The first time I smelled Iris Silver Mist, Maurice Roucel's 1994 creation for Serge Lutens, I understood why some people found it questionable as a personal scent. The opening smells like fresh carrots that were just pulled out of damp soil. It's weird, alright. But then the whole picture is revealed- there's a cold an almost metallic note, but also a sort-of-sweet- but-not-quite powdery iris, some bitterness and a gorgeous soft floral accord.
Iris notes often translates into dark chocolate when worn on skin. It's probably something about the combination of powder and butter. That's where Iris Silver Mist abandons its kitchen garden roots (pun intended) and becomes a thing of beauty- one part sexy skin scent and one part an ethereal haze. I doubt anyone who doesn't really like iris on all its weird twists would enjoy Lutens version. Maurice Roucel took iris to its very extreme limits in Iris Silver Mist and created what I think his very best and most original work.
If you are a fan of iris in all its mysterious glory I'd urge you to get a sample (from the Posh Peasant or The Perfumed Court). Once you fall in love we can start a petition to Uncle Serge to bring Iris Silver Mist in an export bottle, or better yet, make the bell jars available in North America. Is it too much to ask?
Iris Silver Mist ($125 euro, 75ml EDP) is part of Serge Lutens non-export line. You know the story by now- only in Paris or online for EU residents.
Photo by Jette W. Frederiksen