Thursday, June 23, 2011

Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens

Scents inspire me like nothing else. When I try on a scent I get all full of ideas, I see pictures in my head, I think of music, sounds, food, stories, you name it. Iris Silver Mist is a Serge Lutens cult classic. It has been reviewed many times by people who know a lot more about perfume than I do. It's also the scent I get the strongest feelings/pictures about. I've been working this review for a while as wanted to find the right words. I'm realising I probably never will, so here goes my take on Iris Silver Mist.

Imagine you were alive some hundred years ago. Maybe you were a young man, forced to go out to fight in a war that's now long forgotten. Nobody bothered to give you any training and proper equipment. Before you knew it you were lying face down on the battlefield, bones broken, life bleeding out of you. Or maybe you were a young girl living at the same time, one day strange armed men showed up at your house, took you away into the forest, they mutilated and raped you just for the fun of it and left you do die alone in the woods.

After spending hours, maybe days, in utter agony there comes a time when the pain starts to fade. The soul is finally slipping away from the body. Death is reaching out her mighty hands towards you and you're only relieved to see her, happy to return her embrace.

That very moment, when still feeling Mother Earth against your body, breathing in the scent of her soil and roots, mud and grass, fertilized with your own blood. You can also smell what is about to come, there is airy incense with a hint of spices. At that very moment of transition, that is the smell of Iris Silver Mist.

This is a masterpiece of a perfume. It manages to be earthy and ethereal at the same time. It's very sad but also hopeful. It's the best scent I know of to wear when I'm feeling sad. It grounds me, comforts me and at the same time promises that things are going to be better. I love it and I'm rating this at least 5 out of 5.



Artwork by Robert M. Place

14 comments:

  1. Wow. I think you did a great job with this review. Very evocative!

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  2. I agree, very evocative and beautifully written review. ISM brings such strong reactions. I really enjoyed reading your take on it, and even though you said you struggled to find the right words, that is not apparent in your review!

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  3. WOW Sigrun! I think I've definitely found a kindred spirit perfume-reviewer in you. You take chances with words, and that honors the perfumers who take chances making extraordinary fragrances.

    I wish I could say I love Iris Silver Mist, but it was disappointing to me. It felt more indolic than it ought to have been, and less, well, less of everything that I expected.

    I've now got the unique opportunity to have a bespoke perfume made for me, and I want it to smell like how I *hoped* ISM was going to smell, which is very different from the reality.

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  4. @anotherperfumeblog Thanks! I liked reading your review as well. I think we have a very similar experience with ISM.

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  5. @Carrie Congratulations on the bespoke perfume!!! It's just the coolest thing! And to know that it's based on your hopes for ISM, but better, makes it sound AWSOME! Is it going to be on sale to everyone? If it is, I'll try to get some, for sure!

    I can understand that ISM is not for everyone. It's very "raw" compared to other iris scents out there. But I really go for the nakedness of it.

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  6. The idea is that once my fragrance is created, Dawn will have another drawing on her blog for a full bottle of it for one person to win. It sounds like she's excited enough about the perfume right now that she may put it in her permanent collection for sale, but we will have to wait and see how it turns out. I would be so THRILLED if it turned out to be so good and of interest to so many people that she would want to keep it for sale to everyone. I would really feel like I was partly responsible for doing something very cool for many people. :)

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  7. I hope they put it in their permanent collection, that would be so cool!

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  8. What a beautiful review! Powerful images and my favorite song - I am very touched by your post. Glad I have found your blog!

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  9. Thank you, I´m glad that you´ve found it. I read yours every now and then as well :)

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  10. I found your blog right after posting on Iris Silver Mist. Your impression is so vivid (huge contradiction to the context though). Impressive post. It is really striking that there is a lot of the afterlife in my impression of Iris Silver Mist as well

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  11. This is beautiful. I just got around to reading it, because I'm reviewing it. I don't love it as much as you do, but I see both the sadness and the hope, and I can definitely appreciate how the grim reaper focus is not only clever but incredibly valid.

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  12. Thanks! ISM is a powerful one, I'm looking forward to see what you think about it :)

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