Les Indémodables Iris Perle

Les Indémodables Iris Perle veers from a predominant iris focus laced with crisp lemon, crunchy green violet leaves, and a Chanel-style aesthetic to a scent that is more of a mixed floral bouquet with mimosa, ylang-ylang, jasmine, and orris-derived violets. It all depends on how much fragrance I apply. Let’s take a look at both versions, shall we?

Source: Dreamstime.com

Iris Perle is an eau de parfum that was created by Antoine Lie and released in 2017. Les Indémodables describes the fragrance, its notes, and their percentages as follows:

Les Indemodables Iris Perle. Source: Luckyscent

FRESH FLORAL POWDERY
A pearl in the world of perfumery, it takes seven years for orris to deliver its precious oil…from the time it is planted until the extract is produced. An elegant and delicate perfume, with [h]eart notes of french orris, Egyptian violet leaves and Moroccan mimosa absolutes, balanced with a fresh ocean breeze.

Orris absolute France grand cru 0,3% (world ‘s most expensive extract).
Mimosa absolute Morocco 0,25%
Jasmine absolute India 0,7%
Ylang Ylang oil VOP Madagascar :0,7%
Contains Clary Sage from the Alps*.

Iris Perle differs in the degree, prominence, strength, and clarity of its individual notes depending on whether I apply 2 atomizer sprays (equal to about 2 sprays from a bottle) or if I apply 3-4 sprays (equal to about 3.5 sprays from a bottle. I’ll start with the 2-spray version before briefly describing the differences with the larger amount.

IRIS PERLE – 2-SPRAY VERSION:

Iris Perle opens on my skin with fresh, brisk, lemony citrus splashed generously over crunchy, green violet leaves. Lurking behind is a certain fresh wateriness, though it never reads on my skin as any sort of Davidoff-style calone aquatics. Peeking out from the base every now and then are quiet pops of powdery, vanillic orris and a cool but floral iris. 5 minutes in, a soft, sheer, subtle dusting of vanillic- and floral-scented mimosa pollen appears, sweetening the citrus veil. At the same time, an even more delicate, slightly impressionistic note of sweet, fresh jasmine note joins the party.

Bruno Paolo Benedetti, “Lilac Shades” at absolutearts.com (Direct website link embedded within.)

Roughly 10 minutes in, everything harmonizes as Iris Perle turns into a fresh, fluid, thin and gauzy bouquet. When taken as a whole, it is a naturalistically fresh, crisp, elegantly streamlined floral composed, in order of prominence, of: Brisk, fresh lemon; loads of violet leaf greenness; a cool watery breeze; a slightly impressionistic pollen-strewn yellow mimosa floralcy; and slightly sweetened powder that smells both of orris and floral pollen.

20 minutes in, a thin, delicate layer of creaminess begins to run under everything. At the same time, even more delicate, iris flowers rise from the base and float like a gauzy, visually grey-skewing ghost behind the flowers.

Iris Perle’s opening sillage is, like many Indemodables fragrances that I’ve tried, initially moderate before turning low sooner than anticipated. The bouquet I’ve described above is diaphanous, light in body, and trails about 5-6 inches before dropping to about 1.5 inches after 75 minutes. At that point, I cannot detect Iris Perle from afar; I have to either bring my nose inches from my arm or wave my arm around my nose.

Iris Perle changes in subtle, small, and incremental degrees, so it takes a while for the overall bouquet to change its dominant notes (the iris) and focus. At the end of the 1st hour and start of the 2nd, the scent dissolves into a blurry, somewhat impressionistic, citrus-forward mixed floral. The flowers are primarily jasmine and mimosa tied together with thin threads of amorphous greenness and cool, somewhat watery iris. The whole thing is then dusted in vanillic orris that reminds me of old-fashioned, violet-flecked, makeup face powder. 90 minutes in, the flowers grow increasingly abstract.

Audrey Hepburn. Photo: Mark Shaw.

At the start of the 3rd hour, Iris Perle has changed into an uncomplicated, fluid and minimalistic citrus- and green-infused iris floral that reminds me of both a crisp white shirt and of Chanel‘s olfactory aesthetic. In fact, for some reason and in terms of basic effect, the cool, watery note somehow resembles (to me) Chanel’s beloved aldehydes. While it’s not soapy, the aldehydic-like aerated cleanness combines with the brisk, cool citrus in a way that reads, to me, as being very Chanel-like in style. The jasmine and mimosa have departed (for now). The orris power sinks into the base where it is barely perceptible, but violet leaves’ amorphous greenness remains and is now an integral part of the predominantly iris bouquet along with the citrus and the watery, aerated cleanness.

Coco Chanel in a white suit in her Paris atelier. Source: British Vogue and Time magazine.

In the middle of the 4th hour or about 3.5 hours in, Iris Perle remains the same but it’s so quiet, light, and discreet on my skin that it almost feels as though the fragrance is about to turn into a skin scent.

3.75 hours in, the ylang ylang arrives. It is sheer but creamy, sweet, and vanillic in scent, and it weaves itself around the central bouquet of violet green-flecked, citrus-loaded, watery, and clean iris floralcy, turning it sweeter, warmer and less Chanel-like in aesthetic. Over time, the ylang gradually shifts Iris Perle’s focal point and balance of notes.

Thanks to the ylang, Iris Perle shifts again in focus and the prominence of individual notes at the end of the 5th hour and start of the 6th (or just after the 4.75 hour mark). It is now a predominantly a soft, sweet ylang ylang bouquet dusted with make-up like sweet orris makeup powder and lying atop a delicate, thin, muffled base of sweet jasmine. Bursts of yellow mimosa pollen pop up every 10 minutes or so. Wisps of a woody-ish greenness are more random. At the same point in time, Iris Perle turns into a skin scent on me, though it’s not difficult to detect if I put my nose right on my forearm and sniff.

7.5 hours in, Iris Perle is an abstract blur of floral whiteness, floral yellowness, citrus, and sweet, vaguely vanillic, quasi-oris-ish powder.

The iris returns when Iris Perle’s drydown begins in the middle of the 9th hour or about 8.5 hours in. At this point, the scent is a gauzy, silken whisper of fresh, clean, citrusy, watery, impressionistic, pseudo iris-ish floralcy atop a subtle, thin, and muffled base of quasi-ylang-ylang-ish, vanilla-ish cream.

“Cottonwoods” by Georgia O’Keeffe. Source: wetcanvas.com/forums

It’s difficult to make out much, to be honest, as the bouquet is a rather bedraggled, skeletal and ghostly wallflower that I have to coax out of its gauzy shadows by digging my nose right into my forearm and sniffing hard.

Iris Perle becomes a flickering ghost in its final hours, a suggestion of fresh, citrusy floralcy tinged with a suggestion of indeterminate sweetness. In total, the 2-spray version lasted about 12 hours, but it was really a lost cause on my skin after the 6th hour in terms of substance and presence. In fact, I’ve become firmly convinced that most of the Indemodables fragrances, on me at least, require a really large scent application (about 3-4 sprays on the arm) for them to gain both structural flesh and help in projection.

IRIS PERLE – 3-4 SPRAY VERSION:

Painting: ARTbyKirsten. Source: ARTbyKirsten Etsy store. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Iris Perle opens with a voluminous cloud of lemon that is sparkling, crisp, brisk, zingy, and faintly sweet. There is a subtle, though muted, sense of clean, cold water (not calone) which is overtaken after a few minutes by the orris. It smells of clean, cool, iris floralcy with a quiet subset of sheer violets (the flowers, not the leaves) as well as powdery vanillic- and violet-laced orris powder and something that, to my surprise, reminds me of lilacs. There is also a floral, liquidy greenness that evokes, for whatever reason, hyacinths to me rather than crunchy violet leaves.

Since iris is my least favourite floral in perfumery, there is enough else going on here to make me sniff my arm appreciatively. I love the subtle impressions of lilacs, hyacinths, and green-tinged violets lurking under the iris; I enjoy the sparkle of the citrus; and I’m grateful that the iris smells of clean floralcy without any of the stony cold, dark cellar, or rooty qualities that so many iris fragrances have.

Mark Rothko, “White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose),” 1950.

As with the 2-spray version, 3-spray Iris Perle shifts in degrees but the changes are larger, more impactful, and less a question of degrees. After 20 minutes, sweet white jasmine and narcotic, heady, sweet, faintly creamy yellow ylang flow over the citrus, iris, multi-faceted orris, violets, and clean, cool water. 50 minutes in, Iris Perle is suddenly centered primarily on lightly sweetened orris with a subtle makeup-like nuance. Whispers of green-infused violet flowers, clean beige iris flowers, and wateriness that reads as freshness run quietly through it.

Iris Perle shifts dramatically yet again at the end of the 2nd hour and the start of the 3rd. It is now a simple, sweet bouquet of jasmine dusted with a generous helping of sweet orris powder and a touch of tonka, vanilla, or both lurking underneath.

Though the ylang-ylang has temporarily vanished, it returns after the 3.75-hour mark. During this time, there is little orris powder, only a vanillic undertone.

Ylang ylang via thewildpapaya.com

By the start of the 5th hour, I’d estimate that the jasmine comprises at least 85% of the bouquet with the remainder consisting of heady, creamy, almost custardy ylang (7%), powdery mimosa (5%) and vanilla (3%). There are no violets, citrus, iris, greenness, or watery coolness. In fact, this version of Iris Perle was so limited and brief in its iris focus that I double-checked the ingredient percentages and, no, I wasn’t mistaken that the jasmine and ylang-ylang are 0.7% of the fragrance composition while the orris is a mere 0.3%. So I’m a little perplexed at what is appearing and dominating on my skin. (In both versions, to be honest.)

In the hours that follow, Iris Perle never segues into anything predominantly centered on floral iris or even remotely Chanel-ish in aesthetic. There are merely fluctuating levels and degrees of prominence with regard to the jasmine, mimosa, ylang-ylang, and orris powderiness. Also, the orris simply veers back and forth between violet-flecked makeup face powder and vanillic-scented powder.

Photo and source: Myan Soffia at Sixthandmain Etsy boutique. (Website link embedded within.)

Iris Perle turns blurrier after the 6th hour but it remains a sweet, powder-dusted floral in shades of cream, white and yellow until the 9th hour when it veers between abstract, sweet, powdered floralcy and abstract, sweet, floral-infused powderiness. Iris Perle remains that way until its final hours when it is merely a blur of slightly powdery sweetness.

This version of Iris Perle had very good longevity and moderate to low sillage instead of just low sillage. With 3-4 sprays from my atomiser sample, the fragrance opened with about 4 inches of sillage that grew to about 7-8 inches after 20 minutes. The trail shrank after 2 hours to about 4-5 inches where it remained until Iris Perle hovered just above the skin in the middle of the 5th hour. The fragrance turned into a skin scent early into the 6th hour but didn’t require much effort to detect until about the 9th hour. In total, Iris Perle lasted on me just a hair over 14 hours.

ALL IN ALL:

As someone who dislikes iris and absolutely adores ylang-ylang, I obviously related and enjoyed the second 3-4 spray version more but I think it will be the first 2-spray version which will appeal to true iris lovers, not to mention big fans of the classical, fluid, rather minimalistic Chanel olfactory aesthetic which many (not me, but others) perceive as the height of elegance. So if you’re an iris lover who samples Iris Perle, I’d suggest that you play with the size of your scent application if you’re experiencing insufficient iris or too much of the mimosa, powder, jasmine, and ylang-ylang.

For other opinions on or experiences with Iris Perle, you can turn to Fragrantica.

Disclosure: My sample was provided courtesy of Luckyscent. That did not impact this review. I do not do paid reviews and my opinions are my own.

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability:Iris Perle is an eau de parfum that come in a 50 ml/1.7 oz bottle for $260 or €210. In the US, you can find it at Luckyscent and Indigo Perfumery. Outside the US, you can turn to Les IndemodablesSamples: Luckyscent and Indigo offer an individual sample for $5. Luckyscent also offers the brand’s official Discovery set of 11 fragrances, each in a 3 ml atomizer, for $54. Indigo Perfumery has its own sample set of 7 fragrances in 1 ml quantities (but in a 3 ml spray vial) for $32. An official 8-piece Discovery Set is also available at Les Indemodables for €45. (Scroll down to the bottom of their page.) Each fragrance comes in a 3.5 ml atomizer. Other retailers: You can find a list of retailers from France to Sweden, Germany, Australia, and other countries (UK excepted) at Les Indemodables stockist page.

5 thoughts on “Les Indémodables Iris Perle

  1. Very interesting! If I get a sample of Iris Perle I will definitely play around with the number of sprays. Really enjoyed that you were quite observational in your process.

  2. Thank you for your write-up. Just a quick note to say I was so happy a few years ago when I discovered this Iris Perle. After YEARS of searching this was instantly my signature scent. Still is. One spray to the chest is all I need. I am a 50-ish man and this stuff just makes me smile all day long.

    • How wonderful that you found a signature scent and that it makes you happy all day long! I’m delighted for you. What does it smell like on you?

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