Iris, named after the Greek Goddess of Rainbows, is the most amazing girl you'll ever meet, you'll never forget her. Easy to fall in love with: a beautiful, honest, popular, poise, and sensitive girl. Of course, as the name suggests, she has beautiful eyes… but she is so much more than meets the eye.
(–)-cis-α-Irone is the principle odorant of iris or orris root oil, which is obtained by steam distillation of the dried and ground rhizomes of the Dalmatian iris, Iris pallida Lam. after treatment with dilute sulfuric acid ('Scent and Chemistry – The Molecular World of Odors', Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta/Wiley-VCH, 2012, p. 281–284). To a lesser extend also the rhizomes of Iris germanica L. and Iris florentina L. are employed in the production of this precious essential oil. At a price of around US$ 75,000 per kg, orris root absolute constitutes the most expensive raw material available to the perfumer today. It possesses a noble, sweet floral-woody iris and violet-type odor with fruity facets reminiscent of blackberry and raspberry. Of all the different isomers, (–)-cis-α-irone is the most typical for this very particular soft and caressing, ultrafeminine odor – and this is why it was chosen for this pendant.
Far more than the aldehydes C10–C12, the iris note is a signature of Chanel fragrances, as Jacques Polge demonstrated in '28 La Pausa' (Les Exclusifs de Chanel, 2007) with 6.6% of orris butter; his son Olivier did likewise in 'Misia' (Les Exclusifs de Chanel, 2015). The most archetypical iris fragrance, however, is Maurice Roucel's masterpiece 'Iris Silver Mist' (Serge Lutens, 1994), where the mysterious and noble iris is featured in a cold elegant metal accord, employing 4.5% of iris butter. Such a chilly-metallic iris was also portrayed by Olivier Polge in 'Dior Homme' (Dior, 2005) with 0.25% of the most expensive orris root absolute, contrasted by a vetiver–amber–leather accord accented with cocoa ('Scent and Chemistry – The Molecular World of Odors', Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta/Wiley-VCH, 2012, p. 283). In 'Iris Ganache' (Guerlain, 2007), Thierry Wasser employed 0.3% of orris root absolute and 0.1% of orris butter in a chocolate–caramel context. In 2011, Jacques Polge remixed the epic orris–galbanum–Vertofix accord of Henri Robert in 'Chanel N°19' (Chanel, 1971) in a 'N°19 poudre' (Chanel, 2011) version.
As iris or orris is considered such a fine, noble and exclusive note, almost every high-end perfume house has its iris-centered fragrance. Some prominent iris soliflores include the creamy-soft 'Hiris' (Hermes, 1999) by Olivia Giacobetti, the powdery-sweet 'Iris Poudre' (Frederic Malle, 2000) by Pierre Bourdon, the dark-spicy 'Orris Noir' (Ormonde Jayne, 2006) by Geza Schön, the cool-metallic 'Infusion d'Iris' (Prada, 2007) by Daniela Andrier, the floating-transparent 'Iris Ukiyoé' (Hermès, 2010) by Jean-Claude Ellena, the dirty-lipstick iris in 'La Femme Bleue' (Armani Privé, 2011), and the green-carroty 'Iri_del' (Nomenclature, 2015) by Patricia Choux.
The dimensions of the irone pendant are ca. 4.0 cm × 2.3 cm × 1.3 cm, and the eyelet hole has a diameter of ca. 2.9 mm. It can be nicely scented with Irone Alpha, an Iris Key Accord or Orris Tincture (France) 10% Resinoid from Perfumers Apprentice.
For more information on irone, see… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irone
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