le Labo Iris 39, 2006

iris 39

Perfumer Frank Voelkl

Where iris root tends toward the powdery in many perfumes, in Iris 39 it’s a cold, tingling, green, papery dust. It comes off as dry but tacky like rosin. Iris 39 focuses on the conciseness of iris. If iris root were a manner of speaking it would read as follows:

Declarative statement. (“Declarative statement, pause, full stop”)

The directness of the iris can read as cold (Chanel 19), sinister (Iris Silver Mist), unapproachable (Maitre’s Iris Bleu Gris) or chaste (Atelier Cologne Silver Iris). It’s a mistake to directness as insult. Iris 39 bridges this gap in communication and keeps the objective tone of iris root without coming off as aloof.

The heart and basenotes don’t venture far from the topnotes. Typical descriptions of iris perfumes’s drydowns capture both the result and how it came about. ‘Softening to powderiness.’  ‘Fading to a whisper.’ Iris 39 skips the Shrinking Violet routine and stays sharp.

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