Iris Silver Mist

Iris Silver Mist is a Serge Lutens that seems to seduce everyone who tries it. The reviews I have read are almost unanimously positive, which is a testament to perfumer Maurice Roucel, because it is—like most Serge Lutens perfumes—strange.

Sometimes I think we forget that strange is often a good thing. It is arresting, attractive. It changes our perspective, challenges us to see the worth in things that may shock or scare us.


Wearing Iris Silver Mist turns my fast-paced city life upside down and shakes it like a snow globe. It’s impossible for me to wear this perfume without being aware of it all day, and feeling that it is a bit otherworldly. Initially, the perfume smells of iris, clove, and cedar. They meld to create an impression of damp soil, with some of the chemical smell of potting soil. It is startling, the injection of the chemical edge to a pretty and rather feminine composition. Maybe because of this, the woodland image the perfume conjures is uncannily quiet.

As the perfume dries down, the clove and the damp soil smell recede. The cedar remains, and the iris warms up and sort of swells on the skin. If I continue with my image of the wood, it’s how things feel after the sun breaks through the trees and turns the quiet wood from something frightening to something peaceful. But I like the more strange stage of the perfume, so I reach for the bottle again.

For a review of Serge Lutens’ Iris Silver Mist see Bois de Jasmin.

Image courtesy IMDB.

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23 responses

  1. Thanks for your review, I’ve been working on a review as well for about a month but there is always that “I just have to try it one more time in order to get those words right…”. It’s such an amazing scent, I’m in awe of how it can be so earthy and etheral at the same time. When I’m feeling sad it manages to both ground me and comfort me by mirroring the way I feel and at the same time promise that things will be better. I don’t know if that makes any sense but that’s just the way it is :)

    • It does make sense. I think you are right, it is a very changeable scent. What you are describing sounds like what I was trying to say about how at first it feels to me like the scent of a place that is dangerous, but then switches and feels peaceful. What amazes me is that I like both aspects of it. I’ll watch our for your review; it will be cool to see what words you find to describe.

  2. A really beautiful review. I am working myself, slowly I must admit, towards writing about my favourite wearable by men irises. Iris Silver Mist is the Ice Queen that somehow ends up feeling like a warm mitten.

    • Thank you so much! I like your analogy, and can definitely imagine this smelling great on a guy. If you don’t mind giving me a “sneak preview” what are some of the other irises on your wearable by men list? Off the top of my head, I’d be curious to smell Iris Ganache on a man.

      • I haven’t tried this one yet but I have a sample on its way. My other favourite irises are Divine, L’ Homme de Coeur, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Iris Bleu Gris and for more casual wear the “shower in a bottle” Prada, Infusion d’ Homme. I also like very much Christian Dior Cologne Blanche and Van Cleef & Arpels Iris de Nuit. I hate Infuson d’ Homme edt, the edp is a little better. A very special place in my iris drawer is reserved for Parfum d’ Empire Cuir Ottoman, a stunning leather – iris composition, Parfum d’ Empire Equistrius, a silky suede iris and Santa Maria Novella Citta di Kyoto, a driest, cold, suave iris – lotus fragrance. Stay tuned…

        • Thanks for the preview! I definitely will stay tuned. So many of these I have not experienced, and I’ve never even seen SMN Citta di Kyoto! My local doesn’t carry the full line. The two Parfum d’Empires I have been chomping at the bit (pun intended) over and am awaiting samples.

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  4. Loved the review. I was curious to try it before but with the words you found and those nice visuals you’ve just singlehandedly moved it almost to the top of my list :)

  5. I totally used a very similar picture of Liv-as-Arwen for a 28 La Pausa review! Something about her just screams iris, I suppose. Thank you for the review!

    • I think so. Maybe it’s the silver/purple hood thing. I just went back and read your 28 La Pausa review, and it’s really good. And yes, I wonder how Liv is so pretty with her Dad’s DNA.

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