Elegant, chic, some might say aloof, iris has fascinated perfumers for decades. You’ll find her unique touch of sophistication among this week’s latest launches. Guerlain adds a touch of audacious café au lait with its Iris Torréfié as new house Strada lets iris take you to Rome’s celebrated Via Veneto. Meanwhile Juliette Has A Gun is giving us Lipstick Fever and we’re loving the heat.
Guerlain’s L’Art & La Matière series spotlights especially precious raw materials – in this case, Iris pallida, already a cornerstone of Guerlain creations from L’Heure Bleue to Shalimar. As they put it: A symbol of protection and wisdom, in perfumery, iris remains one of the most delicate and precious scents in existence.’ Here, Guerlain’s virtuoso perfumers temper iris’s signature powderiness with a jolt of coffee that renders it contemporary, exciting and very, very chic.
£185 for 75ml eau de parfum
JULIETTE HAS A GUN
Is there who doesn’t love the ‘Mummy’s handbag’ smell of a luxe lipstick? If so, we’ve yet to meet them. Capturing that in liquid form is Romano Ricci’s latest, with a slash of iris, violet absolute and raspberry softening to the woodsiness of patchouli and cedarwood, chosen to echo the leather interior of a handbag, before the comforting sweetness of vanilla slowly emerges on the skin. As for the suitably scarlet flacon? Mwah, mwah!
From £85 for 50ml eau de parfum
An exploration of innocence unfurling into something altogether more sinful, the opening lulls us with a gentle stroke of freshness via galbanum and cypress, followed by a tickle of incense and pink pepper and just a hint of hot, musky skin in the coriander. The heart purrs of powdery, woody, strawberry-tinged facets of iris – a surprising fruitiness amplified by blackcurrant absolute, licked with lentisque, softly snarling into an animalic base of mimosa-infused leather.
£175 for 100ml eau de parfum
A capsule collection of four unisex fragrances marks the launch of this new house. Their mission? To capture some of the world’s most famous locations in olfactory form. Here, the spirit of Rome is spritzed in a cloud of jasmine, iris, tuberose, neroli and rose – refined, standing slightly aloof perhaps, but definitely a scent your nose wants to know; and the dry down of ginger-tinged woods and amber-swathed cypriol is quite simply bellissimo!
£90.62 for 30ml eau de parfum
As anyone with even the rudiments of French will glean, this is woodier interpretation of Gentleman; strictly woody-floral-spicy in character, it’s designed to ‘heighten the sensuality of any gentleman’, a supremely elegant blend of black pepper, coriander, moreish cocoa and sophisticated iris, smoothly segueing into the sandalwoodiness of the base, then wrapped in an Ambrée accord. Warning: only to be worn around those from whom you don’t need to socially distance.
From £59 for 50ml eau de parfum