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  1. #1
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    Default Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Do you like iris/orris scents? There are many ways to produce an iris note in a fragrance, from relatively inexpensive ones to incredibly costly ones.

    I recently learned, from taking to a perfume professional, that the best Florentine white orris butter absolute (the "gold standard") can be got for merely $150,000 the kilo.
    Yr good bud,

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Hey JaimeB, thanks for sharing this info! I do enjoy Iris scents! But my experience is limited to very few scents at the moment. My favorite being TDC's Bois d'Iris. Forgive my ignorance, but would you happen to know which Iris scents actually use Florentine white orris butter absolute? This is very new to me. Thanks!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    If that's correct, the price has risen dramatically. It was approximately $50,000 in 2005. Slightly less than the best Indian oudh, and slightly more than the best Turkish rose extract. I wonder what they cost now.

    Chanel uses a lot of it in their best fragrances - No. 5, No. 19, Cuir de Russie, 31 Rue Cambon, 24 La Pausa, No. 18, No. 22, Coromandel.

    Same with many of the Guerlains.

    According to Maurice Roucel, Iris Silver Mist (Lutens) uses almost every iris descriptor known to man.

    Many others use it, but in smaller quantities due to price and most likely a good deal of politics.

    Chanel and Guerlain are the only ones who can really use it in abundance.
    Last edited by pluran; 18th October 2009 at 08:56 AM. Reason: point lobos

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Thanks for the info, pluran. That was very useful.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Yes, Jaime, I'm definitely an iris lover - both the fragrance and the flower!

    I believe most of the astronomical price is due to the ageing process, and not from the scarcity of the raw material or the harvesting effort, as it is with rose and agarwood. It literally takes years for the iris root to develop its aroma. For better or worse, a method for accelerating the ageing process was developed recently (since 2000 or so, I think), thus the use of iris in a variety of affordable fragrances. From Luca Turin's Winter 2008 newsleter:

    "French raw materials outfit Biolandes has figured out a way to make iris root age fast, and thus lowered the price severalfold. As a result, everybody from Chanel downwards is doing an iris."

    I suspect the accerlated iris product is only a pale imitation of the best Florentine iris butter. My favorite takes on iris would be (in order of personal preference) Bois d'Iris, Iris Silver Mist,L'Artisan's Iris Pallida, 28 Rue La Pausa (only because it's a bit too feminine for me), and Dior Homme.
    Last edited by Snafoo; 18th October 2009 at 01:08 PM.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    If that's correct, the price has risen dramatically. It was approximately $50,000 in 2005. Slightly less than the best Indian oudh, and slightly more than the best Turkish rose extract. I wonder what they cost now.

    Chanel uses a lot of it in their best fragrances - No. 5, No. 19, Cuir de Russie, 31 Rue Cambon, 24 La Pausa, No. 18, No. 22, Coromandel.

    Same with many of the Guerlains.

    According to Maurice Roucel, Iris Silver Mist (Lutens) uses almost every iris descriptor known to man.

    Many others use it, but in smaller quantities due to price and most likely a good deal of politics.

    Chanel and Guerlain are the only ones who can really use it in abundance.

    Thnx for your inputs Pluran ~ !

    Jaime - Thnx for initiating this thread! anythign to do with Iris/Orris piques my interest
    Last edited by jenson; 18th October 2009 at 03:04 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Thanks for that info, JaimeB and Pluran. I find iris/orris notes intriguing. Contradictory perhaps but I somehow think of iris as a non-floral flower.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Celia Lyttelton tells of the downturn in the Tuscan iris business starting a few years ago due to the fact the young people are leaving the area for better jobs. The work harvesting, cleaning and drying is very labor intensive. It's in her book The Scent Trail. She was raised in Tuscany, so she knows many of the producers and she is quite sad at this turn of events.

    Just checked, and google has a limited preview of the book with the pages on italy and iris not included! Still, you might enjoy the rest you can glean: http://books.google.com/books?id=U6B...age&q=&f=false

    Whoa! Wait a minute, editing again, scroll to p. 140 and the iris info is there, at least in part!
    Last edited by Natural_Juice; 18th October 2009 at 05:02 PM. Reason: posting google link to book preview
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Quote Originally Posted by matthewfoo View Post
    Hey JaimeB, thanks for sharing this info! I do enjoy Iris scents! But my experience is limited to very few scents at the moment. My favorite being TDC's Bois d'Iris. Forgive my ignorance, but would you happen to know which Iris scents actually use Florentine white orris butter absolute? This is very new to me. Thanks!
    I can't swear to what grade of iris/orris is in them, but Van Cleef & Arpels just released a scent called Bois d'Iris (same name as TDC's scent, but a different treatment of iris), and Parfums Delrae recently released Mythique from the nose Yann Vasnier. Both of these are quite nice. Of course, there's Chanel 28 La Pausa, too. All three of these seem to have very fine iris notes to my nose. Pluran may have other recommendations, or may take issue with my picks. Trust him; he has excellent taste!
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

    Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.

    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    —Seneca

  10. #10

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Snafoo View Post
    Yes, Jaime, I'm definitely an iris lover - both the fragrance and the flower!

    I believe most of the astronomical price is due to the ageing process, and not from the scarcity of the raw material or the harvesting effort, as it is with rose and agarwood. It literally takes years for the iris root to develop its aroma. For better or worse, a method for accelerating the ageing process was developed recently (since 2000 or so, I think), thus the use of iris in a variety of affordable fragrances. From Luca Turin's Winter 2008 newsleter:

    "French raw materials outfit Biolandes has figured out a way to make iris root age fast, and thus lowered the price severalfold. As a result, everybody from Chanel downwards is doing an iris."

    I suspect the accerlated iris product is only a pale imitation of the best Florentine iris butter. My favorite takes on iris would be (in order of personal preference) Bois d'Iris, Iris Silver Mist,L'Artisan's Iris Pallida, 28 Rue La Pausa (only because it's a bit too feminine for me), and Dior Homme.
    I hate to tell you, but L`Artisan`s Iris Pallida was made from `new` iris butter.
    I`ve met some links about it - L`Artisan`s creative director referred to LMR or Biolandes new orris.
    I believe that accelerated orris is good enough to be the winner. And I adore this L`Artisan, and 28 La Pausa as the best from the category.

    As far as I know, Xerjoff`s Irisss is made from the very same high quality Florentine orris, and it`s strong enough.
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Quote Originally Posted by moon_fish View Post
    I hate to tell you, but L`Artisan`s Iris Pallida was made from `new` iris butter.
    I`ve met some links about it - L`Artisan`s creative director referred to LMR or Biolandes new orris.
    I believe that accelerated orris is good enough to be the winner. And I adore this L`Artisan, and 28 La Pausa as the best from the category.

    As far as I know, Xerjoff`s Irisss is made from the very same high quality Florentine orris, and it`s strong enough.
    Oh well...
    Thanks for the info, moon_fish - even if it deflated my impression of Iris Pallida just a bit. Especially considering its price...

    Has anyone here made a direct comparison of the natural and accelerated irises as individual ingredients, and not in a fragrance?
    Last edited by Snafoo; 19th October 2009 at 12:17 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    I can't swear to what grade of iris/orris is in them, but Van Cleef & Arpels just released a scent called Bois d'Iris (same name as TDC's scent, but a different treatment of iris), and Parfums Delrae recently released Mythique from the nose Yann Vasnier. Both of these are quite nice. Of course, there's Chanel 28 La Pausa, too. All three of these seem to have very fine iris notes to my nose. Pluran may have other recommendations, or may take issue with my picks. Trust him; he has excellent taste!
    Thanks for replying JaimeB, I'll certainly try to sample those you mentioned, along with the ones Pluran suggested.
    Last edited by MFJ; 19th October 2009 at 11:12 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    .....Pluran may have other recommendations, or may take issue with my picks. Trust him; he has excellent taste!
    Thanks JaimeB.

    I haven't tried all the ones listed. My favorites are Iris Silver Mist, and vintage Chanel 19 parfum. It's my understanding that Chanel eliminated 19 parfum because it uses such an abundance of the most expensive iris butter, and the accountants didn't think it was worth it. For clarity, I think Iris Silver Mist is by far the best if you really want to smell the purest scent of iris (and its somber mood), but No. 19 is a couple steps above when talking about the overall composition. They've changed it to appeal to younger people, making it cleaner with more vetiver, and very little of the original leathery chypre aspect remaining.

    I tried 24 La Pausa and liked it a lot. I haven't tried No. 18. 31 Rue Cambon has massive quantities of what smells like the best iris imaginable. That's a seriously high quality and beautiful fragrance. Bois d'Iris is nice but leaves me wanting more as it goes into a pale woody mode. But I don't own a bottle, and that can change perceptions drastically. Iris Poudre is a high quality composition using expensive materials, perhaps not as true to its name due to a brighter disposition, but it's a stiking and memorable fragrance from Pierre Bourdon either way. Of course there's Apres l'Ondee (everyone must smell Apres l'Ondee), and all kinds of others. L'Homme de Coeur is a great fragrance with a quality and enduring iris.

    Iris is such an important part of so many great fragrances. There are very few without it. It adds a buttery, velvety richness, something half-flesh, half-flower, with voluptuous depth.
    Last edited by pluran; 21st October 2009 at 01:07 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    as quoted in Parfumerie Generale web-site
    "PG21 - Felanilla (2008)

    Spicy Oriental Soft


    "Ferociously luxurious.
    A feline Vanilla on the coat of Iris and Saffron"

    Precious, generous, thoroughbred.

    Three Absolute in a softly spiced nectar, brighted by a fruity wood and burning amber. Absolute of vanilla, Saffron, Absolute of Florence Iris, Banana Wood (A woody note with banana undertone), Absolute of Hay, Amber. "

  15. #15

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    Thanks JaimeB.

    I haven't tried all the ones listed. My favorites are Iris Silver Mist, and vintage Chanel 19 parfum. It's my understanding that Chanel eliminated 19 parfum because it uses such an abundance of the most expensive iris butter, and the accountants didn't think it was worth it. For clarity, I think Iris Silver Mist is by far the best if you really want to smell the purest scent of iris (and its somber mood), but No. 19 is a couple steps above when talking about the overall composition. They've changed it to appeal to younger people, making it cleaner with more vetiver, and very little of the original leathery chypre aspect remaining.

    I tried 24 La Pausa and liked it a lot. I haven't tried No. 18. 31 Rue Cambon has massive quantities of what smells like the best iris imaginable. That's a seriously high quality and beautiful fragrance. Bois d'Iris is nice but leaves me wanting more as it goes into a pale woody mode. But I don't own a bottle, and that can change perceptions drastically. Iris Poudre is a high quality composition using expensive materials, perhaps not as true to its name due to a brighter disposition, but it's a stiking and memorable fragrance from Pierre Bourdon either way. Of course there's Apres l'Ondee (everyone must smell Apres l'Ondee), and all kinds of others. L'Homme de Coeur is a great fragrance with a quality and enduring iris.

    Iris is such an important part of so many great fragrances. There are very few without it. It adds a buttery, velvety richness, something half-flesh, half-flower, with voluptuous depth.
    Hi there Pluran nice post. Just have a quick question re: Chanel no. 19 vintage parfum. I had a look at the old ebay and see quite a few miniature (3.5ml) bottles of the parfum on sale (example). Do you have any idea whether these new bottles of no. 19 parfum are of the same great quality you spoke of the vintage parfum?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Thanks for the info Jaime, I'm shocked at the price of this "gold standard" Oris butter absolute. I'm not well versed in these perfumes but I do like the flowers

  17. #17

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    It's my understanding that Chanel eliminated 19 parfum because it uses such an abundance of the most expensive iris butter, and the accountants didn't think it was worth it.
    Are you sure about this? No 19 parfum is still for sale here in The Netherlands... well, it was when I last tested it about two months ago, anyway
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Quote Originally Posted by nwatts88 View Post
    Hi there Pluran nice post. Just have a quick question re: Chanel no. 19 vintage parfum. I had a look at the old ebay and see quite a few miniature (3.5ml) bottles of the parfum on sale (example). Do you have any idea whether these new bottles of no. 19 parfum are of the same great quality you spoke of the vintage parfum?
    The 3.5 ml minis usually come from a set of 5 such mini parfums from Chanel. These are the newer formulation--but only if the juice is green. The golden colored vintage juice also comes in a mini, although it is more rare.

    I agree with Merlino--I think they are still making the parfum, but they have changed the formula. I saw the 5-parfum coffret in Macy's last weekend, and it included No.19.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Perfume factoid: Iris/Orris prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    The 3.5 ml minis usually come from a set of 5 such mini parfums from Chanel. These are the newer formulation--but only if the juice is green. The golden colored vintage juice also comes in a mini, although it is more rare.

    I agree with Merlino--I think they are still making the parfum, but they have changed the formula. I saw the 5-parfum coffret in Macy's last weekend, and it included No.19.
    I got myself a vintage 7ml bottle of No. 19 parfum (yellow coloured), very keen for it to arrive. I've also sample in the mail of the new Bois d'Iris from Van Cleef & Arpels. Robin over at Now Smell This raved about it, and I tend to share her taste for irises.

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