When I wore Iris Poudre for the first time a few months ago, it was a bitterly cold day and I was taking my son to his English class. I had just put a single spray on the back of my hand before we walked out the door, just for fun and forgot about it almost immediately.
As we walked briskly (as briskly as a small child will walk) and I moved my hand around gesticulating wildly to hurry my son along, all of a sudden I almost saw a thin curl of blue smoke rising from my hand, it was an exquisite synaesthetic experience.
Iris Poudre was visible before me and smelling so lovely, pure and innocent, sparkling, light and elegant. I had to laugh out loud in delight. I had never before experienced such a thing of beauty.
And I have never since. Once we got back home I immediately applied more Iris Poudre, but the sensation did not come again, now I smelled the more pedestrian, nose only version of the fragrance, which is still wonderful and another of Malle’s winners in my book, but I still hanker after that moment of pure pleasure of the visible beauty of a scent.
Iris Poudre was created by Pierre Bourdon in 2000 and features notes of bergamot, orange, rosewood, ylang-ylang, carnation, magnolia, jasmine, muguet, violetta-rose, aldehydes, iris, musk, amber, vanilla, sandalwood, ebony, tonka bean and vetiver.
I do not think Iris Poudre is ideally named, since I don’t think it is a very powdery scent. I like powder, but I can’t find it here in such a prominent place as to name the perfume after it. What is prominent though is a blast of aldehydes in the top notes. For me that makes Iris Poudre very Chanel-esque.
Then the iris arrives, surrounded most prominently by ylang-ylang and carnation, the other floral components give a well-blended impression of soft and sweet rosiness, warming the cool iris. The drydown is warm, comforting but not for a moment during the considerable lifespan of Iris Poudre, does it lose its elegance and refinement. It never gets overly familiar, there is a certain distance that is upheld throughout.
For several reasons better left unexplored in this post, as a girl I dreamed of being “unnahbar”, that is German for aloof, remote, inapproachable, inaccessible. The translation does not capture the meaning exactly, especially my personal connotation, which was extremely positive.
My best friends mother was a real lady. She was beautiful, elegant, expensively dressed, coiffed and made up, even at the crack of dawn or after a long day. I have never seen her anything less than perfect. She was my hero. I wanted to be just like her.
Elegant and aloof, just a little cold, but brilliantly intelligent, with a scathing humour and great outer beauty. I was so fascinated by that woman. It was not easy to come near her, but if I managed to be accepted by her, I imagined, she would take me under her wing and initiate me into her world, show me all her secrets of elegance and refinement that I so longed for. She never did. I wanted exactly the one thing she was not prepared to give.
By the way, her daughter, my friend, turned into a real tomboy, she hasn’t worn a dress in her life, or perfume at that.
Also, I hope to re-experience that wondrous sight of a beautiful perfume transcending the confines of just one sense.