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.