I want to see how Serge Lutens solves the problems of longevity and projection in his fabulous perfume, Iris Silver Mist.
The opening iris accord is much like mine and, like mine, evaporates sooner than I, and apparently he, would like. Lutens creates another series of accords that kick in once the orris accord wears off, leaving us with a floral perfume, but one, that, unfortunately, no longer smells of iris. I’m trying a similar approach, but with woods and sandalwood in the drydown instead of flowers. Since sandalwood alone would be too dear, I’m planning on using my sandalwood accord and combining it with plenty of the real stuff before adding it to the iris blend.
To accomplish this, I’m going to continue to rely mostly on synthetics. My main source of information about synthetics, a book I want to explore more in depth in another post, has been Perfumery: Techniques in Evolution, 2nd Edition, which came out in 2009. The book is quite expensive—$100 as of now—but it’s a helpful compendium of articles and interviews written or recorded by or about Acadi Boix Camps in 1978, 1985, 1999, and 2004.
Since the whole list of the ingredients in my sandalwood is rather long, I’ll give some highlights.
I included Javanol, which is very long-lasting and will help prolong the drydown. Iso e super contributes an almost violet (methyl ionone) note which will help link the woods with the iris accord. Bicyclononalactone adds creaminess. At one point, when the accord got too soft, I lowered this. Pistachio CO2 adds a nutty quality while Oud adds a note of precious wood. Damescenone smooths the mixture and lends a subtle fruitiness. Patchouli lends depth and background. A little Cedar Atlas contributes its woody tone. Vetiver and Vetiveryl Acetate give a needed tang; they also increase longevity.
Next, we combine the accord with the main Black Iris accord.