An iris rising from the ashes…
Notes: Bergamot, Tangerine, Orris Butter, Violet, Amber, Cistus, Tobacco
Earlier this year I ordered a sample of Iris Cendré from Surrender to Chance along with Vanilla Smoke by Aftelier Perfumes, which were my two lemmings of the moment. Vanilla Smoke was a great success and is on my Full Bottle List but what about Iris Cendré? I’ve been mulling it over.
Seeing as I love the note so much, I feel there is definitely room for more than one iris in my collection and I like the atmospheric, striking style of Naomi Goodsir’s perfumes. With so much positive feedback last year, Iris Cendré definitely got me intrigued. I was also interested to see what perfumer Julien Rasquinet’s take on iris would be as he does smoky scents so well (such as Bois d’Ascese by the same brand). I quite fancied an iris among the ashes.
Iris Cendré starts a little vegetal and a little powdery, with a brief burst of chilled orange juice. As the iris comes into full focus, I’m reminded of why I love this material as much as I do. I read on The Candy Perfume Boy that one perfumer described orris as “a perfume in itself” and that sums it up its complexity perfectly.
Here, it strikes a nice balance being not too carroty, cosmetic or floral. The mood is subdued and candlelit. As iris often does, it evokes a wistful feeling in the wearer.
Iris Cendré is powdered but in a very gentle, smooth way and I’m relieved that it’s not sweet. It’s true to iris’s nature but adds something new in its sprinkling of cinders. It doesn’t smell of billowing smoke or incense to me, but more like powdery charcoal which turns to dust at the slightest touch. The effect is subtle and sophisticated.
As time goes on, to my surprise the backdrop turns from grey to green. I enjoy this transformation into mossy suede a great deal. In this way, Iris Cendré turns the typical perfume progression on its head. The deep, resinous, bold accords are at the start, moving into soft greenery as it develops. This makes it an unique iris fragrance. Although it may disappoint those who aren’t fans of green accords and who want those indigo/grey tones all the way through.
The base sounds like it should be heavy, being made up of amber, cistus and tobacco but it’s not. As with other creations by Rasquinet, it’s a sheer, clean, woody/ambery blur.
The projection is weak but maybe that’s the result of dabbing rather than spraying. The other aspect that gives me pause is what I can best describe as a kind of persistent musky fuzziness. My mate and fellow blogger Tina G noticed something similar so at least I know I’m not imagining it.
Personal niggles aside, Iris Cendré is an original and distinctive take on the note and worth trying if you’re an iris fan.
Please share your experience in the comments if you’ve tried Iris Cendré.
19 responses to “Iris Cendré by Naomi Goodsir”
Dear Tara, I love your description which sums up Iris Cendré so perfectly. I think we are seeing this very much the same way, although the green tobacco note in the end might unsettle me a little more than it does you. I loved ‘subdued and candlelit’ mood.
I wanted to love it, but wasn’t completely convinced, I will need to try it again though 🙂
Exactly! I so wanted to love it, but wasn’t sure when I got my tiny sample and needed to re-test. I got another sample recently and have decided it’s not for me.
I was generously gifted with a bottle of 28 La Pausa last weekend so will see how I get on with that. Couldn’t be more different!
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Oh! 28 La Pausa! Fab. 🙂
Can’t wait to give it a proper wearing. In fact it’ll be my SoTD! Thanks, Tina.
28 La Pausa, what a great gift, but I’m not quite sure about the Chanel iris perfumes for me either… it’s an ongoing debate 😉
Lila, who used to run Perfume Lovers London, was selling off her collection and wanted to gift me something which was very kind. I also bought Kelly Caleche, Vaara and a back-up of Passage d’Enfer.
I don’t get on with No.18 but hopefully I’ll do better with La Pausa.
Lovely review! I have not tried this, but it sounds very atmospheric and intriguing, with its twists and turns in different ‘palettes’ of notes. I am not the huge fan of iris scents I used to be for some reason, but am always up for being jolted out of my plateau, to mix metaphors slightly.
That bottle looks a bit dull though, if I may say so, like those big Atelier ones – they do nothing for me and would put me off a FB purchase, regardless of how much I liked the scent. On that basis, I would go with Vanilla Smoke if I was you!
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Quite right, V. It’s nice to come across a fragrance with twists and turns. You rarely get that with a mainstream fragrance.
I didn’t know you’d “gone off” iris perfumes to a large extent but that does happen.
Agree about the bottle. It lets the side down as the scents are so striking.
I’m definitely going with Vanilla Smoke!
I tried this in Milan in spring. Absolutely loved the opening, but it fizzled out a bit afterwards. I did make a mental note to try it again though, as my nose was a bit knackered at the time. Fantastic that you got the La Pausa, the proper one. I’m envious. Big hugs. xxxx
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Isn’t it funny how you, me and Asali all felt we needed to re-try it? More understandable in your case though as you had nose fatigue.
I have more than enough La Pausa to share!
Intrigued Neil? 🙂
Not really, no. Sounds a bit…..what’s the word, a bit pseudo melancholic or something.
Hope you are well though. x
Yes, you might be right there..
I’m good thanks. Went to an amazing Scented Supper last night – post to follow. Hope all is fine with you and lovely Duncan.
Hey Tara, lovely review. I’m soooo reassured to hear that it’s not just me who found this interesting but had a bit of a question mark over it. For me, from memory as I can’t find my notes, I think there was a bit of a disconnect between the iris & ash. The ash is done beautifully though, light & airy, and imparts that ‘grey’ background that you spoke of.
I’m sure I’ve still got my sample somewhere, will go for a retry.
xx Tina G
It made me feel so much better when I read you found something discordant about it because I thought it was just me! Now I see Asali felels the same but not sure exactly what’s causing it – ash, tobacco, musk?
Let me know if you find your sample.
I want to echo Asali: I wanted to love it but I didn’t. And I need to try it again though I rarely change my mind after the initial disappointment. I mean, it wasn’t bad but – and that’s what you’re getting from trying new hyped perfumes late – after reading all the praises I expected it to be amazing – and it wasn’t.
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I never order samples from the States these days so I really fell for the hype to do that. i should know better!
I did really like it until the drydown when that fuzzy note got to me.
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