Thursday, June 09, 2011

Le Labo Iris 39

Iris 39 was the first Le Labo perfume I truely loved. I just checked my notes from the very first time I tested anything by Le Labo and apparently Labdanum and Patchouli made a bigger first impression, but soon after it was Iris 39 that won me over with its little subtleties. It might have been the perfume that actually started my big affair with iris perfumes in all most shapes and forms.

Iris 39 starts dry(ish) and green. It lets in a cool breeze but the not the ghostly chill of Iris Silver Mist, and the green stems remain above ground without dragging in any of the wet earth. Le Labo's victory here is achieved by not playing any of the iris cliches and not going to extremes just to show they can. There's nothing shocking about Iris 39 but it's not a pale watercolor of a woody iris, either (hello, Infusion d'Iris).

The iris is later fortified and injected with color by the use of slightly sweetened violet. It's not candied like MPG's Fleur d'Iris (not that there's anything wrong with that) and doesn't go all the way into feminine territory. There is a light fruit facet here, though, probably because of the gorgeous musk used in the base. That's where Iris 39 becomes a full-on sexy, skin-caressing perfume. It's not a space-hogging fragrance and will not intrude on other people unless they get closer. When they do, prepare for some nuzzling, as the magic between body and perfume is full on with this one.

Notes: iris, lime, patchouli, rose, ylang ylang, musk, violet, ginger, cardamom and civet

Le Labo Iris 39 ($145, 50ml)  is available from Le Labo boutiques worldwide, Barneys, Luckyscent, Colette (France) and

Art: Purple Iris Abstract by Marcia Baldwin.


  1. I like Iris 39 and plan to get either a small decant or a spray sample because so far I tested it only from a dab vial.
    I had a question: how many sprays of this perfume do you normally wear?

  2. I just found your blog and I love it! Especially the chanel nailpolish!!!Love them too, hughs Anja

  3. LL Iris 39 is my favorite iris, it took a few trys before I "got" it. I love it because it's both grounded, and etherial-it has presence but doesn't overwhelm. LL Iris 39 and Chanel's No 19 are my two holy grail iris scents.

  4. This is one of my favorite fragrances ever! It was my first 'iris' (I am anosmic to a lot of them) and while I loved it for that, the softness of the perfume itself it what ended up captivating me. I was wondering what to wear on this much cooler day (from 93F to 73F in 7 hrs. Hello, Illinois!!). A perfect perfume for today!


  5. Undina, I spary a lot. about 4-5 spritzes. It lasts 6-8 hours in this stinky weather.

  6. Anja, thank you so much. I hope you keep on reading.

  7. Elizabeth, I adore both, of course. As a matter of fact, I plan to wear No. 19 all weekend as I've been neglecting it lately.

  8. Musette, my day started at 95 degrees and it's still a perfect perfume.

  9. I just discovered LL Iris 39, myself, and the story of it taking several wearings to 'get it' rings true with me, as well- Now, I am watching my ups tracking progress like a mad stalker- as I hopefully have my first full bottle coming tomorrow- Not all that familiar with Iris fragrances, would you recommend others besides this and Chanel 19? well, besides the Serge Lutens one, since I don't have a French connection...beautiful review- thanks for sharing with such lovely expression!

    1. MPG Iris Bleu Gris is a big favorite. Also Mythique by Parfums DelRae.

  10. Thanks, Gaia- both of these just went on my never ending list of things to try! I appreciate it!

  11. Thanks so much-Both of these just went on my never-ending list of things to try!


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget