Pierre Guillaume, the name, nose (not to mention the face) behind Parfumerie Generale wasn't reinventing the wheel when he paired leather and iris, but he sure did it extremely well. Cuir d'Iris feels more civilized and muzzled than many other black leather perfumes (I'm thinking about Bandit, Rien, Lonestar Memories, Cuir Mauresque, Tuscan Leather and Montale's Oud Cuir d'Arabie, just to name a few). It doesn't have the wonderful weirdness of other iris-leather combination, such as Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d'Empire (let's wear the new leather couch) or Serge Lutens' Daim Blond (suede jacket saturated in apricot jam). Instead, Cuir d'Iris is an amazingly wearable, friendly soft leather with a hint of powder at the beginning and one of the smoothest dry-downs imaginable.
Cuir d'Iris is neither a masculine scent nor feminine. It's just... is. Waiting to be worn and merged with one's own skin, offering a touch of woody incense, dry but not rigid or austere. It's more romantic than sensual, in my opinion, and would make a great shared scent. There's a powdery amber undertone that keeps things warm and inviting, and why I suspect it'd be a good starting point for those who are usually afraid of the whips and dungeons and wild animals hidden in many leather scents.
Cuir d'Iris ($135 for 50 ml) is part of Parfumerie Generale's Private Collection. It's available from Luckyscent/Scent Bar in Los Angeles, but cannot be purchased online- only by phone or email. If you go to Parfumerie Generale's website you'd need a user name and password to access the Private Collection area (seriously. A password. Uncle Serge is kicking himself for not thinking of it first). Samples and decants are available from the Perfumed Court, which is where I order my fix.
Photo of Rudolph Valentino and wife Natasha Rambova from Ana_Lee on LiveJournal.