Perfume Directory

Bois d'Iris (2009)
by Van Cleef & Arpels


Bois d'Iris information

Year of Launch2009
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 60 votes)

People and companies

HouseVan Cleef & Arpels
PerfumerEmilie Coppermann
Parent CompanyInter Parfums

About Bois d'Iris

One of Van Cleef & Arpels' 'Collection Extraordinaire'.

Bois d'Iris fragrance notes

Reviews of Bois d'Iris

Kotori Show all reviews
United States
Smooth and cold. Imagine Bvlgari Black and L'Instant de Guerlain for women had a baby. The beginning is all about rubber and woods, and then it calms down to Iris and ambergris with a bit of cedar. There's also a bit of pepper, to my nose. Completely unisex. A gentle cool weather fragrance with a rich temperament and a classy vibe.
22nd October, 2017
my old pal colin could have written my sense of this minor masterpiece word for word. except for the ending - i found fb at a fraction of retail, so just perfect. 'silver powder' indeed!
29th September, 2017
Maude Abrantes - Amedeo Modigliani
04th November, 2016
I must admit it: I’ve a penchant for iris fragrances. As long as they’re even just decent, I always like them a lot. It amazes me how versatile this material can be, and how many nuances it offers. It can smell warm and luscious, dusty and cold, “grey” and “red”, plushy and earthy, and always so refined and mysterious. Anyway, Bois d’Iris is surely a remarkable must for any fan of this material, probably even more than other more praised ones in my opinion. It explores the colder-dustier and more balsamic side of iris, pairing it with dry resins, warm amber, a very peculiar sort of “greyish”, massively incense-driven crisp woody note, and a sort of rarefied foggy pine-forest feel. So imagine a breezy, balsamic, woody and above all, dusty-powdery incense scent, completely unisex and actually quite dark somehow, or better say “cold”, peaceful yet somehow aloof. Almost “lunar”, I’d say. And extremely refined: the dustiness has some very fascinating sort of sparkling texture – “silver powder”, so to speak. Dior named a scent “Bois d’Argent”, but that name would be so better for Bois d’Iris actually. By the way the two scents are indeed quite similar, but I prefer Bois d’Iris, for a couple of very simple features: less pretentious, more substantial.

What fascinates me about this scent is how it creates a shimmering, rarefied sort of “silver incense” vibe played on iris powder and resinous-balsamic woody notes, without using directly incense. I mean, this fragrance smells quite incensey to me, but in a peculiar way, “incensey and not-incensey at once”. Maybe more than incense I should say “a whiff of cold, azure-grey smoky breeze scented with iris and luxury resins”, as it feels weightless and airy yet surprisingly substantial, balsamic, enveloping. Truly one of a kind, extremely enjoyable and fascinating. Shortly – if it wasn’t clear already – I really like this scent: it feels quality, it’s extremely sophisticated, it’s delicate but not light or too close to skin – just elegantly discreet. I own other iris based scents, and this has definitely its own personality which makes it worth owning even if you think you’ve “smelled them all” when it comes to iris. Maybe a tad too expensive, but a true class act!

27th November, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This is about iris - and a good iris it is, counterbalanced by woodsy impressions. Not too sweet, with shades of spice and greenness inter-playing with the main theme. I get moderate sillage and good orojection, and four hours of longevity. Simple and of good quality - that's good enough for me. 3.5/5
17th January, 2015
I'm just not sure about Bois d'Iris. It's OK, but I just haven't found it to be spectacular. I think it actually smells fairly simple, like black pepper mixed with frankincense with a touch of iris to cut the masculine woodiness and a vanilla base.

My big complaint is that the vanilla base is that cheap-smelling cotton candy vanilla, which basically ruins the perfume after a few hours. My other issue, which is a bit more esoteric, is that Bois d'Iris feels like it was trying to be minimal, but came out unfinished. Sure, everything's in its place, but there's no panache, no decoration - Great perfumes are made by the little details. A wisp of smoke, a hint of powdery flowers, subtle little bits that build character and keep things interesting. Bois d'Iris doesn't really have any of these, just peppery incense with a little iris drying down to a terrible candy note.

In a way, I'm being overly picky because this is so expensive and I expect more from a niche "exclusif" collection than I do from regular releases. It's not a bad perfume, it's just not extraordinary. I probably would have given a hesitant thumbs up if it weren't for the garbage base, but that's more than enough to drag my rating down to a tepid neutral.
08th April, 2013

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