iris wallpaper print late 19th century
Iris is one of the most expensive notes in the world of perfumery, or used to be, before the development of anisaldehyde, and Alpha Irones or the heavy synthetic iris Irival that makes an appearance in Iris Silver Mist. As you can see these days iris is unlikely to be natural, the cost alone more or less precludes that, but there are plenty of irises on the market some self advertising, some not.
Among the synthetics my personal favorite has to be the discontinued ShalimarParfum Initial. This perfume had nothing to do with Shalimar, instead the scent had a good deal in common with Dior Homme and DH’s lovely synthetic iris note was reproduced but lightened just a little bit. They were pretty close to one another as compositions. I went out and spritzed Dior Homme from my local Sephora and then Shalimar PI and found out how close the kinship was. They were siblings really, not even cousins. The Shalimar PI * did not prosper. I suppose the fact that the new perfume had nothing to do with actual Shalimar hurt the sales in the end since those who loved Shalimar could not love this new iris concoction. Continue reading
John Singer Sargent
Promenade during the uncrowded fin de Siecle
Believe it or not this happened once before. You may think that nothing like the multiplication of perfume niche companies has ever been seen in the history of scent sales but back in the early twentieth century something very like this happened.
Frankly I’ve long since lost count of the number of new niche fragrance houses that have debuted in the last three years or so. Some of them will survive of course, and many will not, but back in the teens and twenties the world of perfume was similarly flooded. Continue reading
The oddity of body chemistry is one of those imponderables that never cease to amaze me. We all know the scenario by now, how two people can try on the same perfume and it will coalesce into a beautiful flower arrangement on one wearer’s skin, and devolve on the other’s, into a rotten soggy mess. Hard to believe, but it does happen.
Sometimes the quality of the perfume is at fault. If a formula is harsh or thin, then skin will not save it. Conversely, even well made scents can fall apart on an epidermis like an under rehearsed ballet on stage. Chandler Burr in The Perfect Scent laments the formulation of fragrances to perform best on paper, which isn’t very useful, he remarks – unless you are made of paper. Continue reading