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.