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Iris in Perfumes: A Guide to Iris Perfumes

Article Published: 10 January 2023

Discover iris as a perfume note with an expert guide to iris perfumes. Learn about the different types of iris like red iris, white iris, and sweet iris in perfumes.

La vie est belle perfume with iris flowers

Iris is one of the most covetable perfume notes and can vary in its scent profile depending on the variation of Iris used. A classic floral note it sits in our iconic La vie est belle perfume collection. For an ultimate guide to Iris Perfumes, we asked Tripta Holtz Senior Fine Fragrance Evaluator, L’Oréal USA to teach us all about iris and how it sits in perfumes.

What does iris perfume smell like?

Iris concrete smells floral and powdery with nuances of green, woody, earthy, rooty (carrot-like), buttery, waxy, leather, slightly chocolatey and raspberry facets. The main odor molecules that contribute to its olfactive profile are called irones, and they are extracted from the rhizomes (root-like structures) of the Iris plant. At the time of harvest, the rhizome is almost odorless. It has to be dried and left to mature for 3-5 years to allow the root to develop high levels of irones. Since iris concrete requires such a long preparation time, it is one of the most expensive raw materials used in perfumery.

What kind of mood does Iris evoke as a fragrance?

Luxurious, woody, powdery, warm, enveloping and feminine are all moods that iris can evoke in a fragrance. Overall, it brings an elevated and high-end perception to both masculine and feminine fragrances.

What perfume notes does Iris pair well with?

Iris is very versatile in its pairing. It is used in feminine floral and floral ambery fragrances – pairing well with flowers, resins, vanilla, tonka bean, amber and fruity notes. Iris is also used in masculine leathery & woody fragrances in combination with violet leaves, herbs and animalic notes. Recently we have seen iris successfully paired with ambrette seeds and musks to give a very soft, skin-like appeal.

Where does Iris typically sit in the layers of a perfume (top, middle, base?)

The woody, powdery, buttery facets of iris make it sit comfortably in the base notes. It acts as a fixative, holding the rest of the fragrance close to skin. From this position, it is also able to contribute to the strength and longevity of a fragrance, both on blotter and on skin.

In some perfumes Iris also sits at the top note to give a fresh and luminous burst of florals from the moment it’s spritzed or applied to skin.

Types of Iris Perfume Notes

Precious Iris Pallida: (often known as sweet iris) is a highly fragrant floral. The classic La vie est belle perfume features Iris as the top note. Fresh iris spring flowers are accompanied with the intoxicating earthiness of patchouli. At the base sits sensual warm vanilla for the perfect iris perfume.

White Iris: White iris has a slightly powdery aroma that is often compared to a suede like scent. You can find white iris in in La vie est belle Soleil Cristal eau de parfum – a sparkling scent which is perfect for summer.

Red Iris: Red Iris flowers are one of the rarer Iris flowers (but not quite as elusive as the covetable Black Iris). You can find red iris as a base note in our La vie est belle Intensement eau de parfum Which is a warm fragrance with accompanying notes of red vanilla, sandalwood and top note of red raspberry and jasmine absolue.

Find your Perfect Perfume

If you’re looking to wear iris as a perfume note look to our fragrance finder quiz which can allow you to answer a few quick questions to find your ideal fragrance for you based on your mood. You can also use our guide: discover how to find your signature scent with our comprehensive guide.

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