A Month of Irises

Who needs roses on Valentine’s Day when you can have irises?

You may already be a reader of Undina’s excellent blog, but she came up with the idea of making February ‘A Month of Irises’.  There is a new post each week on Undina’s Looking Glass which she is adding to each day with a little iris-related review or fact, so do check in there for the rest of the month and share your SotD. Other bloggers are getting involved in the fun too and I’m hosting here on A Bottled Rose today.

I’ll be posting a full review of my current No.1 iris, Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums at the end of the month, but today I wanted to talk about another iris in my collection: 28 La Pausa by Les Exclusifs de Chanel.





I own a 200ml vat of the original EdT and while it is notorious for poor longevity, strangely I don’t have any problems on that score. It would be tough to produce an iris-centric perfume that wasn’t elegant but I think you’d be hard pressed to find one more refined and coolly charming than this Chanel.

28 La Pausa is a silken iris, being low on rootiness and much more floral in character. I find it soothing and minimalist yet radiant. It stops short of aloof and floats pleasantly around me in the palest blue aura.

When I tried the new EdP version I found that it progressed rather too quickly to its vetiver base on my skin. However Victoria of Bois de Jasmin recently wrote that she prefers it, in her brilliant Top Ten of Winter Iris Perfumes so do see how you find it. That post also spawned galloping lemmings of On Lipstick from Maison Martin Margiela Replica and Mythique by Parfums DelRae.

Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens is surely the ne plus ultra of iris perfumes but it has too much of a cold knife edge for me to wear it comfortably. My “lottery win” iris would be Irisss by Xerjoff at £560 for 100ml.

Chanel No.19 EdT is the iris-forward perfume that is currently on my To Buy list. Another fantastic iris that I’m sure I’ll own one day is Prada’s Infusion d’Iris Absolu.

Some others that I admire and have reviewed in the past are Hermes Hiris, the white iris of Nirmal by Laboratorio Olfattivo, the moonlit Iris Nazarena from Aedes de Venustas and the fabulously smoky Iris Cendre by Naomi Goodsir.

If you missed it on Olfactoria’s Travels back in the day, you might be interested to read my write-up of Incredible Irises, an evening of iris at Perfume Lovers London. It features some background information about this luxurious ingredient as well as a good selection of scents.


Please let us know in the comments which iris perfume you are wearing today or which one/s you love!






Filed under Perfume Friends, Perfume Reviews

24 responses to “A Month of Irises

  1. Pingback: Month of Irises: Week 2 (Feb 8th – Feb 14th) – Undina's Looking Glass

  2. Tara, thank you for being a great host(ess)!

    While planning the month of irises, I carefully selected perfume that I would wear for Valentine’s Day: since I’m trying not to repeat perfumes during this month, and it’s the second celebration occasion for me, I needed my [second] best perfume. So my choice is Annick Goutal Heure Exquise. Every time wearing it I think that it is beautiful – it must be love.

    I haven’t worn Iris Silver Mist in a while and plan to do it soon – so I’m curious how I feel about it now after I tried and wore so many other beautiful irises.


    • Undina, I’m so happy to be hosting today! It’s great when someone makes the effort to come up with something new and we can all join in.
      I’m very glad you brought up Heure Exquise because I really need to re-visit this iris. I tried it very early on in my perfume career and can’t remember it at all. I think it could be a big hit now.
      I’ll be interested to read your thoughts on ISM and see how it rates.


      • I don’t know how the most current version of HE smells: my bottle is about 6 y. o. I’ll send you a sample, and you’ll tell me if you get to try the current version (I don’t think any store carries AG here any more 😦 ).


  3. Hey hey Tara!
    Now I’m popping on your blog (a reverse when you came to read my MQS at Undina’s)

    I love iris perfumes but I honestly don’t know where did that come from. I think one of the first perfumes I fell in love with was a prominent iris and it stayed that way in my mind. There are so many wonderful irises out there and many more to be discovered (or even created).

    I find 28 La Pausa awesome but a) it lasts on me for less than 1 hour and b) I can’t buy it in Poland so I will probably never have it unless someone gifts it to me, which is rather impossible 😉
    But I have my other irises.

    Today I’m wearing Moonlight Patchouli from Van Cleef & Arpels. I was scared to try it first but then I learned that its name is completely misleading, as the bottle hides a sueded iris inside.


    • Hey Lucas!
      I think I’m very lucky that 28LP sticks around on me. I am definitely in the minority. Maybe iris likes me as much as I like it 🙂
      I’ve heard good things about Moonlight Patchouli and a hidden sueded iris sounds perfect.


  4. Ooh, I must revisit Hiris and Heure Exquise, as I feel I may still care for them, even if my iris relationship is strained at the moment. 😉 I described La Pausa as ‘cryogenic iris’ once, as you may recall, and Iris Silver Mist is even colder now you mention it! That has been my issue with iris lately – it reads as austere and non-comforting sometimes. For Undina’s birthday I was looking for 31 Rue Cambon, but couldn’t find it and ended up wearing Prada’s Infusion d’Iris which was too ‘Fifth Element’ for me, to reprise Undina’s excellent analogy. I will keep trying to remember iris scents I might still love in this weather. I checked the notes of my beloved Plus Que Jamais, which has iris in, but not to the fore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi V,
      I now recall you labelling 28LP, ‘cryogenic iris’ which is quite apt.

      It’s a shame you’re not feeling iris perfunes at the moment but Hiris is warmer than most in my view and I’m pretty sure The Guide compared Heure Exquise to a feather bed.


    • OJ Orris Noire and FM Iris Poudre are both very warm irises. So is Impossible Iris. Haure Equise is much warmer than, let’s say, Infusion d’Iris (even Absolue) or Iris 39 but still not as warm as the first two.


  5. I am feeling quite irisy at present, so might have to read up on some of these reviews

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m always open to new iris perfumes but it’s hard to get one that is just right.

      I hope you discover simething you like the sound of. Nirmal is dreamy and Iris Cendre is completely unique.


  6. Lady Jane Grey

    Nobody mentioned one of my fave Irisses : Angelique by Papillon – smooth and light, with all the pastell colours of spring. Then the lovely Chocolate Iris compositions by Armani Privee La femme Blleue and Iris Ganache by Guerlain. While I like Frederic Malle’s Iris Poudre it’s not Iris enough (it‘s strongly Jasmin on me).
    I enjoyed the post a lot, T – Iris is one of my top 3 notes, although I needed a year or two to grow „mature“ enough for it 😀


    • I do have a sample of Iris Genache and will wear it this month. It’s not for me but I was surprised when it got discontinued. Angelique has a fantastic iris accord. Just a bit too much heliotrope for me, sadly.

      I’m pleased you grew into iris, M!


  7. Tara C

    I am wearing Silver Iris by Atelier Cologne today, which was my wedding perfume.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really like a lot of those you mentioned. I think Nettuno from Medittorosa is great too. For me, it felt like an alien iris that came from a planet where everyone has cheekbones like Faye Dunaway.


  9. Sandra

    Hi Tara, I am so glad to read your iris round up. I keep wanting to try out new iris perfumes and this list helps me focus. Now I just need to find them. Wishing you a great weekend. Sandra xo


  10. I’m ashamed to say that at first when I thought of iris perfumes, my mind was basically blank except for Hiris. And then as the posts kept coming up, so many perfumes came to light, most of which I should have been able to remember. 🙂
    Still, it’s great that everyone selected differently, although Iris Nazarena seems to come up more often than the rest. 😉

    And since it’s a month of irises, of course it makes sense to wear New Harleem today. 😀 😉 I couldn’t help myself.


    • Ines, I just looked up New Harleem and now I get the joke 🙂
      Someone described it as smelling like brunch, haha!
      It’s not easy to wear one type of perfume every day but it’s super fun to participating in this little project.


  11. I love 28 La Pausa EDT. I use 8 sprays and that last me over 8 hours! I am currently using the small bottle and have the humongo bottle as back up. The juice in my bottle, which I got 3 years ago, is slightly lighter in color than yours.

    I wore Armani Privé Iris Celadon for the first time last week and woot, it is terrific. I have a decant but it sure is FB-worthy!


    • Lovely to see you here, hajusuuri,
      Great to hear you have found a way to make 28LP last on you. I think my skin must just love iris, haha. My bottle is pretty old so interesting to hear your newer bottle has paler juice. Hmmm
      Nice to learn about the Armani Prive. I must have tried it at some point but can’t recall. I hope you can get a bottle once your decant runs out!


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