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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Perfume Review: Two Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Iris Scents - Iris Bleu Gris and Fleur d'Iris

After looking unsuccessfully for information on Iris Bleu Gris in the women’s section of Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s website, I was getting ready to grumble about yet another inexplicable discontinuation of a beautiful fragrance…By chance, I looked in the men’s part of the site, and there it was, tucked in a subdivision of the men’s collection attractively called Les Caprices du Dandy. The accompanying description informed me that with Iris Bleu Gris Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier “translates iris into a fragrance for men”. Although I have loved and worn Iris Bleu Gris for a long time without realizing that it was not intended as a woman’s perfume, I must admit that it is not actually all that “feminine”. In fact, it is not feminine at all or not feminine in a more traditional, voluptuous and heady or sweet and flirty kind of way. Compared to another "iris for men”, soft and neutral Dior Homme, Iris Bleu Gris does indeed feel more masculine. This is a very dry, austerely elegant scent; iris here, accompanied by oakmoss and grapefruit, is raw, earthy and agreeably sharp. The fragrance does not relent and soften much, apart from the brief moment during the middle stage where a surprisingly fruity, apple-like note sneaks in. It does disappear very quickly, however, and the scent becomes darker and richer, cultivating in a powdery, warm drydown of violet and amber. In the same way that Caron’s Violette Precieuse showed an unexpectedly forceful, no-frills side of violets, traditionally seen as frail and delicate, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s creation paints a normally airy, ethereal iris with bold, severe strokes. Iris Bleu Gris to me is one of the most chic renditions of iris.

The other Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier iris scent, Fleur d’Iris, is more conventionally pretty. The perfume focuses on the floral aspect of iris (as opposed to its rooty, earthy quality) and reinforces the “luxurious femininity” of the note with the addition of other flowers, namely jasmine, violet and rose. The latter is especially apparent throughout the scent’s development, at some points actually overwhelming the iris. Towards the middle stage, violets also become evident, adding a slightly candied, powdery aspect to the composition. The scent never becomes too sweet or heady; there is a certain dry freshness to it that I attribute to vetiver…still, this is a sumptuous bouquet that perhaps would best suit the taste of the fans of floral perfumes. Those who, like me, are not that comfortable with the lavish floral blends and like iris scents precisely because they often have a non-floral, rooty-earthy side, might not find Fleur d’Iris to be particularly appealing. While I consider it to be a very attractive fragrance, I do not reach for it often.

Both Iris Bleu Gris and Fleur d’Iris are available at BeautifulPerfumes.com, $105.00 for 3oz and 3.3oz respectively.

16 Comments:

Anonymous elle said...

Wonderful reviews! Happy cheers from the MPG defense team. :-) IBG is one of my HG iris scents - definitely an earthy, well grounded iris w/ character. I get a touch of leather in it, but maybe that's because I'm always looking for leather scents. FdI is polite and pretty...hand over mouth to cover slight yawn here. I didn't say *all* MPGs were great. :-)

7:43 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Peanut gallery (hope this makes sense to you) cheering for the MPGs!!! But I haven't tried the IBG yet. . . sounds like a definite "must-smell."

9:20 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Elle,
I get no leather, hrmph!
As for Fleur d'Iris, this is what tmp00 said yesterday commenting about Blush Intense, and I think it so well said and applies to this scent too: "I can see it as a nice summer fragrance for someone who is very self-effacing and wants that slight walk on the wild side. Like wearing a skirt above the knees, or saying "darn"." :-)

10:06 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
I am ashamed to admit that I did not know the expression, googled it and still don't get it. More coffee for me!!

As for IBG, if you like Violette Precieuse, you will like this too. They are identical of course, but it is the same KIND of scent, as Elle said, "an earthy, well grounded iris [or violet] w/ character".

PS. OK,here something that starts to make sense to me: "In the 1950's, the Howdy Doody show adopted the name to represent their audience of 40 kids, who usually cheered. " So basically, a cheering gallery then? Ignoramus Sovetikus, that's me. :-)

10:11 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Yup, that's it! Although, it can be used for any audience-like group that reacts in any way. (the Howdy-Doody kids were onstage, part of the show, in effect). No reason to be ashamed--I'm quite sure I know nothing about old Russian popular culture (or even new Russian pop culture, for that matter:)!
I love VP, so IBG goes even higher on my "to-try" list.

10:19 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Thank you, Judith! And I think you will like IBG a lot!

10:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous Ina said...

Wonderful reviews! But I can't remember what either smells like. I guess I belong to the Non-Followers of MPG club. Try as I might, can't seem to find any that appeals to me, except Or Des Indes. Sigh.

11:22 AM EDT  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

Unfortunately, the musk used in the bases of most MPGs turns my stomach (does not help that I wore Vocalises on a particularly hot day, the same day I got an awful food poisoning). However, it is fun to read about them.

Do you know the expression "Greek chorus"? It is very similar to the peanut gallery. In the ancient Greek theater, the chorus would react to whatever the protagonists do and offer its thoughts and advice, either via cheering or its opposite. Moreover, one part of the chorus would not have to agree with another (usually, it would be men vs women). Judith and I could form something similar, even though I would probably agree more often than not with her exquisite taste. :)

12:43 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Ina,
I love Or des Indes! Have you tried Fleur des Comores? Somehow I have a feeling you might like it too.

1:20 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

V,
Now that you said Greek chorus I understand the peanut gallery concept even better! :-) You and Judith as antagonists would be fun. Robin and I could probably form a similar team, being Evil Scent Twins and all :-)

1:22 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I didn't love either of these 2. Didn't hate them, mind you, just didn't love them. Of the 2 I thought the IBG was probably the more interesting -- FdI also seemed very short lived (?) Or am I remembering wrong?

3:09 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Well ... I stopped by and I enjoyed reading your posts. And since I can't say anything nice about these two irises, that's all I'll say! Hugs -- your EFT

4:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
FdI isn't particularly tenacious and long lived. And it is rather boring. So yuo do remember it right!

4:08 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
How very nice of you not to say anythign mean about these two IRISES :-)

4:09 PM EDT  
Blogger moon_fish said...

Great reviews!
I like IBG very much! Citrus-iris sparkling and sunny effect is marvellous... This segment of IRIS field is complete by it now.
It does the same for iris-citrus as Iris Silver Gris does for rooty iris and TDC Bois d`Iris does for woody iris.
Should I say that it was IBG which began well-groomed irisomania for me?
(Anyway - my bottle of Route du Vetiver (bought the same time) is almost over while IBG is just 20% off. So my vetiveromania is like a disaster!)

3:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

I thought you might like IBG! I am laughing at the word irisomania. I suffer from vetiveromania too, they go side by side. It's madness! :-)

8:56 AM EDT  

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