Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Iris Bleu Gris

One thing I notice about reviews of iris fragrances is that so many of them point out that the perfumes don’t smell much like iris.  I think part of that may be due to a confusion between iris (the flower) and iris root (the bulb of the iris plant); whereas iris has a floral smell, iris root smells earthy, dry, powdery and dusty.  The other reason may be that fragrances with a strong, dominant smell of iris root, due to its strange, dark and doomy smell, are probably not something that the average consumer will pay real money for. 

That being said, Iris Bleu Gris is a total iris root fragrance.  If you like the smell of iris slamming right in your face, then look no further.  This is yet another scent for which I’ve read reviews saying there’s not a lot of iris in it.  Are they kidding?  Your first spray punches you in the face with a fist of iris and green citrus.  It’s an invigorating, effervescent opening blast that I love.  A half hour later things tone down a little, but you still get a strong, bluish-gray smelling iris root note on top of sweet jasmine.  The drydown is excellent, with iris still holding on strong, on top of light leather, amber and oakmoss.  I can barely even smell the leather, amber or moss in the drydown because the iris is so dominant.  Anyone who says there’s not a lot of iris root in this either is anosmic to the note in this context, or he’s confusing his smells.

Though I really like Iris Bleu Gris, I can’t give it a perfect score, and that’s mainly due to the middle phase of the scent.  The jasmine in the heart accord grates on me – it’s sweet and heady, and it clashes with the iris.  It makes the fragrance smell kind of cheap and chemical, unfortunately.  The good news is that I only smell this phase for about an hour, after which it’s all smooth sailing for me.

Like most iris root fragrances, Iris Bleu Gris smells stiff and austere.  Wearing this around is serious business.  It has that trademark dusty, aromatic, blue ashen smell of iris root, and it’s not a smell that’s usually associated with good times and giggling.  I associate it more with cloudy days and old ashes from a dirty fireplace.  It has the same gray and grim feel as the infamous Narciso Rodriguez For Him.  It’s the perfect scent for a dandy who’s a real hard-ass.

To sum it up, I think this is a great fragrance overall, with a mediocre middle phase.  Due to the unsmiling, gloomy nature of this scent, however, it’s not something I’d reach for very often.  I’d need to specifically be in the mood to wear iris, but when I’m in that mood, nothing else would satisfy.

MY RATING:  8/10

Fragrance House:  Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier

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