Poor Uncle Serge. His 1994 Iris Silver Mist is such an iconic masterpiece, anything else he releases that's even remotely iris-related is destined to be found lacking. Add to that the collective kvetching of the perfume community following the previous Serge Lutens export perfume, L'Eau, and you get the air of discontent that prevailed even before the first blogger sprayed a sample of the new scent on skin. But it's very unfair to compare this year's Bas de Soie to the cold and transcendent Lutens/Roucel ISM. They do not play the same field.
Where Iris Silver Mist is otherworldly, cold and ambiguous, Bas de Soie is corporeal, tangible and very much alive. The name means silk stockings which is quite befitting. There's a luxurious smoothness here and something retro in this perfume- not in a dated way at all, but in the image the warm dry iris powder conjures. Maybe it's the hyacinth, a note that can make just about any perfume beautiful. Its role here is not as romantic as it is in Chamade or Grand Amour: instead the hyacinth provides a thread of lightness and color and prevents the iris from becoming too dusty. This aspect is more obvious to me when skin temperature rises, while on a cold afternoon I get more powder and a cashmere-like sensation.
If you're familiar with the two MPG iris perfumes- Iris Bleu Gris and its feminine counterpart Fleur d'Iris- you know the two are hardly related to each other.In fact, the candied violet of Fleur d'Iris is quite disappointing compared to the muted beauty of the masculine-labeled Iris Bleu Gris. Bas de Soie is what I hoped Fleur d'Iris would be. A softer and more sensual variation on the dry and bitter iris theme. I don't consider it super-feminine, just easier to wear for women who don't like austerity in their perfume. Me? I love it all and have been wearing Bas de Soie at every opportunity since acquiring the bottle.
Bas de Soie ($120, 1.7 oz EDP) is part of Serge Lutens export range and can be found at all the authorized dealers- Aedes, Luckyscent, Barneys, etc. As of two weeks ago Bergdorf Goodman hasn't received it yet, but they are usually a little behind Barneys when it comes to new Lutens releases.
Photo from 0rchid_thief on Live Journal