Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

The time has arrived. You all know how much I love Vol de Nuit, but I'm living off a decant, so I have to mix it in with other things. These other things are supposed to be samples, samples I should write about on this blog, but lately, if I'm not wearing Vol de Nuit (or, actually, Rochas Femme), then I'm wearing Iris Poudre. (And I must say here how lucky I am, for a dear and generous friend to this blog was so very kind as to send me a recharge bottle of Iris Poudre. Hugs to you, Chaya!)

Iris Poudre has notes of iris, tonka bean, musk, vanilla, sandalwood, and vetiver. For me, it feels almost impossible to talk about Iris Poudre in terms of individual notes. It seems to come out of the bottle whole, as exactly what it is. Putting it on is like walking into a cloud of scent that already exists in its perfect state.

"And that is?" you ask. I find myself at a loss for words, but I'll try. Editions de Parfum says it's a "grand floral aldehydic." When I think aldehydes I typically think Chanel, as the particularly aggressive form aldehydes take in Chanel perfumes is an identifying mark. I don't mean aggressive in a negative sense. It's simply another mark of a perfume's character that might also be elegant, pretty, floral, woody, earthy, or what have you. The vetiver heightens the true floral quality of iris here, bringing to it the refreshing quality bergamot and orange blossom often bring to other perfumes. But iris is decidedly not orange blossom; even in this "floral" state, it's the height of sophistication. The remaining notes provide the softness, rounding out the bright floral with a cozy effect. It's proud and comforting at the same time, both soft and strong, yet not aggressive, like a mother lion with her cubs. She's tender and caring, but still, you know her power.

Through the blend of six simple notes, Iris Poudre manages to reach that exquisite grace that takes other perfumes tens of notes to achieve. In preparing for a grand event, have you ever decided to buy a new dress and have your hair and makeup done? When you're finally prepared, you look in the mirror, stunned and slightly pleased at how you've turned out. You arrive at the event, feeling confident until you look across the room and see her: perfectly simple dress, perfectly simple makeup, hair pulled back into an elegant chignon. Instantly you know it took her no more than an hour to prepare, while you went through an obstacle course of beauty most triatheletes couldn't survive. She is Iris Poudre.

*photo from