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Friday, March 18, 2011

Xerjoff Modoc Perfume Review

By Marina

After I encountered Xerjoff's iris fragrance, Irisss, I decided that, along with Iris Silver Mist, it might be the most beautiful iris scent out there. Modoc gives Irisss run for its money. It is not a rival for Iris Silver Mist, because, to me, they come from two different iris "families". The family inhabited by Irisss, Modoc and scents like Delrae Mythique, Attrape-Coeur and Iris Poudre is "buttery" or "velvety" iris. The family of Iris Silver Mist, Hiris, Iris Pallida and Infusion d'Iris is "drier" and "silky". The first group speaks in hushed, husky tones, the second sings like silver bells. The "velvety" irises are, to me, what Luxury and Expensive smell like. The "silky" ones are what elves wear in Rivendale... Generally speaking, the velvety group is stylized, "perfumey", while the silky ones strike me as more "realistic". There are also woody irises, earthy and a couple of other types, but those are sub-groups. As you can see, I am ever so "scientific" about my irises.

On that note, I am going to evaluate Modoc according to the criteria I came up with before:

1. How strongly/recognizably orrisy does it smell? - Very. Modoc is built on the interplay of two rooty ingredients, iris and vetiver, with their harmonious interaction taking place on the plush background of amber and vanilla. It is the latter two accords that keep the rootiness/earthiness of the  star notes to a minimum, making them instead creamy, slightly powdery and extremely luxurious. Nothing wild about either vetiver or iris here, both are tres recherche. Vanilla, musk and amber highlight the buttery quality of orris. In comparison, vetiver is rather subdued, although it certainly contributes a certain "nutty" verdancy to the blend, keeping the opulent creaminess somewhat in check.
2. Is it more iris-orrisy or violet-orrisy? - Definitely iris-orrisy and should delight iris purists.
3. Is it woody or floral? - Leaning towards woody, but, again, not in any sort of "found in nature" manner.
4. Is it powdery? - Moderately so. Just enough to emphasize the fact that it is a Pefume, not a Smell, an elegantly executed interpretation of an iris, not a photographic image.
5. How expensive does it smell? - Not just profanely, but really offensively expensive. As it should, considering its cost.
Conclusion: Sublime. Rich. Quite original, due to the interesting interaction between orris and vetiver. There is something in its golden orrisiness that vaguely remindes me of Attrape-Coeur. And since, inexplicably and inexcusably, Guerlain discontinued the latter, Modoc might possibly become a welcome if costly consolation for the fans like me. I also have to mention that although Modoc is a part of the masculine Shooting Stars collection, there is nothing non-feminine about it. Despite being of the conviction that everything is unisex, I'd even venture to say that Modoc is for ladies if not only then mostly.

Available at Luckyscent, $295.00-$470.00, depending on the fanciness of the bottle.

Image source, Elle Canada.

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26 Comments:

Blogger Ducks said...

Oh, this sounds heavenly! But the price point is waaaay out of my reach, boohoo.

1:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

Ahhh,come for the perfume reviews, stay for the Middle Earth references!

This sounds gorgeous, and I'll be sampling it soon. I love this kind of iris, and realized several months ago that it's the note that makes a perfume smell "classy" to me.

Thanks for a great review!

2:18 AM EDT  
OpenID olfactoriastravels.com said...

Oh, how I love iris...I am generally more for the Elven variety, but Modoc (the name alone could fit right in The Lord Of The Rings) is something I sure want to try. Wonderful review, M! :)

4:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Ines said...

From your families, I seem to be more in the company of elves when I select my irises. :) NOt that I mind, I find Rivendell a perfect place to live. Especially if Legolas would be near. ;)
(couldn't help it)

I do wish Xerjoff would stop getting such great reviews as it makes me want to try them and it also makes me frustrated because what I fall in love with some and then have to have it?!
Oh, the problems I face... :)

4:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Linda,
Boohoo on the price indeed!

8:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Tammy,
I agree, iris makes it classy for me too :)

8:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Birgit,
Right? The name is totally right out of Tolkien.

8:33 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ines,
I prefer Aragorn myself, but wouldn't leave Rivendell for him :D An ideal place to be indeed :)

8:34 AM EDT  
Anonymous DinaC said...

This sounds glorious! Great review -- I really like your system of classifying iris scents. I'm a fan of iris, so this totally made sense to me. :-)

9:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

As the buttery, velvety, expensive-smelling irises are the ones I gravitate towards, this sounds absolutely irresistible. For my wallet's sake, though, I'm going to resist smelling it for now and just enjoy it vicariously through your exquisite review (and that gorgeous photo you chose to accompany it.)

9:54 AM EDT  
Anonymous Maidenbliss said...

My favorite iris is VC&A Bois d'Iris. It's elegant, a bit powdery, woody with a hint of sweetness, very wearable.
How does Xerjoff compare, if you've tried it?

10:02 AM EDT  
Blogger RH said...

How funny! Luckyscent for some reason classifies this as an amber fragrance, so I waved it off, and here I come to read your review and drool over it. Buttery Iris? Oh yum. The Luckyscent description bothers me slightly though- is it heavy on the amber at all?

Xerjoff is expensive, but the voice in my head is purring that a sample won't hurt... ahh... what can I do but give in.

1:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

DinaC
I am so glad it made sense. I was afraid it could only make sense to me alone :)

1:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Suzanne,
Thank you!
But as RH says above, a sample won't hurt... :)

1:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Maidenbliss
I did try it. I believe there is a link to its review somewhere in this post.

1:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

RH
Amber, hmm..well, there is amber basically in every scent out there, but Modoc does not seem to be an amber-oriented composition. I mean, it's not about amber.

1:27 PM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Ha! "Depending on the fanciness of the bottle..." ...and isn't that the truth?

::musters stern face::
I am very not happy with you, young lady. I mean, seriously, just when I had managed to repress that Irisss review of yours. It's tough out here for an iris lover, you know; quality offerings offer tests of character for the budget-driven buyer. Especially when you start talking strongly orrisy, creamy, luxurious, "nutty verdancy," and heaven help me, sublime.

"...it is a Perfume, not a Smell" made me smile. But then I remembered I was peevish at being made interested, so I covered my mouth. ;)

2:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Shelley,
I am always thrilled when I find a Perfume. Also there are some genius Smells out there :)

6:22 PM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

I'm probably not grown-up enough for Iris, sofar. I'm sampling K.Mecheri today and she has two iris scents, could start with them.

But may I have those lovely elven-ears, please ?

4:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Sturty said...

You always make me give up my vow to stop sampling.
I've gotta try this :-( I'm not proud of myself :-(

10:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous musician lady said...

@Sturty - Marina has the ability to make everyone give up their vows for not sampling and vows to not buy unsniffed...
I speak from experience. This perfume sounds SO good!

7:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Well for crying out loud, M. Now I don't know whether to sample it or run screaming in the other direction lest I fall in love.

At least you made me laugh first...:-)

11:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Melinda
I like those ears too :)

10:29 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Sturty,
did you give up sampling for Lent?

10:30 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Musician Lady,
That is very kind of you to say!

10:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Alyssa
Perfumistas don't run away from sampling anything ever! :)

10:32 AM EDT  

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