Black Iris, Again

Last Sunday, Kate came over and smelled some of my new experiments.

I asked her to smell a version containing hydroxycitronellal. The results excited me because the perfume had gotten more lift and persistence. I had added coriander, thinking of it as a spice to balance the floral aspects. As it turns out, the aroma of coriander seeds is almost pure linalool, a volatile alcohol that’s not considered stimulating like most spices, but, rather, narcotic. The big problem, and one that Kate immediately perceived, was a shifting in the color of the iris. I saw it as white; Kate saw it as green and white. Whatever it was, it wasn’t black.

Kate also mentioned a persistent and annoying “mintiness.” I hadn’t added anything in the whole caravone family so it must have come from the coriander. Sometimes I wonder if I’m working at cross purposes in that I’m trying to take what is essentially a rather somber substance (orris) and make it project and even have sprightly top notes.

I’m now building on an earlier version. Fourteen test tubes sit on my counter, each one containing 20 drops of my last Black Iris base (pre-hydroxycitronellal) and one or two drops of another material such as frankincense, calone, ambroxan, patchouli, cognac, and extra orivone. One amazing material, isolongifolanone, gives real radiance. Kate liked the tube with the calone, which in a way surprised me because it’s so marine. But marine, if used discreetly, can boost florals.

I’m now building on an older accord by adding more irivone, irival, and orisone. Next are the erogenic components, made with an accord between indole (stinky stuff found in feces) and Musk, my own musk interpretation.

My hope is that these notes ground the composition and give it longevity, adding sexy notes along the way.

Now, it’s back to the lab. Perhaps a little heliotropin?