Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Iris, a name I couldn't have chosen better myself , a bloom I would disgard from any bouquet, little more that a fancy daffodil and yet the perfume takes my breath away each time I inhale its dirty earthy intoxicating aroma. In the dark art of perfumery Iris rhizomes are harvested, dried, and aged for up to 5 years, the scent is said to be similar to violets. The aged rhizomes are steamed and distilled which produces a thick oily compound, known in the perfume industry as iris butter. My favourite Iris scents are the intense single note Iris by Prada not to be confused with the generic room spray qualities of the companies Infusion d'Iris. A beautiful woody iris fragrance , I adore the magic potion bottle with glass stopper and the £110 price tag! Iris Nobile by Acqua di Parma , a beautiful blend of iris and orange blossom with just a hint of anise and of course my age and namesake Iris39 created by Frank Voelkl for the amazing Le Labo company that I first came accross in Elizabeth Street New York, Collette in Paris and finally (thank you god) in Libertys in London.

The fleur-de-lis, a stylized iris, descends from the white iris which is native to Florence. This white iris, displayed against a red background, became the symbol of Florence until the Medici family, to signal a change in political power, reversed the colors making the white one red and setting in motion a centuries-long breeding program to hybridize a red iris. Catherine de Medici carried this symbol of Florence to Paris when she married the king of France .