A few months ago I first heard whispers about a modern remake of the legendary Iris Gris (Jacques Fath). The rumors referred to Moon Valley by perfumer Amanda Feeley of Esscentual Alchemy, who created this all-natural fragrance for the Primordial Scent Project last summer.But just as Moon Valley has a full life outside of this context, this perfume (and its creator) deserve to be acknowledged separately from the masterpiece that may have inspired it. Few people have smelled Iris Gris and fewer still have any on hand to compare it to Moon Valley. I have and do, so I can tell that in my opinion these are two very different perfumes. Other than taking note of some similar accords these fragrances share, I'd rather let Fath and Iris Gris rest in peace while I get to enjoy Moon Valley for what it is.
Moon Valley opens with two distinct contrasts: a chilling breeze from a window left open all night that stirs something dense and smoky in the room. It makes you pay attention right away because these are very substantial top notes that are full of character and start telling you their story. Things actually (sort of ) lighten up as this Esscentual Alchemy fragrance develops and reveals its sensual heart. The flowers are lush, the peach note is among the best I've smelled, and the sophistication of the composition should be deeply appreciated when you remember that Esscentual Alchemy is a 100% botanical line, so there are no smoke and mirror effects created with the aid of synthetic molecules.
The ripe figure and voluptuousness of Moon Valley are complemented and taken to the next level by an iris and leather accord. It's more raw and rugged (think an adventurer's vintage luggage) than urban-Parisian, but just as sexy; maybe there's a well-worn suede jacket and its handsome occupier thrown in the mix for good measure. I find Moon Valley just as perfect as an evening scent as it is on a gray winter morning. The warmth it creates after the initial cool blast and the musky dry-down are very pleasing; the sillage is moderate-low and longevity is about 5 hours, not counting the sweet remnants on the skin and on my clothes .
Notes: Vetiver, Antique Oakmoss, Hyrax, Orris, Jasmine Grandiflorum, Lilac, Tuberose, Carnation, Peach Accord, Virginia Cedar, Heliotrope Accord.
Moon Valley by Esscentual Alchemy ($22, 5ml EDP. Other sizes and samples available) can be purchased from the perfumer's website, esscentualalchemy.mysupadupa.com or her Etsy store, etsy.com/shop/EsscentualAlchemy.
Arian Behzadi- Mixed Media Collage via Trendland.
Carol Chambers- Still Life Iris And Peaches.