Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

by Tom

Okay, I admit it.  I’m a sample whore.  I’ll come home from some store or another with samples in hand that are of stuff that I wouldn’t wear in a million years.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s a private joke amongst the SA’s in giving me some of these.  I mean, take into account the Barneys bag I ran across cleaning a corner of the closet where two samples of Iris Poudre and the empty box formerly housing an actual purchased fragrance had once resided.

Oddly enough, I decided to sample this in perhaps the perfect way possible, after a long bath.  Now in a perfect world for this review said bath would have been filled with foot-high pink foam while I gushed on the Princess phone to Rock Hudson about Rock Hudson not knowing it was really Rock Hudson (consult Netflix for explanation).  The scent is all pink and pretty iris.

That’s the opening.

To take the Ross Hunter metaphor further, this goes from “Pillow Talk” to “Madame X” with the addition of dark musks, but it’s still a great heaving corseted busom of a fragrance.  In a thoroughly modern, pared-down way that while witty, seductive and winkingly sexy isn’t going to gas your partner into anaphylactic shock.

I’d never wear it.  You ladies should.

$155 for 50ML at Barneys


  • Ingrid says:

    I’ve been wearing IP for about 3 years, I do agree it’s a seriously overlooked scent in the FM catalogue.

    Every time I wear it I get compliments. My sister is a devotee of SL’s Iris Silver Mist, and though it’s lovely & everyone raves about it, I’d been an IP fan for a good year before I smelled ISM &, gorgeous as it is, it couldn’t make me switch allegiances. This is my Iris scent. hands down winner. I’m not a girly girl, I’m a heavily tattooed rockabilly chickadee & somehow, this fits. Its girly but in a pencil skirt, bold red lipstick & seamed stockings kind of way rather than a floral print dress, fluffy way. It’s both womanly & girly if that makes sense? Anyways, I love it to bits :)

  • Beth says:

    Tom, thanks to your review I dug out my sample and wore this today. Just hadn’t gotten to it after my sample binge in Chicago. My-oh-my, it’s not at all what I thought it would be. I kept sniffing the bottle and then picking something else for the day because it just smelled too … too … I don’t know, too much?

    So once past the initial blast, I’ve fallen more and more for this scent with each hour. It’s spicy and warm, and wonderful in the drydown and I’m LOVING it. Thanks for the push to try it :)

    Oh, and btw, I adore Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back!

  • Stephen says:

    Ummm… i must say i love love love wearing this… and it totally does remind me of the Doris Day movies from the 50s and 60s… And I wear it out and proud :d

  • March says:

    What Minette said. Sometimes I feel like it’s wearing me (like Fracas) although it is an amazing scent.

    • Tom says:


      I can see that it would be a special occasion scent. Can’t see wearing this to the PTA, unless you want them to talk..

  • minette says:

    i do. very femme and yet very ethel mermanesque in its reach (it hits the back rows, easily). great scent, but it can wear you if you’re not in the right frame o’ mind. my first malle, actually.

  • Tom says:

    this one’s pretty intense, all right..

    • Gretchen says:

      I give it a light spray on the back of one wrist, then dab from there to my other wrist, neck, etc.

  • Gretchen says:

    I love it madly. It doesn’t smell girly to me – not pink marabou girly – but chic and happy and confident.

  • Jen says:

    I love the Malle’s that I’ve sampled but I find them so. gosh. darn. intense! Like I waft the bottle in the direction of my state and that’s plenty intense.

  • Musette says:

    I’m a sample whore, too, Tom! My Saks SA used to fill me up with so many samples, it was absurd! (absurdly GOOD!). I used to buy FBs of stuff just so I could scrab samples….:-?

    That seems odd….

    okay, moving on…:”>

    Iris Poudre is one of those Malles that I think I like – but then something happens…then I like it a bit more…but I’ve yet to fall in love.

    xo >-)

  • Catherine says:

    This is one of my favorite iris scents. All that powdery goodness making me feel like Marie Antoinette lounging before an open window and a cool breeze. Alas, all my samples of it are gone. I need more. Tom, you’re making me LONG. :x

  • Olfacta says:

    I remember reading somewhere that Doris Day was a big-band singer before (whatever studio it was) came up with the eternal-virgin image for her, even going so far as to make her wear brassieres that minimized her very ample bosom, and that she liked a good time as much as any girl. Which showed, don’t you think? Anyway, I’ve really got to try IP one of these days. I’m liking iris more and more.

    • Musette says:

      I always got a sense that she was a good-time girl (and I think that’s GRAND!). Much like the Ice Princess persona they developed for Grace Kelly, it seemed to be largely artificial. Then again, there was always that hint of sensuality peeking out from the image that made it so beguiling. With DD, there was that sense that once that ring got slipped on that finger…Katy, BAR THE DOOR! 😉

      xo >-)

    • Tom says:

      she was a big-band singer in the 40’s and early 50’s. she also did a few movies before they hit on the “eternal virgin” routine.

  • mals86 says:

    I avoided IP for the longest time because of its name: iris I’m not a huge fan of, and powdery isn’t all that appealing, either. But every time I filled out that Editions de Parfums online questionnaire, that’s what it came up with.

    And finally, after a discussion on aldehydes, a friend sent me a sample of it.

    I loved it at first sniff. I loved it more after four hours, and still more each time I wore it. The little spray sample was gone in less than a week (this is unheard-of for me)! I nabbed a decant as soon as I could possibly do so.

    Turns out it isn’t very irisy, nor very powdery. Although I’m not much of a pink girl – I still prefer red to pink, unless we’re talking bright azalea pink – I am a *girly* girl. Wearing Iris Poudre feels like drinking champagne while wearing fluffy white marabou kitten-heeled slippers: glamorous, luxurious leisure. I wore it yesterday, and if it weren’t so darn expensive, I’d wear it more often. Sigh.

  • Marsha says:

    Pil-low talk, Pil-low talk, there must be a boy, there MUST! Love that movie. That was the first movie where they actually wanted to make Doris Day look sexy.

    Fun post, as always!

  • Ann says:

    Hi Tom. I agree that the FM Iris sometimes get overlooked. I think I have a sample running around here somewhere.
    Hopefully, it’ll get some love today, thanks to your fun reminder. I very much enjoyed the “Pillow Talk” theme. Haven’t seen that in some time so will have to revisit that as well.

  • Hilary says:

    I really love Iris Poudre and have been dreaming of a bottle for about a year now. I’ve never understood why it isn’t more widely talked about. It seems forgotten in the FM lineup. Thanks for bringing it to the Posse’s attention, Tom. Great review!

  • Francesca says:

    Not a big iris fan, but I loved your post.

  • I wish I liked Malle fragrances because I LOVE the bottles. They are so simple and chic.

  • vinery says:

    Next time, do what I do and put the Iris Poudre in your bath. It makes a really lovely soaking experiance.