I have had a manufacturer's sample of Iris Poudre for years, stuck in my sample box. I am not sure where it came from but I think it might be from a generous swapper here on MUA. I never bothered with it because I don't care for iris-- years ago, I had a bottle of Hiris and it never clicked with me. I ended up either swapping it or giving it to a friend.
But the other day as I was going out for an anniversary dinner I wanted something different, maybe even cool, in juxtaposition to the warm fragrances I usually favor. I was ready to deal with it for the evening because even if I didn't care for it it would be new.
I heedlessly sprayed the sample all over myself and continued getting dressed. Imagine my surprise when, all of a sudden, I smelled the memory of my grandmother. This might sound terrible to some of you, but my grandmother was one of the most elegant, polished, and self possessed people I have ever known. She was for years and to some extent still is the person I want to be when I grow up (and I am 37). I don't know if she wore something similar. My great-grandmother wore Chanel #5 and my mother tells me that my grandmother wore fragrance as well, although I don't know what it was and I don't recall seeing a perfume bottle on her dressing table. So I think that this scent memory may be due to the confluence of an unconsciously-remembered actual scent and my perception of what Iris Poudre represents.
Iris Poudre to me smells elegant, cool, polished, and reserved. It smells to me like someone who is capable yet removed, someone polite and warmly courteous but not overly familiar. Someone who can see the big picture and is not too attached to the little things that can often derail one's self confidence. I suppose it smells like a "lady" in the most positive sense.
As far as notes go, I can't really separate them out: it is mostly all of one piece, to me. I can smell a rush of aldehydes at first that are not as harsh as most, then sweet florals, then a white musk and vanilla-ish base. It is warm, but not too sweet, and I do smell a slight haze of iris throughout but it is certainly not the cool, vegetal iris that I smelled in Hiris. The next day I wore it again and I kept applying it over and over: there was a point where I felt like I had applied too much and it became a little metallic (not in a good way).
Anyway, I will be getting some. It's the first time in awhile that I have had such an immediate emotional reaction to a scent. I think it will be fantastic for times when I feel the need to be professional yet approachable, or when I want a little of my grandmother's mojo surrounding me, even if she didn't smell exactly like this. (I'll probably wear it a lot.)
Iris in fragrances has been an acquired taste for me, my first ever reaction to the rooty, gritty rhizomes being a surprise but not an instant love. In time, I started to distinguish the velvety, powdery texture of iris which was a nice addition to many musks but again, I wasn't infatuated. Perhaps this is the reason why my favourite iris is Roucel's Iris Mist, where you get iris, iris and iris, in all its earthiness, nevertheless with a very urban, stony approach. And perhaps this is the reason why I kept some samples of İris Poudre in my drawer for a long time, without paying much attention: I didn't expect much else from iris.
And what a surprise. Iris Poudre, in my opinion, is the most approachable of Malles, a pleasant that can be addictive either in its serenity or in its friendliness. I think the dosage decides that.
One spritz only: This reflect all the radiant, nose tickling (but I love that) aspects of aldehydes without revealing much fruit. It's a fluffy cloud, the first snow of the year, a beloved white angora jumper. My ultimate destination in white comfort fragrances. Very full-bottle-worthy. After the summer.
Two-three spritzes: This time, the fruit note is revealed. I don't know what fruit that is, whether it really exists or not. But it's on the sweeter side like an apricot or peach without the tired impression they may sometimes leave on my skin. There is even a fruity bubblegum moment; however, Iris Poudre never gets into a neon-fruity zone. Soon, I get sweet, meaty, balmy petals of magnolia and luckily not much jasmine. All dries down to a fruity, velvety iris musk. Lovely, but I think modesty is better with Iris Poudre.
On my skin, neither of these resembles Chanel no.5, which often smells a bit tired and like fur on me. Iris Poudre is clean and fluffy. Perhaps a bigger sister to my new found love Rive Gauche.
A very dressed-up iris. The powder is more Chanel-style aldehydic powder than baby powder. I find this to be a very "blue" scent--I think of the blue of a glowing gas flame. The fragrance is cool, but intense. Gorgeous, and the vanilla added to the iris in the drydown makes it even better.
I purchased a sample of this from a seller on ebay & was dying to try it. The way it was described as a "skin scent", subtly feminine & the raves on makeupalley.com - I was sure I would be in love. Whoa was I wrong. Barely any lippies here for me. WAY too powdery. I felt like I was wearing an old lady's bathroom on my wrist & could not wait to scrub it off.
I love perfume, but I am very picky. I don't like fruitiness, I don't like sugariness, I'm not a huge floral fan, but I also don't like spicy scents that much. I love this. I don't know much about notes, but it smells creamy, warm, and maybe a touch floral-y? It stays close to the skin, which I like. Some perfumes smell screechy on me, this smells....natural. Like it fits in with my skin.
However....lasting power on this sucks. It's gone in an hour or 2.
This is the perfume I turn to when I want to feel pampered, elegant, and glamorous. I imagine an Old Hollywood movie star in a pale purple gown would smell like this. Creamy aldehydes, iris, violet, and orange blossom on top. Exquisitely refined, not even that powdery, despite the name. The drydown is glorious. The scent steadily becomes warmer, molding to the skin with just a hint of musk and vanilla (I feel like the sensual skin-scent drydown is a Malle signature). It's elegant but still a little flirty, plush but never heavy. Iris Poudre is a masterpiece that you can also have fun wearing - like dancing in a gown.
A grown up, womanly fragrance with a little 1950's retro thrown in; perfect for those wanting to feel sophisticated and polished. A beautiful rendition of Iris but it's quite powdery...too powdery for my taste. It's the modern counterpart to Chanel No.5, the fragrance my mother always wears, so it feels a little odd wearing it myself. I feel like I'm playing dress up when I wear this scent so it obviously does not suit me but it's a head turner in a good way. I love smelling it on other people.
Now, this may sound strange but I think I'm slightly allergic to this scent...it does induce a bit of a sneezing fit for the first hour or so after application hence the 3 stars. Beautiful though...so sad it doesn't work on me!
Iris Poudre got me in to H/E fragrance but I've not found anything I love so much since. The silage is great which is important to me since I've dry skin. The first 30 mins is all about sparkling aldehyde - very similar to Chanel No.5, but younger, savoury iris flowers and warm luxury goodness. It dry's down in to a luxury, sexy, powdery hug. IP never gets compliments from men (including my BF!) but women notice. I would wear it every day if it weren't too much for work :)
Normally, I only review perfumes that I really like... No, no, it's not that I detest Iris Poudre, but I just I really wanted to like it- you know the confident feeling on your way to the shop, as if it's already yours. Well, to my surprise, it was a bit soapy on my skin, and not the warm embrace that I was after. Also quite linear... Don't get me wrong, I love irises, but maybe not in this creation. Soapy on me :-( and I thought that finally, with this perfume me and Frederic Malle would start being friends...
A sweet lady at MUA sent me a little Iris Poudre as a swap extra to satisfy my long-time curiosity about this scent. It was lovely, but it was nothing like I expected. First of all, the powder in it was quite restrained, and it didn't appear until at least a hour after application. But the biggest surprise was the way it smelled during the first 45 minutes. I got a warm floral accord that was very similar to the discontinued fragrance Vivid by Liz Claiborne, plus a savory vegetal smell that I couldn't place right away. I later realized that the smell was... carrots being sauteed in a pan with herbs!
When I asked the fragrance board about that, I learned that some iris scents do indeed smell like carrots and that they are chemically similar. Who knew?
Anyway, Iris Poudre is quite lovely, and if the idea of smelling like carrots is a turn-off to you, don't worry, it's very subtle. I might never have noticed it if I hadn't sniffed Iris Poudre side by side with Vivid. It's when you compare the two that you realize Iris Poudre has that savory something going on.