Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1

    Default The unmelancholy iris.

    So what is the story with iris? In print the note is heavily romanticized and I don't get that from it. I've seen "melancholy" stuck in every formal review as it it were some kind of legal requirement to use that word.

    My still debated possible next purchase is Divine's L'Homme Coeur, with iris over the metallic zing of what I assume is ambergris. A bit Creedish to me. I need to try it some more, but it seems to sweeten a bit in the drydown. Nothing melancholy here, and a nice alternative to the nose-peeling artificial bite of department store junk while still having that refreshing clean "this is a man's cologne" presence.

    My ocassional is Bois d'Argent with iris and blonde woods with vanillin. Classic high end fragrance, smooth, refined, and with no bite or hard angles. All elegance. Where's the melancholy?

    Hiris I try now and again, due to sheer reputation, but it to me it is a potted plant. If it succeeds in being a true iris, then it is the olofactory image of a single iris sitting in a pot, with that clear stemmy-ness, drying down into pure floral perfume. Not for me honestly, seems a bit feminine, but melancholy? Not unless the price tag made you cry?

    I think I like Bois d'Argent the best - or at least it seems the finest of these three to me. I'm not sure how to wear it - my clothes aren't nice enough. I would definitely need better shoes. L'Homme Coeur seems more accessible while still beautiful. Hiris, perhaps a gift for my next girlfriend.

    Any thoughts on iris? Personal experience vs the iris reputation?

  2. #2
    nearfantastica
    Guest

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    I too have seen "melancholy" used as a description of fragrances before.. and infact, I believe I have described a scent as melancholy myself.. It's a difficult thing to describe really....

    Some scents, for example.. evoke feelings of life, energy.. exuberance.. fragrances like Samourai, Happy by Clinique and L'eau Par Kenzo... have this exact effect on me.... in accordance, some fragrances.. like Nicole Miller for Men.. have a note, that actually makes me feel slightly sad.. ie "melancholy"...

    It's not as if the scent reduces me to a blubbering fool or anything, it's more of a nostalgic feeling, that "summer's ending, the cold is here" type sentiment.. and it's hard to know if one of notes triggers something.... or if there are actually herbs that evoke this kind of feeling in people...

    If some smells can make people happy, aroused.. content, relaxed... why not sad?

    Anyone out there ever experienced that "melancholy" feeling... from a fragrance?

    a.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    Great first post Carlos. I personally wouldn't describe iris as being "melancholy". However, I do find it to be very soothing and calming. It's the opposite of the more lively scents such as A*men that tend to give off an energetic vibe. Bois d'Argent, for example, is a scent that I wear when I want to relax and just kick back. I wouldn't wear it on the prowl or if I'm going to a party where everybody is doing keg stands. It's too sophisticated for that type of environment IMO. I can see how some would describe iris as being melancholy though since many consider it a tranquil note.

    Welcome to Basenotes

  4. #4

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    Nice first post about that elusive note, iris!

    I don't find iris to be particularly melancholy, either. In Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, there's a kind of subtle earthy green quality, like walking over ice crusted fields at the end of winter just as the green shoots of spring are starting to break through. In MPG's Iris Bleu Gris, the iris is all dressed up, super-refined and quite masculine with leather and moss notes. ...definitely two of my favorite takes on iris!
    ..."net", not "naut".

  5. #5

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    Quote Originally Posted by nearfantastica
    Anyone out there ever experienced that "melancholy" feeling... from a fragrance?

    a.
    Of all the scents I know the nearest to the feeling of melancholy is Kouros.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    Nice conversation on a beautiful subject here: the only Iris scent that I recognize as such (from the few I know) is Acqua di Parma's Iris Nobile. BN reviews however give you a different impression, perhaps because more people are used to iris as from the root, and I compare it to the blossom smell. I read that IN is one of the few that uses petals plus root. It is a delicate fragrance. If it makes me melancholy then perhaps because I cannot wear it. It is not even uniscent, I believe, a clear feminine.

    L'homme de Coeur is wonderful beyond words - not a bit melancholic, I find. But I do not think it was Iris, why I enjoyed sampling Bois d'Argent so much. One that mentions, and is generally praised for the Iris part, Dior Homme, left me totally uninspired.

    Here come blue ones I know of, Guerlain feminines both, perhaps uniscents to my nose:

    L'heure Bleue & Vol de Nuit

    There are similarities between the two, and I think not (only) Iris is responsible for tat. I am more familiar with VdN and whether its melancholic effect on me is caused by the Iris or something else, I cannot say, but this is one that does not make me happy! It can help in certain situations,though, like a friendly handshake can, or someone patting your arm.
    Last edited by narcus; 12th August 2006 at 09:16 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  7. #7

    Shycat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,914

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    Iris is a striking note. I don't find it melancholy exactly. It is cool, sharp easily a bit metallic/icy.

    juggernet-- "Walking over ice crusted fields at the end of winter" is right on it for Iris Silver Mist. I bought it blind and it's too MMMasculine for me, but nice to sniff.

    Bois d'Iris by The Different Company is my other iris, still on the masculine side of unisex but I can wear it thanks to the warming sweetness of tonka that peeks out of the drydown.

    Both scents say cool and alone to me. I can see how some people would get melancoly, but I get an elegant sense of peace. I believe it may be the contrast in my mind to chasing a couple of kids around on a summer fishing trip/endlesshikefromhell that makes me like it.

  8. #8
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    6,990

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    I find Iris incredibly inspiring - narcotic, strange, sometimes cold and stark, always utterly wealthy.

    Many of the fragrances mentioned in posts above are excellent. I own most of them. IMO, Chanel No. 19 is the most abstract and amazing Iris fragrance. No. 19 is a masterpiece of the perfumer's art. This is an opinion expressed by most perfumers. Dior Homme is a phenomenal fragrance.


    Overcast October skies
    New York cool wind
    Leaves and leather on your feet
    A million dollars in your room
    Iris narcotic...No. 19

    pluran
    Last edited by pluran; 13th August 2006 at 03:14 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    I want to wear Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist on my grandfathers funeral. For me iris is definately something I associate with melancholy. Much more than that, but I sure think about ths when planning on what to wear on that day.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran
    I find Iris incredibly inspiring - narcotic, strange, sometimes cold and stark, always utterly wealthy.

    Many of the fragrances mentioned in posts above are excellent. I own most of them. IMO, Chanel No. 19 is the most abstract and amazing Iris fragrance. No. 19 is a masterpiece of the perfumer's art. This is an opinion expressed by most perfumers. Dior Homme is a phenomenal fragrance.


    Overcast October skies
    New York cool wind
    Leaves and leather on your feet
    A million dollars in your room
    Iris narcotic...No. 19

    pluran
    Beautiful post Pluran!
    May I continue your list?
    The "so pure to be unbreathable" air in the winter morning after a snowy night
    the shinest morning light glaring on the sea so dazzling you can barely open your eyes
    ...
    I love so much iris, to me is pureness, medithation, isolation from the crowd, listening more than speaking, sensuousness coming from inside rather than outside, soul and body in armony, hearth and sky. Not melancholy, just armony. But I've yet to find the perfect iris smell. For sure some of my favs are No. 19, Hiris and L'Homme de Coeur, other nice ones are Iris Poudre and SMN Città di Kyoto. Among the latest releases also Arpège PH and Dior Homme are quite nice iris based scents

  11. #11
    Serpent
    Guest

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    Heeley makes a fragrance called Eau d'Iris that really breaks with the whole melancholy iris reputation, I think. It's a light, eau fraîche-type scent that, more than any other iris scent I've tried, really captures the raw, unadulterated nature of iris root. It's clear, simple, bright, and has a breezy, uncomplicated feeling to it. There's an almost springtime like feeling to it, like the raw energy in fresh earth. And it has iris' clean smell, too. Iris is showcased in a really unique way in Eau d'Iris, and it's calming, bright, fresh. It's not at all melancholy in the Heeley fragrance while still be undeniably an iris scent. It's nice to see a perfumer using iris in this manner.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    You have to take into account that the "melancholy Iris" is a poetic symbol and topos reaching back all the way to antiquity and thus not necessarily an adequate reflection of contemporary attitudes towards Iris as used in fragrances

    "On the learned leaves of Apollon’s mournful iris [loved by Apollon and Zephyros the boy Hyakinthos was transformed into an iris on his death] was embroidered many a plant-grown word; and when Zephyros breathed through the flowery garden, Apollon turned a quick eye upon his young darling, his yearning never satisfied; if he saw the plant beaten by the breezes, he remembered the quoit, and trembled for fear the wind, so jealous once about the boy, might hate him even in a leaf: if it is true that Apollon once wept with those eyes that never wept, to see that boy writhing in the dust, and the pattern there on the flower traced its own ‘alas!’ on the iris, and so figured the tears of Phoibos." - Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3.153

    "The Mousai shall cry triumph for Ampelos the lovely with Lyaios of the Vine (Ampelos). You shall throw off the twisting coronal of snakes from your head, and entwine your hair with tendrils of the vine; you shall make Phoibos jealous, that he holds out his melancholy iris with its leafy dirge. You too dispense a drink, the earthly image of heavenly nectar, the comfort of the human race, and your young friend shall eclipse the flowery glory of the Amyklaian boy: if his country produces the bronze of battle, your boy’s country too increases the shining torrent of red juice like a river - she is all proud of her gold, and she likes not steel."

    Melancholy stuff there, isn't it?
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life

    "...and trembled for fear the wind, so jealous once about the boy, might hate him even in a leaf: if it is true that Apollon once wept with those eyes that never wept, to see that boy writhing in the dust, and the pattern there on the flower traced its own ‘alas!’ ..."
    I must watch out not to tune in with this yearning ...truly beautiul! And Iris as such is a beautiful flower indeed, the scent so delicate and warm! Thanks for the quotations goodlife! I get the rythm even thru the english translation, very well done! But on the subject of melancholy - you are certainly right in what you say. One level below the myth - was Iris accidentally chosen by Appolon (greek poets) ? Wasn't there a reason why from all the flowers Apollon chose this Iris as approprate for his mourning?

    I do measure the fragrance always against the flower, as I have no idea what the root smells (should smell of). Is it as with ginger: I just undig and cut some, or is there a long process between root and end product? There are so many sorts of Iris, I am not even sure if it could in fact have been the smelling kind we know today.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  14. #14
    Serpent
    Guest

    Default Re: The unmelancholy iris.

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus
    Is it as with ginger: I just undig and cut some, or is there a long process between root and end product?
    Iris is like ambergris, which doesn't get belched up ready to be used. It has to degrade for years first to smell right. I believe that the roots have to age a long period of time, something like five years or something for the oils in the roots to break down. And I also believe it's just special types of irises that grow around Florence that are used, or at least those are the most valuable irises. That's why iris root is one of the most expensive ingredients in all of perfumery, rivaling animal-based ingredients like civet and musk.

Similar Threads

  1. Leather And Iris: Cuir D'Iris vs. Cuir Ottoman
    By Sugandaraja in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 21st November 2012, 01:22 PM
  2. Comprehensive List of Iris Scents
    By Dane in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 59
    Last Post: 22nd November 2008, 05:56 AM
  3. Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens - a mini review
    By mikeperez23 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 11th November 2008, 08:03 PM
  4. How does Prada's Iris compare to Iris Bleu Gris
    By SculptureOfSoul in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 20th February 2008, 06:37 PM
  5. Prada Iris (Masculine?) Please Give Your Input
    By saam16 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 14th January 2008, 07:27 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000