I had the pleasure of first trying this scent as I was standing next to Francois Duquesne, President of L'Artisan Parfumeur, and his wife. They are the most lovely people and I did not feel pressured at all to enjoy the scent. But oh, how I did! The melodic opening of Iris Pallida accompanied me on the rough cab ride back to my hotel as I departed New York City. That was my first experience with this fragrance and although it was a stressful moment, that is not what I conjure with this scent at all. Rather I feel it transported me safely through the streets of New York. Now you see why I chose it yesterday.
This unique iris fragrance is rather unlike any other iris I have tested. It is very woodsy and quite dry, not in the least bit sweet. The lack of sweetness became apparent after I tested it alongside the lovely, sweet Serge Lutens Bois de Violette. With Iris Pallida, the notes melt into one another to create a simultaneously soft, gently powdery, and quite woodsy fragrance. The sparkling opening of lily of the valley, violet leaves and orange blossom are wonderful to sniff immediately after spritzing. As the scent dries and remains on the skin, it becomes remarkably darker and richer. Gaïac wood specifically stands out, as does ambrette seed, reminding me of the lovely Chanel No. 18. This iris absolute is smooth and powdery, unlike other bitter or metallic iris scents. Iris Pallida wears beautifully, with a soft and tender base. Its transportive qualities render it, oddly enough, a comfort scent which is undoubtedly due to its symmetry and lack of rough edges. I have come to expect perfection from L'Artisan and I am not in the least disappointed in this one. From top to bottom it stands out from the rest.
The cost does prohibit purchasing. I was fortunate enough to be part of a bottle split and spent a very reasonable amount on my coveted 10mL spray. Nonetheless, I do love the fragrance enough to save my pennies for a full bottle. Hopefully by then it will still be available!