Blog post by Gwen
I admit that I have an itsy-bitsy perfume-hoarding habit. I usually keep it under control, but occasionally, I wonder what fragrances I would rescue if I were only allowed to save a few bottles. Playing this game is sweet torture, but whenever I play it, Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile Edizione Speciale 2008 from Italian niche fragrance house Acqua di Parma always makes the rescue list.
Made with high-quality ingredients by renowned noses such as Bertrand Duchaufour, Jean-Claude Ellena, Françoise Caron, Francis Kurkdjian, and Antoine Maisondieu, Acqua di Parma perfumes can be hard to find, so it took a while for me to get to know them and now that I have, well, I wouldn’t want to be without them – especially my first Acqua di Parma crush - Iris Nobile.
Created by Francis Kurkdjian and Françoise Caron, Iris Nobile was launched as an eau de toilette in 2004. An eau de parfum version followed in 2006, while special edition flacons of it were presented in 2008 and 2010. My bottle is from 2008.
So what makes this iris so noble? The Florentine iris that beats at the heart of it, but before we get to the heart, we need to start at the top.
It opens with star anise warming sweet, juicy mandarin and bitter bergamot softened with floral, fragrant orange blossom. The opening has no harsh blasts of citrus or spicy edges but a transparency that hints at what’s to come - a floral heart of Florentine iris and exotic ylang-ylang. The iris used here is the flower, not the sweaty, dirty-smelling orris root, and it’s not a heavily fragranced flower but an important one to Florence. Florentine iris is a white iris native to the city of Florence. Displayed against a red background, it was once the town's coat of arms until the Medici reversed the colours to signify a shift in political power. It’s the nobility of the Florentine iris that Iris Nobile pays homage to.
The Florentine iris combined with the ylang-ylang creates a rich floral accord. It smells like a bouquet of flowers and more of white florals than iris. A note of peach gives it a gentle fruitiness while cumin, slightly bitter and anisic, echoes the top notes. Amber and vanilla at the base sweeten it up just enough, while oakmoss and patchouli are the perfect counterpoint to the citrus opening by giving it some depth and darkness.
The drydown is like the Florentine iris: regal, aristocratic and elegant. It is as advertised: ‘Iris Nobile’ says it all.
A modern chypre and an Italian one, Iris Nobile is such a pleasure to wear that it’s hoard-worthy.
Check out Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile Edizione Speciale 2008 in our Shop.