The Challenge: Reinventing Iris
Perfumer Ralf Schwieger, who had long wanted to offer a contemporary interpretation of iris, was a perfect fit for the project. With Iris Nazarena, he explains he had to confront two major challenges. First, "I had to find a point of difference with Chanel N°19," the benchmark of iris-based scents and an unsurpassed template since its launch in 1971. Then, "to incorporate transparency" into the somber iris and incense accord that would express the mystical beauty of the Iris Nazarena. The suede-soft petals of the mystical muse are
sketched in a subtle sfumato of brown, purple and white, brushed with powdery iridescence. The limpid ambrette, with its pear, rose and musk facets, sheds the tender light of dawn on the top notes. Rose adds a touch of floral sensuality, while the aromatic, resinous juniper berry introduces the incense theme. The cool, vivid green of star anise conjures the stylized stems and leaves of the flower. Patchouli and vetiver allude to its roots, driven into dark earth and rock. The sacred smoke rising from the altars weaves its mineral, leather-scented tendrils throughout the development with incense, clove and oud..