Total Reviews: 7
Terre d’Iris is one of the more interesting iris perfumes I’ve ever smelled. Instead of going down the lipstick/cosmetic route, or the cool violet route, or the green-citrusy route, it plants the iris note down in a an Italian kitchen’s worth of bitter oranges, sage, rosemary, basil, moss, and God knows what else, and expects it to fight its way out.
It does, eventually, and emerges as an earthy but also quite plasticky iris note that acts as a civilizing force on the rowdier members of the assembly. It is a mesmerizing and energizing first act.
There is something called African Orange Flower in this, which I’m assuming is plain old orange blossom. Interestingly enough, aside from producing a slight soapy note from contact with the iris, it also melds with the bitter orange and rose to form a milky peach note. The plasticky iris note combined with this big, lactonic peach-rose combo turns the whole thing into something that smells uncannily like Gucci Rush.
I kid you not. I wore this for days on end, trying to figure out why I was getting flashbacks to being drunk in dark, sweaty discotheques. When I finally figured out that the ghost of Rush had been resurrected in the most unlikely of guises (a naturalistic, kitchen-garden iris), I was able to put this perfume to one side and move on.
I am constantly surprised to find the ghosts of my old perfume loves in expensive niche perfumery – Joop! Woman in Teo Cabanel’s Alahine, Kenzo Pour Homme in Histoires de Parfums’ Rosam (it’s the aquatic feel), and now Gucci Rush in Terre d’Iris. These are not smellalikes, of course – it’s just an accident of nature, a freak occurrence in an art where it must be nigh on impossible to create something that does not reference, at least in part, an accord that has been used before.
But the association is enough to make me want to put that perfume away. Because, as I’m sure Lyn Harris herself would understand, it’s one thing to be out strolling in a sunny Mediterranean kitchen garden, and another thing entirely to be reminded of all the bad decisions you made while armed with nothing but a bottle of peach vodka and your best Wonderbra.
Terre d’Iris is easily one of the most compelling and fascinating fragrances by this brand among the ones I have tried so far – a brand which despite its (few) highs and (more frequent) lows, I respect overall. Being a big fan of iris – not necessarily knowledgeable about it, but surely a fan, I am quite picky with iris-based fragrances, and Terre d’Iris, well... it is surely a true keeper for me, for a very reasonable couple of reasons: it smells really good to my nose, and quite unique to my knowledge. It opens in fact as a charming, immediately competent, fascinatingly moody take on iris built on a really inspired, smooth and well-balanced contrast between fresh, tangy herbal notes of lemon, bergamot and sharp, tasty Mediterranean herbs with a fruity drop of orange, and a whole sort of cloudy, damp musky-woody base with patchouli, vetiver and a really subtle, yet perceivable feel of, say, musty mossiness (if you inspire with some strength you get a fantastic distant whiff of bracing, somehow raw yet comforting stale-barn rural nuances provided by – I guess – patchouli infused with oakmoss, that fit marvelously the mood of this composition).
Between these two kind of “opposites” lies her graceful majesty – iris, with a strong accent on its earthy-leafy nuances. Nothing “lipstick”, just a touch of austere yet delicate rooty powder with grassy and “carroty” nuances. The evolution is pleasant and remarkable, albeit closer and closer to skin as minutes pass: the citrus-bergamot freshness evolves slowly into a smooth, slightly creamy, orange-driven nuance blending with herbs, the “cocoa” side of patchouli and the leafier side of iris, which in turn dissolves beautifully among earth, moss, patchouli and herbs. All gets cozier, warmer, a bit sweeter, maybe a bit faint (actually, quite faint) but still showing a consistent, really intriguing contrast between sweet freshness, plushy powderiness and musty-woody earthiness. Quite “whispered”, but it’s all there. It may seem a simple, if not banal composition, but well, the result is great, almost impeccable, and as I said above, quite unique. Or well, I simply can’t think of any other iris fragrance playing these chords, this way, and I’ve never smelled any iris-based scent smelling this earthy, damp, rooty and “rainy” but also bracing, mellow and uplifting. Effortlessly classy and melancholic at once. The drydown reminds me a bit of Prada's Infusion d'Iris drydown, as there's the same bergamot-iris-vetiver vein going on here too, but the mood is quite different here (Prada's all about crisp freshness, here the atmosphere is quite more damp and musty).
Plus (finally!) Lyn Harris’ signature “minimalism” and fondness for dusty-airy notes finds some sense here – the grayish, weightless, almost impalpable texture is just perfect for these notes, taming them down almost to the point of giving them a faded, dream-like substance (so yes, overspraying and frequent reapplications are encouraged). A truly inspired little wonder, maybe a bit too mannered and definitely too light for this concentration, but definitely worthy some attention for me.
Terre d'Iris by Miller Harris is a woody iris that oscillates between shower-fresh and earthy forest. Worn by both Titania and Oberon, TdI was created by the forest itself from spring rain, roots, herbs, moss, and pixie dust.
One thing that I really enjoy about MH perfumes is that although most of the notes are ‘natural’, the end result is a proper perfume that is more than the sum of its parts. TdI is (literally) down to earth enough to wear casually, yet deceptively complex—powdery while green and alive. Just gorgeous.
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I agree with an_oud_girl - this leans much more to unisex or masculine, which lucky for me, is partly why I like it. On me, it's not too sweet or powdery and has a nice earthy backdrop. It also seems to have a good bit of development, which is nice as well. I need to give it some more time wearing, but I do like it on first impression.
To my nose, this is quite disgusting. It's extremely sweet, powdery, sickeningly floral.Very powerful on first application, it takes a while to tone down, and still remains sickening, sweet, with just a hint of spice. A grandma perfume, but a not very refined grandma.
The notes are bergamot, bitter orange, southern herbs, rosemary, clary sage, orange flowers, rose, patchouli, tree moss, fir balsam and iris, but they hardly give an idea of this prefume.
Terre d'Iris reminds me of Sake by Fresh. It is extremely sweet to my nose, and extremely strong. The actual note of iris doesn't come through for awhile, and even then, I have to strain to perceive that doughy, powdery smell. For iris, I'll stick to L'Artisans' Iris Pallida and for Miller Harris, I'll take the Fleur Oriental!
I'm very surprised this is considered a women's fragrance. I would've thought unisex at the very least. It leans too far masculine for my taste. The pungent herbal notes are bitter on my skin and I don't care for the strong powdery freshness.