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Bruno Fazzolari is not only a perfumer, he is an accomplished visual artist, a painter and sculptor, a graduate of Berkeley with an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. He teaches in the Graduate Program at the California College of the Arts, and he also writes about art.

Bruno’s innovative vision places him among the most interesting independent perfumers working today, in my opinion.

Bruno describes how he interprets the iris note in Feu Secret:

… In Feu Secret, my orris perfume, I pair it with eucalyptus and spices (turmeric and pink pepper). I also emphasize the woody facet with cedar and sandalwood. My goal with Feu Secret was to allow a sort of hidden warmth to shine through the cool surface of orris butter and to stay true to the rooty-woody aspects that I find so compelling…”

Ok, this sounds fascinating, a new take on iris. I’m in. I buy Feu Secret.

The first spritz bursts out of the bottle full of tangy resins, eucalyptus, fir, and pink pepper, an accord which feels bright and welcoming. There is a quick burst of damp violets, but from underneath rises the waxy orris butter which seems to melt in the presence of the resins, warming on my skin and releasing tendrils of smoke from the birch tar, but smelling like iris, earthy, rooty, and real. I catch spicy facets from turmeric which make the iris deliciously foody, like rising dough, then the distant waft of wood resins from cedar brings a foresty freshness. There’s a wonderful sensation of warm and cool at the same time, which continues through the drydown, and is fascinating.

Into the heart, the iris accord cools and thins as the iris becomes more ethereal. The iris is the star, strong and pure, rooted firmly, cool elegance personified. But the warmth returns in the base, as the resinous cedar and powdery sandalwood notes that Bruno mentions shine a light through the iris. The accord smells almost creamy with faint wispy hints of bitter cocoa from the iris and toasted coconut from the sandalwood that come and go. The last note to bloom is dark vanilla which adds a velvety depth. On warm skin, Feu Secret smells sublime, so alive and appealing, and the rich warmth of the base notes lasts for hours. And it’s so easy to wear, the sillage is discreet and truly genderless.

Secret Fire is Bruno's interpretation of the orris/iris note that’s so new, so different, and so beautiful, it makes my heart ache.

Notes: Hemlock spruce, eucalyptus, iris, turmeric, pink pepper, Himalayan cedar, birch tar, vanilla

Type: EdP

Parfumeur: Bruno Fazzolari

Price: $7.00