Iris Perfume – Comprehensive Guide to the Best Iris Perfumes

We happily arrive at my favorite – iris perfume.  

Now, the thing you have to understand about Iris Perfume or What the Underpants are Hiding, they can’t capture the bloom’s smell except through headspace technology, and even that is pretty ephemeral, so you get the orris root, which is much earthier.  An iris soliflore really wasn’t popular until tastes in perfume changed in the last decade or so.  

There are a lot of perfumes containing iris, and I’m not even coming close to covering all the iris floral blends. I’m staying with iris-centric fragrances for this Iris Perfume Guide, but I’m sure you all will remind me of ones I’ve missed.  As always, we will give away two sample sets of most of the perfumes mentioned in this guide (except the ones I don’t have) to two lucky commenters.  See the bottom of the post for details on how to enter

iris perfume georgia o'keefe

Iris Perfume Monsters

Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist was the first Power Iris Perfume.  The story goes that Maurice Roucel, when making it, kept getting feedback from Serge Lutens that it didn’t have enough iris in it. He finally went back to the lab and put in every iris compound he could find, and then Serge pronounced it perfect.  And it is.  It starts out rooty and fierce, and not just a few people plug their nose and head for a Brillo pad to scrub it off. But wait, seriously, and in 30-60 minutes Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist smooths out into silky butter with the most cunning little spice note.  If it stayed like the open, I couldn’t bear it, but the journey it takes is enchanting.  A couple of years ago Xerjoff Irisss$$ was launched.  Based on an incredibly expensive Robertet iris compound, Xerjoff Irisss opens smooth as silk and slowly travels to a slightly more robust rooty iris. Iris Silver Mist and Xerojoff Iriss are my bellwethers that I compare all other iris to, and they are somewhat similar because they both show up with a dumptruck full of iris roots and completely make it work..  Other than the price tag, I can find no flaw in either.  Hermes Hiris was one of the best power iris cheap thrills around. I’m not sure what happened to distribution on it, but it’s hard to find at that $20 price tag it used to have.  You can still find it, and it is so great and way less expensive than the other two in this category.  

What started it All

Guerlain Apres L’Ondee launched in 1906 and means “After the Rain Shower.”  Exactly that. There is a melancholy joy that permeates this iris-violet creation that reminds me exactly of those walks you take after a rainfall, and the earthy smell rolls up through the rain. That smell always gives me a sharp pang of joy because it is so beautiful and I know life is too short, and it will be one of the smells I will miss most.  Jacques Fath Iris Gris gets a mention here, though discontinued and impossible to get – and I don’t have any in my possession anymore – because it is s freakishly beautiful, and it is the perfume I wish most to come back exactly as it was.  Iris and peach, earthy with a juicy sweetness. It’s everything a perfume should be.  Now, no substitute really exists for it.  I’ve smelled the recreation, and it does get the idea of it right, but I think the raw materials that went into it just aren’t available any longer.  Having said that, try Ann Gerard Cuir de Nacre for an iris perfume that gets paired with leathery notes that very subtly hints at what Iris Gris was. Not directly, but overtly.  Who doesn’t love a leather iris perfume?

Classic Iris Perfume All Dolled Up

Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile is on our beginner’s list, and there’s a good reason for that, it is a very accessible iris. It doesn’t let all that rooty iris beat you over the head on the open. That gives you a few minute to experience iris without recoiling,which can happen if you haven’t really smelled a full-on iris scent before.   One of my least favorite iris perfumes is Le Labo Iris 39, and I can’t really tell you why.   It’s more aldehydic on the open, and the drydown is fine, it just doesn’t speak to me in any real way, but it could work for you if you prefer your iris a little green and perfume’ish.  Maybe it’s just that I can’t figure out the unique aspect to it.

If you like your iris perfume with a wee bit of suede and impossibly chic, Parfums DelRae Mythique is your date to the Iris Ball.  This thing went on my Top Five iris perfume list as soon as I smelled it because it’s not just great iris, but it has a unique take on it – not a hint of powder you normally get in iris, it hugs you very close to the skin.  Iris meets Hollywood glam fits Frederic Malle Iris Poudre – dark, mysterious, luxurious, sensuously powdery.  It’s not  baby butt powdery, but femme fatale lipstick, rouge, aldehydes and paint kind of powder.  You know, I hadn’t put this on for years, thinking I didn’t really love it.  While I’m never in love with wearing aldehydic perfumes, I really adore smelling this.  

Another of my favorite iris perfumes is the seductive, smoky Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cherie Par Camille EDT. I have both the EDP and EDT, and I love both, but the EDT is more about the iris, the EDP is more about the plum.  Mon Parfum Cherie Par Camille (MPCPC) is the old world with a modern sensibility. Every time I wear it, I feel like I’ve gone back in time to when women were utterly feminine, batted their eyelashes, murmured huskily, and sashayed men off to their frilly, smoky lairs with only this scent to mark their passing.  I reviewed it back after it came out, the EDP, with this bit “I love it because it is different and unafraid and uncompromising.  It is Film Noir Woman interesting – when women wore tight sweaters with pointy bras and pencil skirts and aprons and pearls over it – but not of that time, just glancing backwards at the scents women wore that were interesting.”  I hadn’t put this one on in a few months, and I fell head over heels in love with it again.  

Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris pairs iris with violet jasmine, raspberry and ylang to make a very plush iris perfume that veers pretty far North of the rooty aspects of iris. Beautifully posh.

Iris Perfume Soliflores

Chanel 28 La Pausa is an almost perfect iris scent – a little green vegetal, bright, but be ready to reapply every hour or two, it tends to go poof really quickly.  Prada Iris parfum is a straight-up soliflore, nicely powdered, rich and the perfect high-end iris without any other obvious notes to take away from the iris.  DSH L’eau d’Iris is mostly a soliflore, but with a little violet, neroli and musk thrown in – easy to wear and one of my faves from an indie perfumer.  

Iris Perfume Grown in the Woods

Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris is one of my favorite iriseses  (Irii?)  Iris perfume. I reviewed this one as well back in 2009.  It’s wrapped in a warm, fetching incense and vanilla woods that makes it much more than a woody iris. The Different Company Bois d’Iris walks in the woods much more purely, drying down to something much less rooty and more floral, and it is a solid iris perfume you can wear almost every day and not tire of.  Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir sits in the sophisticated woody iris category.  Grounded in the Ormonde Jayne perfume base, it’s not that dark, but it is gorgeous spiced incensed woods where it plants its lovely iris roots.

iris perfume o'keefe

Silky Smooooooooth and Very Diverse Iris

March reviewed Cartier L’Heure Promise a couple of years ago, and I’m just going with what she said, the pairing of sandalwood and iris is luxuriously beautiful. She said “So here’s a final happy aspect of L’Heure Promise – iris and sandalwood as a combination.  Or, looked at another way, a sandalwood that has not been contaminated infested tainted by paired up with rose.   The soft sweetness of the sandalwood with the dry, woody iris?  A match made in heaven.  This made me almost as happy as … sandalfig.”   Smooth, not heavy, and happiness-inducing. Well, except the price tag.  Serge Lutens Bas de Soie is iris and hyacinth and icicle-laced stocking.  Well, they don’t list the icicle-laced stockings as a note, but it is chilly, as I noted in an old review, but not in a bad way  Hothouse iris flowers just pulled from the chiller.

Parfum d’Empire Equistrius is I think one of the most oddly beautiful iris perfumes, paired with rice and chocolate, which sound so vapid together, but is perfume genius.  I never get the horse the ad copy for Equistrius refers to, but, hell, I don’t care.  I can live with a ricechocoiris horse     Hermessence Iris Ukiyoe is a little too aquatic iris for me, but if you like your iris drowning in a lovely oriental pond surrounded by water lilies, you won’t find anything else that fits more perfectly.  Fruity iris?  By Kilian Flower of Immortality is more peach than iris, but it flirts with the Iris Gris combo of peach and iris enough that it needs a nod in an iris perfume post. Plus, I really love this perfume for summer.  Scratch that, I love it year-round, but summer makes it amazing.

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise is a better version of Chanel 19, incredibly green iris with big doses of galbanum that smooths out to soft, dry iris.  Anne-Marie reviewed it a few months back.  Speaking of Chanel 19, it’s really not my thing at all, but it is an iris blend so now it’s been mentioned.  However, Chanel 19 Poudre focuses a little more on the iris, and it is a lovely, more moderated version of Chanel 19. In other words, it’s wearable.  Chanel 19 lovers can tar and feather me now, I’ll be leaving through the Blog Back Door.  Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Fleur d’Iris isn’t my thing at all because of how powdery it is, but I know a lot of you love you some iris powder.  If you do, this is a great way to go. You’ve probably noted my lack of enthusiasm for all the perfumes in this paragraph.  I don’t really like green iris or powdered iris. Ruins a perfectly great root.

Iris Perfume that Won’t Eat all Your Cabbage

Christion Dior Dior Homme is not only one of my favorite iris perfumes, but one of my favorite scents of all time – economical and yet still very sophisticated iris – smooth, just a touch rooty, unisex. Prada iris Infusion for men and women are obscenely economical and really lovely.  They aren’t particularly unusual, but they are well made, easy to wear, and you can get a vat of it on eBay for about 1/2 the price of a Serge bell jar.  Bvlgari Omnia Amethyst, despite that clunky and impossible bottle design, created a nice iris fragrance that wraps the iris up in heliotrope.  I’d missed this fragrance, despite having it in my perfume drawers for the last four years, but hey, it’s never too late!  Really nice and cheeeeeep.   Hermes Hiris goes in this category as well the Power Iris category. 

There are a number of discontinued iris perfumes or some I don’t have and can’t comment much on, so I’ll either briefly talk about them or link to another review:

  • Guerlain Iris Ganache – discontinued, but a pastried iris.  I loved it, but not a lot of people did since Guerlain made it disappear.  Bitches.
  • L’artisan Iris Pallida – discontinued, but a lovely rooty iris that I miss like crazy.  It was a limited run, and as they say, when they’re gone, they are gone.
  • Parfumerie Generale Iris Oriental (formerly Parfumerie Generale Iris Taizo) – I remember this as Iris Taizo and loved it, but I can’t remember specifics beyond that impression
  • Keiko Mecheri Iris d’Argent – Fragrantica has several reviews of this and Iris Poupre, which I missed as well.
  • Heeley Iris de Nuit –  I know I’ve smelled this and liked it, but just can’t remember specifics. EauMG has a review on it.
  • Donna Karan Iris – don’t have it, not sure if they still make it, but I thought it was a great soliflore.
  • i Profumi di Firenze Iris de Firenze- really nice soliflore, and if you’re ever in Florence, stop in and pick up bottles for like 27 Euros.
  • Santa Maria Novella Iris – soliflore, I Smell Therefore I Am has a review of it.
  • Miller Harris Terre d’Iris – I know I’ve smelled it, but remember absolutely nothing about it. Good thing Robin and Marlen at Now Smell This did a review of it  

Okay, clickety click the gadget below this, after you comment, if you want additional ways to enter to win a sample set of most of the iris perfumes listed in this guide.   Entries accepted through midnight next Monday 6/17/13.   What’s your favorite iris perfume?  Do you like them rooty or beautiful or odd?

 

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Samples reviewed and provided for giveaway are iris perfume samples found at Surrender to Chance.

141 Comments

  1. I haven’t tried any of these! So I guess I really need the sample set. Apres l’Ondee has been on my wish list for a long time.

  2. I am Hermes fan so I’d probably approve IF I had ever tried it but no. There was Something in a lavender colored bottle at Saks that put me in a semi-coma for the afternoon one…I need to try harder.

  3. I have fallen for iris over the last year. Somehow I picked up at least 10 different iris fumes over the last year. Two of my favorites not listed is Carner Barcelona D600 and the gorgeous incensy Farmacia SS Annunziata 450. Great choices, as always!

  4. I haven’t had the opportunity to try many iris perfumes, but Infusion d’Iris is one that lead me down the perfume rabbit hole. I also have a mini of Hiris that I enjoy quite a bit.

  5. My favorite iris so far is Parfum d’Empire Equistrius. Thanks for the great iris showdown.

  6. If money was no object, I would be the proud owner of Xerjoff Irisss. It has the most amazing iris base. But since the pennies still count, I would say that Equistrius is my favorite iris. Although I own many other contenders.

  7. I really loved the Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris. Wanted a full bottle of that one 🙂 There is an oddness to the iris scents that I really enjoy!

  8. 28 La Pausa has me hooked on iris (although I also adore No. 19) and there are so many on your list that I have been dying to try. I would be so incredibly happy if I won the sample set!!!

  9. The only Iris perfume I have tried thus far is Iris Ukiyoe, which I liked (it was also the first aquatic perfume I tried) but did not love. It reminded me, not unpleasantly, of an air freshener I had a long time ago, and it lasted all of 15 minutes on my skin. I did like it enough to be curious to try more iris perfumes, for sure 🙂 Thank you for the draw!

  10. Oh, I love Chanel no. 19 with all my heart, and wish I had a FB of Iris Nobile. I would love to try the rest, because I think iris is a fantastic note!

  11. I’d have a hard time choosing between L’AP Iris Pallida, Chanel 28 La Pausa, Xerjoff Irisss and AG Heure Exquise. I also enjoy the Iris Gris recreation, although it is different in tone from the original Iris Gris. I wish Amouage would do a symphonic iris as only they can do the full perfume orchestra plus 1000 person choir.

    • Wouldn’t that be amazing? I sure hope Amouage is listening …

    • Hi, lady! What a beautiful iris that is. I love it, too.

  12. Excellent list! My favorite is Bas de Soie, I bought a bottle immediately. I like Hiris quite a lot, too. The Prada left me cold, didn’t see what the fuss was about, I think I’m partly anosmic to it! And Malle’s Iris Poudre is lovely for an evening out. Cuir de Nacre is beautiful, and more casual than the Malle, so I think it’s a bit more wearable on a daily basis.

    • Masha, so glad you mentioned Bas de Soie. When I first tried it, I thought it was OK. But a few months later, I found myself craving it like crazy. It’s just so cool and crisp in the heat. Guess I’d better get some more stat!

  13. So of all the coincidences: I found my way to Nordstroms today and braved the SA, who was actually kind and I don’t know why I am scared of SAs, but there you have it – I am, and asked this nice SA if I could have a sample of No 19 poudre because I have sniffed No 19 but not No 19 poudre. She obliged and I now have my sample. All of this is to say I have sniffed these two now and my inexperienced nose would love to sniff every other Iris there is.

  14. Just tried Iris Poudre the other night, and I’m on the fence about it. I do love O.J. Orris Noir, Christian Dior Dior Homme, and both Prada Infusion d’Iris. Iris is a note that I am learning about. Thank you for the draw!

  15. I love your comprehensive guides to different notes! I’ve only tried Après l’ondee and Flower of Immortality, I like both of these and would love to try some more on the list 🙂

  16. Maybe I’ve been a starving student for too long, but at $180 dollars a bottle, I wouldn’t describe Heeley’s Iris de Nuit as particularly affordable. That honor would go to Prada’s Infusion d’Iris, which can be had for around 60 bucks at many perfume discounters. But I would describe Heeley’s Iris as “whoa, gorgeous!” I’d love a chance to sample the other irises you wrote about- it’s such a fascinatingly multi-dimensional scent. Thank you!

    • Oh dear, two things: I see that I’ve misread the article. Nowhere was it asserted that Heeley’s iris was particularly affordable. And two, I’ve included my full last name. As I cannot edit my post, could someone please edit or delete my last name from my post? Thank you. …I think I need a nap. Or a cup of coffee- I can’t decide which.

  17. Infusion d’Iris edp is my go to scent. I never get tired of it. I love the iris in No. 5 Eau Premiere. Iris Poudre came my way in a swap. It is beautiful.

  18. SL Bas de Soie is my signature. I love it. All hyacinth and Iris and beautiful! But it’s amazing that you posted this today, the one day in a year that I decided to wear Infusion D’iris….I found my decant as I was cleaning out a drawer…so fun!

  19. I adore rooty, leathery, and green. Subtle iris doesn’t work for me – Apres l’Ondee vanished after a brief moment of invoking sadness. Sampling is always fun!

  20. I love Hiris and Chanel Poudre is on my WL. Still searching for the best iris scent. Thanks!

  21. I thought I had issues with iris ever since testing Iris Silver Mist and hating it – to me it feels like entering Batman’s cave. Then I met Equistrius, fell in love, and realized not all irises have to smell cold and musty.
    So Equistrius would be my favorite iris, followed by Parfumerie Générale Felanilla (with its wonderful iris-woody vanilla accord).

  22. I hate to bring this one up because it falls within the Mirage category, but La Femme Bleue (Armani Prive) is a delicious iris. I can’t say it is my favorite, but it is one sample I am hoarding because it is so beautiful, and as you said, when it’s gone, it’s gone.

    The first time I spritzed No. 19, I was transported. And it never happened again! For some reason, No.19 won’t settle on my skin. I agree that Heure Exquise is a better? kinder? version.

    I have a sample of Acacia by Fueguia 1833 and it is a fancy-free iris. Very nice!

  23. Funny, I have not tried any of the scents on this list and so cannot say for sure which iris scent is my favorite–though I am fond of orris. I believe I would look for that unique rooty earthiness in an iris scent, which may throw me into the “power iris fan” category. It might be interesting for me to find this out, whether I win the drawing or not 😉

  24. Finally, an iris guide! Yay! I like mine powdery and dusty, my favourite is – what else? – Iris Poudre. I also like a cheapo bio-perfume called iris Tenue by L’Erbolario, which is a more wearable version of (my beloved monster) Teint de Neige. I remember liked Hiris very much too, though I’ve drained my samle and can’t remember how it exactly smelled right now. Maybe it’s time for another sniff. The only other iris I’ve tried is Bois d’Iris by TDC and I love that one also, though its completely gone from my skin in 20 minutes or so. Sniff. 🙁
    I’d love to be entered in the giveaway! Thank You Patty!

  25. I love iris in perfumery, this is my favourite perfume material. In my collection I’ve got Prada Infusion d’Homme, a decant of Infusion d’Iris Absolue, L’AP Iris Pallida, VC&A Bois d’Iris.

    To your super comprehensive iris guide I would add magnificent woody iris from Carner Barcelona. The perfume is called D600, a great and long-lasting iris with the woody touch. Also Millet et Bertaux #1 Parfum Trouve has a lovely iris with creamy ylang-ylang.

  26. Loved Après l’Ondée (thought it doesn’t last on skin, alas). Loved Hiris. Bought a miniature of Heure Exquise. Bought a FB of Chanel n°I9. Have noted :” explore iris note” in my little perfume notebook. Tried Prada Infusion d’Iris three times before resigning myself : something in it turns heavy and unpleasant on my skin…
    As you see, this “iris” guide is extremely welcome, and I would love to win this giveway !

  27. Love Après l’Ondee and Prada Infusion d’Iris. They both remind me of my old iris and rose garden.

  28. Ooh, I love iris, I guess I am a rooty type as I love the smell of orris butter, and Xerjoff Irisss.
    Infusion D’Iris is a daytime staple, and no 19 when I feel assertive and have good hair.
    Oh and Iris Ganache in my tiny disappearing decant.

  29. I love my iriiiiiiiii green and powdery and green and powdery and a bit rosy and maybe with some leather… Oh, Iris Poudre is such a pluch beauty and I’m so happy to own FB of it- but somehow it’s more of a wintertime scent for me, whereas my daily go-to iris is No.19 or Iris Nobile – both of which I just can’t get enough of! I still haven’t learned to love the rooty carroty iris, so there’s still something to discover and this is a great guide for it!

  30. Thank you so much for this list, I love iris frags, and see I have yet a so many to try- fortunately. I simply couldn’t pick a favourite if I tried- although I find Apres L’ondee heartbreakingly beautiful. Some that you didn’t mention include Opus V, Marron Chic, Insolence EdP, Shem el Nessim and Ouris. LOVE your description of Iris okiyoe- iris drowning in an oriental pond of waterlilies- haha!

  31. Well, I used to think that I didn’t like iris until I realised that a lot of my favourite perfumes contain it. I absolutely love Creed’s Fleurissimo – I know it can divide opinion, but I wonder if it needs a certain skin type to make it smell good, and I am lucky enough to have that (which is nice, as I am not normally blessed with great fortune!). Also like L’Heure Exquise and No 19, and admire Apres l’Ondee but find it sometimes a little too sharp for me. Crabtree & Evelyn brought out their Iris recently, but this one reminded me of why iris and I don’t get on so well together, as it has the “dog fur” smell I associate with it (now maybe if it were cat fur I might like it better!).

  32. Iris is a note that I used to think I didn’t like but have come around on. I think Dzongkha convinced me that iris didn’t work for me because it seemed really soapy, which I didn’t find pleasant. I’ve since realized that not all irises are created equal. I really like Chanel 19, and I love me some Bas de Soie. I haven’t tried Iris Silver Mist or the Xerjoff, but I want to, if for nothing more than to see how hardcore I am.. 🙂 Incidentally, Bas de Soie and Flower of Immortality are gorgeous layered together. A great iris-peach combo.

    I also have a sample of Heure Exquise that I got from a perfume fairy last month, and I haven’t spent a lot of time with that one yet. After reading this I think I might remedy that today.

    • Oh yeah, I forgot…jilliecat’s post reminded me.. Crabtree & Evelyn’s Iris is another one that I like. I only ever see it sold in a 100ml bottle, and while I don’t really want *that* much of it, it is nice.

  33. Iris Silver Mist sent me scrubbing. I don’t mind a touch of iris. ISM is way more than a touch. It also made me realize just how personal a thing perfume can be since it really has its fans. Something I find awful on me, others swoon over.

  34. Iris Silver Mist is my favorite, though I do admit I had to kind of wrestle with it before I could appreciate it…

  35. I love iris, thank’s for putting up this list, Patty!
    I’d say my favorite is Prada Infusion d’Iris, because I’m a sentimental gal and this is the first iris I loved. (Do you know if it is true that they made it (along with other recentish iris releases) because China started producing cheap natural iris concrete?)

  36. Ooh Iris!
    I’m slowly working through Iris. Actually wearing Heeley’s Iris De Nuit from a sample right now. It’s quite lovely.
    I’d love to get back to smell Ramon Monegal’s Impossible Iris, I had a smelling strip and as it developed I started to think it might be very very special.
    I also need to smell Iris Silver Mist soon as it’s mentioned over and over again.
    My favourite Iris so far is Iris 39. I didn’t like much it initially, but after going through a few irises I have great appreciation for it.

  37. I’ve never thought of Ametist as an iris perfume. I love it because it reminds me of some smell from my childhood. Chanel 19 is one of my favorites though it was better 10 years ago :-/ Chanel Powder is nice, but not too interesting to my nose.
    Thank for such a comprehensive article and the giveaway! 🙂

  38. Loved seen Dior Homme included. One of my favorites and it often finds its way into bed with me. Bas de Soie is normally a love, but every so often, it just grates on my nerves. Not sure why but I just move on.

  39. Thanks for this post, I just realized I’m a scattered iris lover. My favorite is Iris Ganache, and in more humid summer areas of the country I wear Prada Infusion d’Iris. It’s so dry here in Colorado it’s as if I’m layering dry on dry. It is so nice to have a list to work from, a road map of iris. I think I’ll start today!

  40. Love these comprehensive lists! I really liked Omnia Amethyst but it disappeared before I could find my keys in the morning. Thanks for the draw. 🙂

  41. I fell in love with VCA’s Bois d’ Iris when it first came out and immediately bought a full bottle. I love wearing it! I sent for a tiny sample of ISM some years ago, and it was amazing, but I have since read that the formula has been changed somewhat. Do you know anything about that? I would love to try it again now, as well as the other iris fragrances you mention. Thank you so much for the draw!

  42. My favorite iris perfume is Cuir de Russie (a bit of a cheat, since it’s also a leather)— but I love so many. After years of feeling nothing for 28 La Pausa, I awoke to it this summer and simply can’t get enough of it. I love Iris Nobile Sublime and Chanel No 19 (especially the vintage edt, but I would love a bottle of the recent edp too). There are so many great ones.

    Lately, I think that I smell iris in so many things… I must be cracking up, because I thought I smelled it in Philosykos.

  43. Hmmm, dont think I have focused on any iris perfumes since I began my pungent journey. Thanks for the generous draw and a great article-I have a brand new list of samples to order!

  44. Well, have you tried the new Iris de Nazarena?? I’m excited about that one but will wait until I sample. Though I usually looove iris, there are a few that are really horrid on me. Honestly, it can go any of the following: Old Lady, Man’s Cologne or Aloof, Snobby and Downright Mean if it’s not exactly right.

    • Hi, sweet Sherri! Do let us know what you think of it after sampling. I’m intrigued by it as well.

  45. I fell hard for the VCA Bois d’Iris a little while back, and still haven’t branched out to other iris perfumes. Clearly, it’s high time. I love having your comprehensive note guides to walk me through exploring a note. Thanks for the draw.

  46. Another vote here for TDC Bois d’Iris. So wearable.

  47. Patty, thanks for this wonderful list! I was salivating at every turn while reading it. I have yet to try an iris that I didn’t like, even Iris Ukiyoe was nice and not overly aquatic on my skin. Someone above mentioned the La Femme Bleue which I find lovely, but heartbreaking, too, as it’s an LE. DNEM, of course, but clearly, I’ve got some more iris exploring to do.

  48. Honestly, I don’t know if I could pick out an iris note in a perfume. I’ve never smelled any of the above. However, I think one of my favorites, L’Heure Bleue, contains some iris? Anyway, I’d love to educate my nose, thanks for the drawing!

  49. I love iris, and you have my two favorites listed–VCA Bois d’Iris and Equistrius. But there are still so many I haven’t tried.

  50. My favorite Iris perfume (so far) would have to be Prada Infusion d’Iris. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  51. I was so happy to see this post today! I’ve been plotting my ‘iris to sample list’ and this list does it all! I have yet to sample most of these, thanks for the wonderful draw. Even if I don’t win, I’ll have this great cheat sheet.

  52. It looks like I’m not the only one who has started a love affair with iris through Infusion d’Iris and Hiris. I love to wear Hiris to work because I get happy little whiffs of it throughout the day. But it’s Iris Ganache that has broken my heart. Please everyone, pray to the Perfume Gods that Guerlain comes to its senses and brings it back. As you can see I really, really NEED the iris sampler so I can try to find something to distract me from my profound grief from Ganache!

  53. I have been exploring iris perfumes lately – I just love it’s cold kiss in the spring and summer! Iris is quickly becoming one of my favorite notes – I like all sorts of treatments so far, but nothing beats the wild weird rooty-ness of Iris Silver Mist for me. Yet…

    Thanks for entering me in the drawing!

  54. I actually wanted to start sampling more Iris fragrances. I’ve tested just a few but if I had to pick a favorite I would say Prada Infusion D’Iris Absolue because it’s that heavy, powdery, elegant Iris. A runner up is Juliette Has a Gun Citizen Queen. Thank you for the giveaway! ^_^

  55. I need to explore more Iris fragrances but I do love Chanel No. 19 (vintage EDT). What a generous draw, thank you!

  56. Love iris…if I have to pick a favorite I’d say Mythique

  57. I would love to explore more Iris fragrances. I have Chanel #19 Poudre, and love it. I like Prada Infusion d’Iris too. I love reading these lists, and I would probably love most on this list. Thanks for the draw…fingers and toes crossed for this one!

  58. I love several of these and did before I even knew they were Iris. I need to try Chanel 19 Poudre, since 19 has been a love/hate for me ever since it came out. Thanks for the draw!

  59. It’s so hard to pick a favourite Iris. I have so many FB’s and samples from your list, so my shortlist of those still to try is fairly small this time. Equistrius sounds like it needs to be first on the list though. In Autumn and Winter I love Orris Noir, in Spring its Apres l’ondee, in the Summer its Hiris, 28LP and Iris Silver Mist. Great post as always!

  60. So many beauties! My favorites are discontinued – Iris Pallida and Iris Ganache. I also love Odori’s Iris, not mentioned here – a bit on the sweeter side, with some vanilla.

  61. My first iris love – The Different Company’s Bois d’Iris
    My current iris long-term relationship – 28 La Pausa
    My iris on-off affair – Le Labo Iris 39

    But PG’s Iris Oriental (formerly Taizo) is the one that blends best with my chemistry. I can see us together in the future.

    Thanks for entering me in the draw, as iris is one of my favourite notes.

  62. I own and love Iris taizo/oriental and bois de iris. i adore both. I like la paula certainly yet it disappears from my skin as if it never were there. Thanks for the draw.

  63. I didn’t think I liked Iris due to the powdery nature of Hiris, but then I tried Impossible Iris. Now I’m interested in checking out the note. I did the same thing with oud, and wound up buying a 12-pack of Oud’s to try. I think Iris is next on my list, so thanks for the guide as a place to start!

  64. I allways love your guides to the best … perfumes and just wish I could try them all. So far I am familiar with just two iris perfumes and love them both. I own No.19 and once had a solid sample of Iris Silver Mist, sadly good for one application only. I thought I was not going to like ISM after reading the blogs (one of them even mentioned carrots rotting in the fridge) but it was just heavenly. Thanks for the draw.

  65. wow…where to begin. i adore iris frags. one of my earliest decants was the Iris Pallida- it WAS truly stunning and i was hooked on the note. Apres l’ondee quickly followed…l’sigh! i currently have Cuir d’Nacre, Soivohle’s Orris Ochre (discontinued?), Iris Taizo and by Killian Flower of Immortality. the Killian, despite the staying power of an anemic ghost, is amazing. I own Chanel’s La Pausa and, for reasons i will never understand, hate it. don’t ask…i don’t know what the problem is. i also have a huge cobalt blue bottle of an Iris Soloflore with a missing label that is my go-to. i believe it is something Italian and i know that the maker begins with an ‘M’ as there is an ‘m’ embossed into the bottle along with a crown and some laurel leaves. i’ve never sniffed the Monegal or the DelRae but both sound lovely. i’m certain this is too much information but you are speaking to my heart with this article.
    Please enter me in the draw…

  66. Iris is one of my favorite notes, so I’m really happy to see this entry in the “Best of” collection. I have tried many of the ones listed, but certainly not all of them. My year-round favorites include No. 19 edp and VC&A Bois d’Iris. I was wearing the Heeley Iris de Nuit just last night, from a sample, and it is really pretty. The PG Iris Oriental is a great one for winter because it’s rich, dense and heavy. I love the 28 La Pausa, Bas de Soie, Infusion d’Iris, Iris 39 and Iris Nobile in the spring and summer. Apres L’Ondee is the perfect rainy weather scent. There are still many more to search out. 🙂 Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

  67. Iris is one note I have never really explored. I like Prada Infusion d’Iris but never really seek out my sample as I find it a bit cold. I think I might associate it with someone I don’t particularly care for as the scent is not unpleasant. I would love to try more iris perfumes and broaden my horizons a bit.

  68. I think my favorite iris perfume right now is Dior Homme Intense (that works Better on my skin than Dior Homme). Iris is one of my absolute favorite notes!!

  69. I love La Pausa. I used to love Iris Poudre. I tried to like Hiris, le labo and dzongka to no avail. I hoard my sample of VCA Bois d’Iris, I traded away and then had to trade to get back TDC Bois d’Iris. I really want to try Bas de Soie. Utterly captivating note!

  70. I love Dior Homme, Prada Infusion d’Iris, and I need to do another test of Crabtree & Evelyn’s Iris, but I’m pretty sure I liked it. Thanks for such a comprehensive list. Definitely more that I want to try.

  71. love bas de soie- just beautiful!thanks for the great drawing !

  72. I’m not really well acquainted with iris, though I do have Hiris, Iris Nobile Sublime, and oh, yeah, I’ve got some discontinued Orris Ochre, from Liz Zorn. Of these, I’d say that the Orris Ochre is my favorite – the Hiris is a little too high-pitched, the Nobile too flowery, but the Orris Ochre is just right.

  73. These note collection posts are wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and collect your thoughts and organize them. I’m not a huge iris fan; the note often turns to dirty hair on me. ISM, and Infusion d’Iris and the new Aedes Iris Nazarene ALL have this effect, and it is not pretty. Weirdly, Hermes’ Hiris is lovely, carroty powdery and floral and I love it 😀

    DNEM, let some other iris fan win the draw, but I will keep exploring. I found Equistrius through the ‘Posse (and Olfacta) and there may be other irises out there for me to lurve, I saw several on your list today that I’ve not sniffed. I will. Thanks again for educating me! Be well.

  74. My favorite is probably Equestrius, and I’m glad to see it mentioned here because I don’t think it gets much attention.

  75. Oh dear Lord, you just set off the hugest perfume lemming. I just swore I was going to try and be happy with what I have and now there are all these additional iris perfumes to tempt me. Today I wore a sample of Ann Gerard Cuir de Nacre. After draining three samples of Parfum d’Empire Equistrius, I left a million hints for the family and received a bottle for Mother’s Day. I would say these are my two current favorites.

  76. OJ orris noir is by far my favorite Iris: a weird creature on my skin, cold and warm but I love it. Thanks for the give away. i’d love to learn more about iris.

  77. Bvlgari Omnia Amethyste is actually my favourite iris, I was so pleased that you mentioned it! I really adore the combination of iris and heliotrope, it gives me an impression of something delightfully cool and powdery, but also warm, honeyed, and almost textured – a fuzzy kind of structure, if that makes sense. I’d love to try some other iris fragrances, particularly earthy irises and soliflores, which I haven’t had much exposure to before.

  78. After several years of not understanding the fuss over iris, I am not converted — by Irisss. Absolutely gorgeous stuff, even if the price is completely obscene. I have a tiny amount of Iris Gris. It is quite pretty, but I don’t know that it would make my ten most beautiful perfumes list..but Irisss would certainly be on it.

  79. I do love Apres L’Ondee… I just wish it lasted longer and was a little easier to obtain…

  80. I love #19, I have a small amount of the vintage edt, purely gorgeous. I have not tried any of the others on your list, I need to remedy that soon.

  81. I went down the rabbit hole when I bought “Hiris” wich I still love
    I would love so much to win this draw
    I’m trying to find now a smidge of ” Iris Nazarena” , lemming, lemming

  82. I blame my mom for getting me to love iris perfumes – she has been searching for the perfect iris scent for a long time (a never ending quest – as we all know) and so I started sniffing her samples too and now I love it almost as much! My newest iris scent is the new Armani Prive Nuances (the third and supposedly final one in their limited edition iris line with La Femme Bleue and Nacre). It is a wonderful iris and sandalwood scent. I would love to try all the ones you mention and as Irina said, Iris Nazarena is such a lemming for me now!

  83. I’ve been wanting to try out some of those scents mentioned in this post for quite some time now-ones by Le Labo, Lutens, The Different Company. Goutal’s HE is probably one of the few I haven’t sniffed in this line. This post makes me want to go and give #19 Poudre another chance (I’ve always admired #19, but haven’t found it an easy thing to wear). Anyhow, thanks for the post and the draw!

  84. Thank you so much for doing iris! I’ve tried many you have mentioned and have lots of others on my list of things to try, and now I have even more to add to my list.

  85. I love iris perfumes, but there are a lot I havent had opportunity to try yet-I would love to try som of these!

  86. Wowee iris is my favourite note! It’s classy, elegant and extremely versatile, as your post has demonstrated. Would love to try L’Eau d’Iris by DSH.

  87. I sometimes struggle with floral notes, but iris is a flower I can love! I enjoy Equistrius, and I have tiny samples of ISM and Iris Taizo that I really like. Thanks for this great guide –now I have lots of new sample-lemmings to tend to…

  88. I haven’t smelled any Iris perfumes that I really liked, although I haven’t smelled very many. Would love to correct that with these samples. I don’t like anything too powdery or too earthy, however.

  89. I love them all as if they were my own children but I have a soft spot for the rooty ones, the prodigal but talented ones. After Dior Homme Iris became an addiction for me really. Whenever I read about a new Iris perfume I am tempted to blind buy. This article tempted me beyond belief. I have to be strong now… must… cut… credit….card…uggghhh

  90. Thanks for the draw! I’d have to say DK’s Chaos and Kloon Ceen Terre d’Encens are two of my favorite Iris perfumes. Both are blended with incense.

  91. I have planted a whole lot of irises in my garden. Supposedly they’re one of the types used for harvest in perfumery. Anyway, I’m looking forward to drying the roots and perhaps making potpouri or similar.

  92. Reading this I suddenly realised that I love and I have bought both bottles and endless decants of a lot of predominantly iris based perfume! I even love the initial blast from Iris Silver Mist and plan a Paris pilgrimage at some point to buy a bottle. Not such a big trip for us over here but it will be special!

  93. I wish to support Equistrius, as I am a huge fan of Parfum d’Empire!

  94. I am looking into other types of perfumes and love how detailed you explain them and offer other suggestions and the different types of notes… I love the woodsy notes

  95. Love love love ISM, although I’ve received more than a few negative comments on it (e.g. “Eeeuuwwwww, WHAT is that SMELL?”). To heck with ’em! I like Iris 39 a lot too, and it’s a bit, um, friendlier. I’m still waiting for someone to come out with my perfect iris-‘n’-smoke scent, however.

  96. This article made me SO happy. Iris is and will probably always be my favorite note. The Prada has been my go-to scent for years now, although now I have branched out some. I love Hiris and VCA Bois d’Iris. I concur on the Le Labo Iris 39 – not a fan. It just doesn’t do justice to the iris note – they candied it too much, it’s too sparkly, too bright. I can’t wait to experience Irisss and ISM one day. As an above poster noted, I would love to experience an Amouage iris, although undoubtedly the supremely lovely, pure beauty of iris isn’t something that should ever be too-overwrought.

  97. Have not had the pleasure of these, but do have iris in my flower garden. Almost every fragrance I enjoy seems to have a “rooty” earthy aspect, if that says anything. Looking forward to winning and trying all ; )

  98. I’ve been a big iris fan for a while. Lurve the big, metallic blast that is Iris Silver Mist. It’s completely in a world of it’s own. Heure Exquise sounds gorgeous – green and iris, how could you go wrong?

  99. Just the other day whilst wearing Chanel 28, loving the rooty floral smell, I was saddened by how quickly it disappeared. For the price I will try these others out.

  100. Chanel 19 all the way….and Chanel 28 La Pausa. I wear them only for myself

  101. I really like Iris at the change from winter to spring, before the earth starts to green up. A cheap Iris that had a bit of violet is Crabtree and Evelyn’s Iris, and I like the lotion with other Iris scents, such as the No 19 & Heure Exquise. The Different Co Iris seems to have a bit of pink pepper to it, and I just wore Iris Nobile by Acqua di Parma last night and used my last sample! I would love to try some of the one mentioned.

  102. So glad you mentioned Dior Homme! Iris is such a year-round quiet beauty. I also like Bas de Soie. Iris dolled up to go watch the Northern Lights…I would love to try more! Thanks.

  103. I have always wanted to try Apres Londee but cannot find it except on UK sites. I thought it was more violet than Iris. Would love to try it or any others. Am old perfume fanatic and really miss so many scents bygone.

  104. Boy, so many iris perfumes I haven’t tried (YET)! I have exhausted my sample of Mecheri’s Iris d’Argent, because it’s delicious to me, but unfortunately not as long lasting as I’d like, which is the main reason I haven’t bought any more of it yet. I also love Dior Homme, and thankfully it loves me. But my favorite isn’t even in this post: Odin #4 Petrana, the black iris of Petra, Jordan. Mmmmmm. Cool and clear with more than a hint of violet, at least to my nose. Goes well with the seasonal “June gloom” we are “enjoying” in coastal southern California just now. 😉

  105. I’m pretty new to the Perfume world, What changed a decade ago that made this scent/note more popular? I may have to try Kilian Flower of Immortality, I’ve found I like a lot of the floral/citrus combinations.

  106. My favorite iris is Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cherie Par Camille, the EDT. I generally like iris perfumes to be darker. Thank you for the great list and the draw.

  107. I like my iris perfumes warm, spicy, mixed with woods and incense. Iris Taizo/Oriental especially and VCA Bois d’Iris are the ones I wear most often. So I guess I like my irises odd, or at least paradoxical, since iris is most usually a cool note. My preferences no doubt date from one of my earliest scent memories, making pomanders with my mother for Christmas gifts, rolling clove studded oranges in a mixture of orris root and cinnamon and getting the sticky, juicy residue all over my hands, my clothes, and my hair, smelling the balsam fir Christmas tree in the room, too.

    For a wonderful poem having to do with the warm sensuality of iris as well as its cool abstract beauty I recommend Philip Whalen’s poem “For C.”, in the full version in his collected poems, not just the truncated snippet in youtube videos.

  108. I love iris!! Heeley’s Iris de Nuit is my favorite with Monegal’s Impossible Iris a close second. Also love Le Labo’s Iris 39 and 28 La Pausa. Will have to try some of the others you recommended

  109. I love Prada Infusion d’Iris edt and edp and also Apres l’Ondee, not so much Equistrius, though it is a very interesting scent. It would be great to have a chance to try more iris scents, such as La Pausa and Iris Poudre.

  110. I absolutely love Iris! My current fave is Impossible Iris but I also recently tried and like very much Donna Karan Iris. I have yet to meet an Iris scent that isn’t wonderful.

  111. So thrilled to find this site! I’m just discovering the wonderful world of Iris, and so far only have Le Labo’s 39, which I think I’d like if it stayed around long enough to get to do more than just exchange pleasantries before disappearing without leaving so much as a forwarding address …
    sigh …
    Just took the plunge and ordered Acqua Di Parma Iris Nobile for my birthday! Wish me luck … the notes all sound like me to a ‘T’!

  112. Apres L’Ondee is the reason I got interested in perfume. Now I’m checking out Iris Silver Mist. So far so good! I love iris notes, but they often end up getting compared (unfavorably) with AL’O. Lutens seems to be doing something entirely different, so I’m interesting in smelling what that will be.

  113. Iris Silver Mist and Apres L’Ondee—-so different, each so necessary. But I’ve never met an iris I didn’t like, would love to meet them all.

  114. I’ve only tried the Guerlain Apres L’Onde, but I just love it!

  115. Iris is my favorite note so I’ve sampled many of these perfumes. I happen to love Le Labo’s Iris 39 and Chanel #19 so perhaps my tastes are a bit different than the reviewer’s. Narciso Rodriguez also has a gorgeous perfume called Essence with a very strong iris top note. Its a little overwhelming at first but settles nicely.

  116. TDC Bois d’Iris is my favorite. It speaks to my heart. It IS a walk in the woods, as you put it, Patty. It’s complex without being unfathomable. It’s a fairy tale for the professional. Enchanting and approachable. I’m a lover of No. 19 too, and although the iris is a big component, I don’t think of it as an iris fragrance. It’s green and intelligent, and when I’m in the mood for green and intelligent, she’s the one I run to.

  117. Iris is one of the notes I struggle with- of the ones I have tried, I’ve liked them, but haven’t loved them. I’m very excited to lemm a few of these though, maybe I will find the gateway iris fragrance. I had a very strange reaction when trying Iris Poudre- it makes me think of my Pop Pop, who doesn’t wear perfume or smell of iris for any other reason. Very odd. Can’t wait to try these!

  118. I’m just discovering the world of iris. The only one I have is Prada Infusion d’Iris. But, like most of my perfume tastes, I love them woody and green.

  119. Yay! Showin the love for iris! I can’t get enough of it, and haven’t met an iris I didn’t like, just some more than others. Was thrilled a friend was able to pick up some Iris Silver Mist for me on her recent to trip to Paris, I get such a kick out of the rooty carrot blast. Love the Irissss and VCA Bois d’iris. Love 28 la Pausa, enough to buy it even though it just doesn’t last but I haven’t yet, still thinking about it. But dang it, now there are a bunch more mentioned here that I’m feeling I must try. Would it be weird of me to just buy iris fragrances?

  120. Prada’s infusion d’ Iris was my gateway to iris but, of what I have tried, Iris Silver Mist is the most dramatically beautiful. To me it smells like the wet fertile soil, rich with flowers roots in the garden of Eden!

  121. I think my favorite iris perfume is Hiris, and after that ,Mythique. Both are gorgeous.
    I admittedly have not tried many in this list so would love a chance to smell them.
    Thanks for the draw!

  122. My favorite iris fragrance is still Hiris which seems strange to me because I hated it the first time I smelled it! I couldn’t swap my bottle away fast enough.

  123. I found iris cold, but I’m slowly starting to like them more. I don’t have a favourite yet.

  124. Is it a cop out if I say I love all irises? So…rooty, beatuiful, *and* odd. 🙂

    I’ve just started getting into perfume and thought maybe irises would be a first batch to sample after trying and liking Prada’s Infusion d’Iris. I loved TDC’s Bois d’Iris, but it sadly only lasts a couple of hours on me, so I can’t see springing for more. Iris Silver Mist is pure carrots on me, but I like that about it…that price though, on my current paycheck…ouch.

    However, my very favorite, of what I’ve tried, is probably Le Labo’s Iris 39. It lasts all day, I love the dirt aspect to it, it warms me when it’s raining, and (happily) I can afford to shell out for at least a decant. It’s also office-friendly. I noticed a few of my coworkers standing slightly closer than was comfortable the couple of days I wore it (but not in a creepy way).

    I’d love to try some of the others, like 28 La Pausa, the Van Cleef & Arpel’s Bois d’Iris, and Impossible Iris, but haven’t gotten to them yet!

  125. I like irises both rooty and flowery. The irises blooming (almost done blooming and this storm will flatten them, for sure) in my yard smell like fake grape flavor, but more beautiful. I’ve never smelled that fake grape in an iris perfume. I wonder if anyone else has? Please enter me into this fabulous draw!

  126. I just checked and Donna Karan Essence Iris is not available on her fragrnace website, but it is still for sale online at Neiman Marcus.

  127. I didn’t think I liked iris perfumes based on Prada infusion d’iris. But then I recently tried Hiris (Thanks to a fabulous Perfume Posse gal) and love it! So I like the sort of quiet, thoughtful, almost melancholy iris that is Hiris.

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