I love the summer with its sun, its scents, its blue sky with the speckled clouds, the green nature with all its plants and animals. But when the heat has been above 32° for several days now and everything is paralyzing, I start to look forward to autumn. Fragrantly I am well prepared. I own some autumn scents - with patchouli, roses and iso, and of course two wonderful ouds from MFK - which I all love to wear. Now a new one has been added, which does completely without patchouli, roses and oud. Bois d'Iris has long been on my wish list. A cheap ebay offer has now made it possible that it found its way into my collection.
It was a blind purchase due to the ingredients of the fragrance pyramid and surprisingly good ratings. After all, Bois d'Iris has made it to a top spot in the unisex ranking.
The ingredients, it seems to me, are a bit of a secret. At Parfumo, only "salty notes, iris, ambergris and vetiver" are mentioned. Other sources are said to know of ladanum, vanilla, myrrh, sugar and driftwood. This brings us closer to the fragrance.
I like wood notes. Not necessarily the sweet sandalwood, but if it's in the direction of tangy cedar or something, I appreciate it. And sun-kissed driftwood, anyway. I'm fascinated by the powdery dryness of the iris in general
That was also roughly my idea of the Bois d'Iris, whereby I wonder whether Bois means wood or forest. In English the word wood can also mean both.
Although I knew that there would be wood nuances waiting for me, I found the idea of the iris forest simply more inspiring. Just imagine a forest of violet iris flowers ... They were one of my favourite flowers even as a child. At that time people still talked about irises.
In fact, as early as the 19th century, perfumes were brewed from the iris roots, which were poisonous in themselves and were called "violet root" at the time, and they gave off the violet fragrance that was extremely popular at the time. It was also coveted as a confectionery - not least because it provided a discreet fragrance in a quiet little place.
The scent of the iris root - no aromatic oil can be extracted from the blossom - is considered to be beguiling: mystical, soft powdery, elegant, woody and sweet. The rootstock has to mature for years before it can be distilled into iris butter.
The "blue flower of romanticism", behind which the iris is assumed to be, is named after the winged goddess of the rainbow from Greek mythology.
So what would I expect? Iris, of course, and wood. That's what I'm counting on. But what wood notes will those be? And how will they mix with the earthy vetiver? Where will this fragrance journey take me?
Actually, everything should be clear. Is it? I'm spraying the scent. It's all there, but it's not what I expected. The wood is light, dry and sweet, like sun-warmed. The first impression is: woody, dry and sweet. I think I smell a hint of vanilla.
The fragrance has a noble and subtle effect right from the start. It doesn't reveal itself to me immediately. It "flickers" somehow. My guess is Iso. Every time I sniff the back of my hand, it feels different. The light wood is a constant, the powdery iris is a constant. But the vanilla "flickers." I am irritated. Maybe what I think is vanilla is maybe the labdanum?
For moments the fragrance reminds me of the strong aroma of dark forest honey, but without sweetness. The sweetness is already there, but restrained, rather balsamic.
Herbal green nuances alternate with woody ones. Once I have the feeling of walking past a rural sawmill and perceiving the smell of freshly cut wood. However, there is also "forest", which makes the balsamic scent heavy and somewhat earthy. Vetiver has something musty, herby, but not as intense as patchouli, which likes to push itself into the foreground.
Bois d'Iris is a subtle fragrance. Subtle, I remember. It's subtle, not overpowering, but present. For me, it is a soft autumn scent - a bit pensive like a day in Indian summer, when you can already feel the elegy of the fading summer. But it is not a fragrance of strong feelings. It's subtle. If you pay attention to it, you are rewarded with various scent elements - forest honey, wood, balsam, tart vetiver and, if you sniff very closely, there is also something somehow sublime that makes you think of incense. I suppose it's the myrrh that puts a slightly smoky veil over the whole thing.
The fragrance is pleasant, varied, subtle and exciting. It never gets boring
Those who pay less attention to it will find it an unobtrusive, sympathetic companion that radiates elegance, but remains pleasantly unsweet in its dry, woody dominance. The iris blends harmoniously into the fragrance orchestra. And no, it has nothing violet-like here, but only the fine powdery sweetness of a fragrance that is completely devoid of floweriness, which I find very appealing.
It is a fragrance for dreaming, a companion for the last summer days and the first still warm autumn days. It has nothing dark or gloomy like many patchouli scents. It rests in itself, feels calm and transmits this feeling of well-being to its wearer. I write Wearer because I prefer to imagine this fragrance on women, although it is unisex. For men it is perhaps too soft, not intense enough and too indifferent, iridescent.
I think it will appeal best to people who are sensitive to the soft tones, so to speak. That's where he unfolds his great wealth of nuances. Provided one has a fine nose to perceive all the notes
In my opinion, the iris forest is not undergoing a major change - apart from the fact that the lovely vanilla will at some point become more and more ambergris, i.e. lose this very sweetness and become more "oriental". Which of course does not mean that Bois d'Iris is an Oriental. But he has something that I associate with wanderlust, as I often feel when migratory birds gather in autumn and fly south. And I accompany them in my thoughts, across the great water, wondering how many of them will return.
I mean, with Bois d'Iris you will be well received everywhere and leave a pleasant impression. He fits in very well with many occasions. He can give you a certain elitist aura. Because he's sophisticated. In this sense, he may not be so attractive to very young people - except for the charismatic personalities among them, who like to stand out from the crowd.
I like this smell. I find the mixture of woody and powdery very successful.
As I said, I wouldn't necessarily wear the Bois on hot days, because it radiates just that earthy warmth, but on summer evenings it can certainly appear attractive.
One should not underestimate this scent in any case. He's got it in him, so to speak. I keep discovering new facets of him. That makes it varied. I wouldn't be surprised if Iso was involved.
The fragrance manages to combine warm chords with a certain elitist detachment - an exciting fragrance experience.