Perfume Review: Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist
Iris Silver Mist is breathtakingly gorgeous. But this magnificent beauty is not flawless, not unapproachably perfect, like a stunning marble statue; it has a "flaw" that makes it all the more appealing and fascinating (think Cindy Crawford’s birthmark, think Christy Turlington’s long nose…). The delightful imperfection I am talking about is the way Iris Silver Mist’s rooty accord smells in the beginning of the scent. It smells a little “off”, a little bizarre, almost, but not quite, unpleasant. If you have some of this fragrance, put it on, concentrate…50-60 seconds into the development, there it is, that strange and alluring accord…This accord reminds me of something I encountered in childhood. My grandparents' dacha (country house) had raspberry bushes, and I loved nothing more than to stalk “the raspberry corner”, eating the berries right from the bush….Another creature favored the raspberries too; I am not sure what its Latin or English name is, but my grandparents called it “Stinker Bug” (жучок-вонючка). A raspberry visited by that little green monster had a peculiar smell, somewhat repulsive and strangely appealing at the same time. It had a raw, earthy, vegetal smell and that is how the iris root paired with vetiver, cedar and a hint of incense in the beginning of Iris Silver Mist smells to my nose.
Without that strange, borderline-disagreeable accord, I imagine that the fragrance would still have been lovely; but it wouldn’t have been as enthralling, as enchanting, as unusual and, dare I say it, as superior to other iris scents (it was Luca Turin who called Iris Silver mist “a total success, the only current iris worthy of the name”.). It also wouldn’t have been as “Lutens”. Created by Maurice Roucel, Iris Silver Mist fits perfectly into Serge Lutes collection of perfumes, where the most attractive and interesting ones all smell a little “off”, a little like something seen in a weird and wonderful dream… After the somewhat dry, earthy top notes subside, the scent softens significantly; at moments, there is even vaguely fruity sweetness there, which, subtle as it is, goes a long way to make the fragrance feel silky-smooth, tender like a caress of some otherworldly, ethereal creature. The rooty, woody undertone that is present throughout the scent’s development is also very appealing, it is subtle but apparent and has a certain delicate piquancy (cloves) about it that I find so very attractive.
This strange and stunning fragrance can be found only at Les Salons du Palais Royal in Paris, where 75ml of Iris Silver Mist retails for €100.00.