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To uncork a sample of Iris Silver Mist is to be overwhelmed by billowing waves of iris in its many incarnations: carrot juice iris; doughy iris; sandalwood iris; violet iris; the variations seem endless...
But this perfume, as with other greats, refuses to let me break down its individual ingredients, and instead projects out a bold and distinct persona. This is cold white stone in perfume form: androgynous, unforgiving and mute. ISM makes no apologies for this austerity, and is all the better for it.
The blast of carrot that opens this fragrance has become legendary, and is, admittedly, like nothing else I've smelt before. Whilst this hit never fails to dazzle and bemuse in equal measure, what strikes me about ISM happens afterwards, when a sublime violet note hovers forever on my skin, veering sometimes towards a soft, creamy sandalwood, and at others towards a fresh and powdery orris.
Having been disappointed with the sweetness of Iris Poudre and the formality of 28 La Pausa, I have finally found in ISM an iris with the daring to match other favourites of mine such as Aoud Cuir d'Arabie and Absolue Pour le Soir, but with a silent grandeur all of its own.
Needless to say, I enjoyed more compliments on my first test-drive of ISM than with anything else, and now consider it to be my signature fragrance.
13 October, 2011