Iris Cendré opens in a state of confusion – it tells many tales to begin with.
Iris Cendré is a firm iris fragrance. It is rich – a harmonious treatment of the namesake flower with a melange of effects blending into a whole. A rich, buttery floral effect at the bottom, accompanied with relevant complexities. At first inhalation, a yeasty baker’s accord of iris and smouldering woods – developing more intensely in the fiery direction. It bares the expected orris/iris impressions of carrot seed, earthy root, and a sweet bubblegum-like note.
With further inspection, Iris Cendré reveals itself to also be a fragrance prominent in violet, giving a duality between the two florals. The violet here is immensely pleasant – it’s masculine for the most part, redolent of barbershop cologne preparations. It sustains the scent’s ravished quality seen through fire; like organised chaos, thus adding solidity.
© 2016 Liam Sardea
The initial iris note in Iris Cendré is a deep vegetal green with dark outlines – a bolstered and glorified iris soliflore; meaning notes are added to enhance the iris. It is awakened with a surprising freshness; a citrusy awakening via a twang of bergamot and soft, lushly honied tangerine. It is cool, crisp, and proudly floral with the powder note halfway between classical orris and ash. A vintage grey moving onto a verdant counterpoint.
Any sly suggestion of cobwebs are surely driven out from this fragrance by the way it is blended and structured.
At this point, the fragrance is uptight, and is loaded with aristocratic ingredients: a noble blend of vintage flowers. It is vigorously regal and classical, and whilst most flowers are perfumes in themselves and are polygonal, the iris flower is immensely faceted and severely deep. While the iris is crystalline, delicate and wispy, it is not cool; it is perpetually warm. Waves of smoking and smouldering woods perpetuate the scent and are accompanied with charred ash, chalk dust and ashtray smoke. At times the scent appears burnt in the literal sense, calling to mind burnt toast and an underlying moistness like wet cardboard, hinting at a wintery refreshment of crisp and frigid air clashed with ceremonial noir and a sultry warmth.
Iris Cendré has a lot of potential, and it could have ultimately reengineered what one expects from the powdery iris paradigm. It almost gets there, and at times it reverses and flips around with a fierce masculine edge with floral femininity floating above this well-constructed scent. At stages it is excellently gripping, playing on both stereotypes of gender and the opposing ideas of cool and hot. To render the scent cohesive, the ephemeral and complexly loaded opening detracts into a smooth field of suede-like plushness and musty accords of old books, a wash of fresh liturgical incense notes, and a brown spirit of sorts.
In the end, the iris is an oxymoron – rich yet fresh, the rest merely plays on this quality.
Florals set alight.
Subjective rating: 4/5
Objective rating: 3.5/5