drama and spice. That said, Iris Silver Mist doesn't strike me as scary (like CB Black March) or insipid (like Apres l'Ondee.) It goes on smelling like freshly pulled carrots, which isn't unpleasant. The carrot is joined by a tiny, tiny bit of spice and a lot of cool notes, like fresh earth and cold air. The overall impression is silky smooth and quiet -- maybe too quiet. I keep waiting for something to happen, but no, it's lightly spiced carrots and cool air all the way down. After testing for an hour or so today, I started to get a mild headache, which might or might not be associated with the perfume.

Certainly nothing unpleasant, but just kind of, eh. I'll keep a little bit of my sample around. Maybe I'll get it some day.
22nd October, 2009 (last edited: 24th November, 2009)
I am not a fan of iris if its not properly blended in with other notes. I`m not sure why, but I simply have always found that rooty, powdery aroma quite unpleasant in action. Its always been an interesting smell, but not something I`d like to wear.

Iris Silver Mist is no exception. It smells sort of interesting, no doubt. Its very earthy, rooty. Its very pure and sophisticatedly raw.

But I just don`t feel myself comfortable wearing this. It doesn`t make me feel good. It makes me restless.

I get the connection between this and carrots. However, oddly enough I absolutely love carrots, and as an vegeterian I eat them allmost every day in a form or another...

Oh well.

Iris Silver Mist (great name!) is pretty straighforward iris root fragrance, but I also get very clear cinnamon note here. The whole composion is masterfully sweetened by benzoin.

18th November, 2008
Aloof and unfriendly. Extremely woody iris with notes of incense. There's no warmth and definitely a dirt note. While it's not a bad scent, it's definitely not an image I want to project. Too cold and snobby somehow.
12th October, 2008
A very strange scent for me. I definitely get the dustiness of iris, but the overall impression this scent leaves is of lipstick - thick and pasty. Something about it smells cosmetic on my skin. It's not something that I like, but I suspect it's due to skin chemistry, so I'll forgive Serge this time! Bois d'Iris I think is a touch sweeter and not as thick in this pasty sort of way. L'Homme de Coeur is better all around - clearer, more interesting, less odd, and obviously not smelling of cosmetics. For what I feel is a better unusual take on iris, try Iris Taizo by Parfumerie Generale.
08th August, 2006
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