Top notes Aldehydes, Pink Pepper, Angelica and Bergamot; middle notes: Iris and Turkish Rose; base notes Musk, Ambrette, Carrot, Ambergris, Leather, Sandalwood and Amberwood
This perfume came up on my radar when beauty journalist Sali Hughes said it was the fragrance she has worn the most during lockdown. She described it as a musky, iris skin scent which really piqued my interest. I have a gaping hole in my collection where a skin scent should be and one based around iris sounded enticing.
As you may have heard, sales of scented candles have rocketed over the last year and I made my first Diptyque purchase before Christmas, which happily came with a sample of Fleur de Peau.
Released in 2018, it won in the categories Perfume Extraordinaire and Best New Women’s Fragrance at The Fragrance Foundation Awards London.
Rather than a blast of aldehydes as I had prepared – braced – myself for, Fleur de Peau opens with a very lovely iris; the kind that smells like a fresh ream of white paper. It’s crisp and airy, borne on a cloud of clean musks and silky aldehydes which manifest as a soft wash of glistening soap bubbles.
As it settles, powder puffs up and gently covers the perfume in a light dusting accompanied by just the softest blush of rose. The whole effect is romantic, low-key elegant and soothing. It doeesn’t quite stray into boudoir perfume territory, perhaps because it’s just a tad too minimal and subdued for that association.
Iris and ambrette are often paired and this union works once again. I think ambrette is best described as a vegetal, slighty fruity musk – not animalic and not dryer fresh. It adds another nuance to the composition and prevents the white musk from dominating.
The base is when it smells most like skin, in the purest way.
I can certainly see why Sali turned to this fragrance during lockdown. It is a subtle pastel perfume that doesn’t feel out of place worn around the home. I’ve really struggled to spray anything while staying in but this has been effortless to wear. It’s a perfume to relax with: undemanding yet elevated thanks to the iris.
While it is lovely in all its parts, on reflection I think I’m looking for more of a furry musk.
As you would expect, it stays close to the body but longevity is true to its EdP strength.
If you’re not a fan of wispy scents then this won’t be for you. It is not a perfume to set the world alight. On the other hand, if you are in search of a skin scent with an iris twist, it’s a good bet. Just be sure not to try it on paper if you want it to bloom.
Have you been able to wear perfume in lockdown? What have been your go-tos?