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segunda-feira, 19 de outubro de 2015

TERRE D'IRIS BY MILLER HARRIS (2005)


Niche still works, sometimes.




Nose: Lyn Harris

Terre d’Iris is easily one of the most compelling and fascinating fragrances by this brand among the ones I have tried so far – a brand which despite its (few) highs and (more frequent) lows, I respect overall. Being a big fan of iris – not necessarily knowledgeable about it, but surely a fan, I am quite picky with iris-based fragrances, and Terre d’Iris, well... it is surely a true keeper for me, for a very reasonable couple of reasons: it smells really good to my nose, and quite unique to my knowledge. It opens in fact as a charming, immediately competent, fascinatingly moody take on iris built on a really inspired, smooth and well-balanced contrast between fresh, tangy herbal notes of lemon, bergamot and sharp, tasty Mediterranean herbs with a fruity drop of orange, and a whole sort of cloudy, damp musky-woody base with patchouli, vetiver and a really subtle, yet perceivable feel of, say, musty mossiness (if you inspire with some strength you get a fantastic distant whiff of bracing, somehow raw yet comforting stale-barn rural nuances provided by – I guess – patchouli infused with oakmoss, that fit marvelously the mood of this composition).

Between these two kind of “opposites” lies her graceful majesty – iris, with a strong accent on its earthy-leafy nuances. Nothing “lipstick”, just a touch of austere yet delicate rooty powder with grassy and “carroty” nuances. The evolution is pleasant and remarkable, albeit closer and closer to skin as minutes pass: the citrus-bergamot freshness evolves slowly into a smooth, slightly creamy, orange-driven nuance blending with herbs, the “cocoa” side of patchouli and the leafier side of iris, which in turn dissolves beautifully among earth, moss, patchouli and herbs. All gets cozier, warmer, a bit sweeter, maybe a bit faint (actually, quite faint) but still showing a consistent, really intriguing contrast between sweet freshness, plushy powderiness and musty-woody earthiness. Quite “whispered”, but it’s all there. It may seem a simple, if not banal composition, but well, the result is great, almost impeccable, and as I said above, quite unique. Or well, I simply can’t think of any other iris fragrance playing these chords, this way, and I’ve never smelled any iris-based scent smelling this earthy, damp, rooty and “rainy” but also bracing, mellow and uplifting. Effortlessly classy and melancholic at once. The drydown reminds me a bit of Prada's Infusion d'Iris drydown, as there's the same bergamot-iris-vetiver vein going on here too, but the mood is quite different here (Prada's all about crisp freshness, here the atmosphere is quite more damp and musty).

Plus (finally!) Lyn Harris’ signature “minimalism” and fondness for dusty-airy notes finds some sense here – the grayish, weightless, almost impalpable texture is just perfect for these notes, taming them down almost to the point of giving them a faded, dream-like substance (so yes, overspraying and frequent reapplications are encouraged). A truly inspired little wonder, maybe a bit too mannered and definitely too light for this concentration, but definitely worthy some attention for me

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