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segunda-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2015

Alexandre J. Changes the Notions of Iris and Violet

by: Miguel Matos

2015 was indeed a year of wonders when it comes to perfume. At least I could find a number of surprising new scents that really made my days much happier. Along the many new fantastic compositions this year, there is one that comes from one of my beloved brands, Alexandre J., and one of my favourite perfumers, Amélie Bourgeois from Flair. Iris is one of her favourite raw materials, so I was curious to see what she would do with it.
When I read the name of this perfume, I automatically imagined an olfactive picture of it in my mind. I guess with these materials we all have our preconceived notions and they are usually right. But in this case I was wrong. This is not the regular Iris and this is not the regular Violet either. Get ready for a traditional combination of traditional materials with a twist that makes it new.
As we all know, violet and iris are synonymous with powder and make-up smells. Iris has a buttery aspect and a powder character. Violet is also powdery, sometimes candied and rosy. There's an old fashioned sensation from the usual combination that reminds us of vintage perfumery and the smells of the boudoir. But actually, none of these words describe Alexandre J.'s Iris Violet. The result is very, very far from all that.
Iris Violet is a burst of fresh squeezed citrus and apple juice, poured into a glass of milk with crushed violet petals. Inside the glass, some iris has been soaking in the milk and it was stored in the refrigerator to keep the freshness. It was stirred with a cedarwood spoon and served with whipped cream on top and pieces of tropical fruits. That's maybe a non-sense way of describing my experience of Iris Violet, but the fact is I get a very juicy, milky, sticky and yet transparent scent from it. Transparency is actually a staple of almost all the juices that come out of the Flair Studio where Amélie works. Despite the stickyness, it never gets cloying and the fresh character of the fruits keeps it in a perfect balance. It is not a summer fragrance and I have been enjoying it in the not so cold weather we are having where I live. So I would say autumn and spring is the perfect time for this uplifting, joyful perfume.  
As the explosion of fruit calms down and the aquatic/milky effects arrive, there is no doubt that the iris and violet theme is totally deconstructed to the point of awe and surprise. They are there but transformed. It should be a mess, but it works. I can't say this is a quirky kind of fragrance, for Amélie was intelligent enough to keep it one drop away from that. There appears something vaguely metallic in the middle, turning it more interesting, while we see the song of powder and rose being played in a contemporary remix of an upbeat tempo. It is almost fluorescent, at some point, the apparent paradox of this concoction. But as I was still unsettled by the unusual composition, my brain soon reorganized the traditional notions of iris and violet. Yes, it is now a fruity floral of rich and slightly synthetic beauty. The scent follows me all day and leaves a woody drydown which is very masculine, after the more feminine start.

Lovers of iris will love it or hate it, depending on the open or conservative mindset. I found Iris Violet to be extremely easy to like, but it asks for some full wearings to be fully understood and what may seem a dissonant blend soon becomes familiar and compelling. The end of it all is a chemical but nice musky and woody base where the molecule cedramber is most prominent. Yes, there is a sexy aspect too.
Oh, and by the way, just for sheer curiosity: my first middle name is Alexandre and the second starts with a J... Funny huh?

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