Impossible Iris fragrance notes

    • italian iris, egyptian cassie absolute, raspberry, ylang ylang, egyptian jasmine, virginia cedarwood

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Latest Reviews of Impossible Iris

On me this is fruity, fruity, fruity, with almost no iris at all. It tends toward a shampoo scent, and therefore feels a little generic, even though it is not a generic perfume. I like it a lot in the Spring. I have used up a small sample, and a slightly larger decant. I keep telling myself I won't buy more, because it is so shampoo-y, but I have a feeling I'll probably go for a little more in the future.
19th May 2023
This is an iris perfume that smells like anything but what you might expect. Some might be inclined to describe Impossible Iris by Ramon Monegal (2010) as greater than the sum of its parts, and that might be an astute assement, because nothing here registers as classic powdery or soapy iris, yet the whole that is created from the combination of the subject and other things makes for a scent better than you might expect from an iris perfume. The magic here is achieved from blending iris with mimosa flower with traces of raspberry lactones over a subtle but astringent leather base that is backed by aldehydes and woods. The approach is clean and floral, the base is a bit chemical in that fresh-polished boots manner, but no stranger to fans of tannery notes in perfume. The raspberry is part of this leather accord, as seen in many Tom Ford leather perfumes, but executed without the heavy hand. Ramon Monegal is clever, using the mainstream industry's most-popular sythetic accords against them and out-classing them in so doing, but also wanting a premium for it.

The opening is metallic aldehydes and the iris blended with the mentioned mimosa and a dry musky ylang-ylang in the heart. The result is a tug-of-war between clean and musky which Monegal does often in his other florals, but without the rich sweetness of something like tuberose or orange blossom. Rather, the iris and gold flower assortment do their battle over the raspberry leather accord without much fuss until the iris ultimately loses and the leathery shoe polish note becomes the star of the show. What does remain is the cleanliness of the iris to rest atop the shoe shop base with touches of orris root waxiness and some sort of woody aromachemical to underpin everything. Impossible Iris doesn't have a classic oakmoss backbone under the leather tones nor any sort of real chypre facets, so old heads may want to skip this one rather than shaking fists and yelling at clouds over the fact, but the adventurous person that appreciates what modern leathers try to do but wish they had more finessse will be on board. Wear time is moderate as is performance, and usage is pretty general, as this will offend nobody,

Once you get over the weird cognitive dissonance of an iris ylang raspberry leather shootout in a bottle, what you get with Impossible Iris is a rather beautifully-arranged happenstance of popular aromachemicals and select natural essences in ways unconventional compared to their typical usage. Need I remind anyone, Ramon Monegal is like Francis Kurkdjian or Pierre Bourdon in that he worked mostly for the desginer or maninstream industry then started his own niche line to gain back creative freedom, so counter to a Russian Adam (Areej le Dore) or Eugene & Emrys Au (Auphorie), he is very comfortable with industry materials but has been "unchained" to use them more-creatively than perhaps they were intended to be. Still, you have to be okay with iris as it is still in there, just part of an "impossible" ensemble of notes that creates a rather refreshing, novel scent experience with more versatility than it has any rights to have. Sample first because this one is really out there, and I'd hate to see someone burned by the unorthodox handling of both the subject and its supporting cast. Thumbs up.
13th July 2020

Soapy clean iris, I couldn't pull this off, it is tooo feminine.
17th May 2016
A unique take on iris – beautiful and slightly strange. Have you ever eaten a raspberry crème brulee? By some weird quirk of culinary alchemy, the vanilla custard and the raspberry transmute each other into something completely different from their normal selves – the custard loses its bland sweetness and takes on the sharp fruitiness of the berry, while the berry has its raspberry identity completely sanded down, leaving only a bright, citric fleshiness in its place. The end result tastes nothing like custard or raspberry, but is a completely new taste born from their union.

Something similar happens in Impossible Iris. The custardy, plasticky ylang and the bright, sour raspberry mix with a cool, powdered suede iris, and the result smells nothing like either one of the original ingredients to the pot.

True, there is a distinctly moist fruit note, but it is more the blue-green shimmer of a wet raspberry leaf than the vulva-pink flesh of the berry itself. The ylang divests itself of its usual steamy, banana-like nuances, and combined with the rooty tones of the iris, blows up the hairspray and plastic hairnet side of its personality.

The iris, slicked in these juices, takes on a aerosol tone, like the fresh emission from a can of suede boot cleaner or furniture polish. Somehow, it emerges from the fruit, mimosa, and ylang as a wholly new creature, wobbly on its legs, but utterly beautiful.
26th March 2016
Here's another candidate in my personal search for my first Iris purchase. This is a fruity Iris (something I haven't some across before), and while the manufacturer's notes tell me to expect framboise, I'm getting more mango and almost papaya on the to--at any rate, this smells quite exotic, with all the jasmine and ylang woven around it. The idea of a prim fragrance like iris letting its hair down is nice, but I feel like what I have here is a well-made floral tied together with the earthy notes of the aforementioned flowers and fruits with a little musk and maybe a hint of sandalwood on the drydown. The iris is in here, but I have to look for it, and that's not what I want. I keep picturing Miss Moneypenny in a conga line in Acapulco.
19th January 2016
Impossible Iris by Ramon Monegal features an iris note that is similar to the one found in Terre d'Iris by Miller Harris. I enjoy both fragrances quite a bit; in fact, this is my favorite RM fragrance so far–it's a wet, green, iris with a large dose of sweet mimosa that smells of the highest quality shampoo. I decided to run a comparison and applied II to one arm and TdI to the other. Then I asked the dear Hubs to sniff each arm and tell me which he preferred. (The dear Hubs is a “(-)fragrance fan”.) He chose II, so I immediately put TdI on my full bottle list.

21st July 2015
l get a soapy, fizzy, aldehydic opening that tickles my nose & makes me sneeze. As it settles, l detect a powdery, fuzzy floral note, more akin to mimosa than iris. Gradually, however, the iris comes through, & a couple of hours in the raspberry note adds a little tartness without giving the scent an overly fruity feel. l don't get ylang or jasmine here, & there's no discernable base. The projection is medium, & it fades out around seven hours in.
l'm not an iris afficianado, but l find this one to be a bright, cheerful spring floral, in a similar vein to Byredo's La Tulipe, although they don't smell the same. For me though, La Tulipe is the more beautiful of the two.
1st April 2015
this is feminine scent, its fruty raspberry scent, its sweet and almost powdery in the dry down and bit thin , synthetic as well

i was expecting so much more :) , the opening reminded me the most of iris silver mist,thats the part i loved, but soon it turns into fruity scent, with very little iris .....and very little excitement for me

its likable, but nothing impossible here:) fruity part overwhelmes it all.....for insolence lovers!
12th March 2013
At first wear IMPOSSIBLE IRIS comes across a little too juicy-fruity for my taste, with the iris firmly in the backseat but subsequent wears reveal the iris accord to be much more prominent than I initially thought. While I'm not entirely convinced with the choice of aqueous ylang ylang and distinctly indolic jasmine as supporting players, clearly these have been modulated to avoid overwhelming the central iris. Which is something of a pity as I find the first hour to be the more interesting phase with floral nuances lending some depth and contrast to a largely linear accord. Still to Monegal's credit the iris' waxy and rooty signature is impressively persistent - a hitherto impossible feat.

9th March 2013
Monegal is in the habit of labeling all his juice as unisex...but this clearly isn't. This is a powerful iris and ylang ylang open, with a clean soap dry down. Not for me, but well made female fragrance.
3rd March 2013

I decided to test this fragrance having before experimented on my skin the holy Le Labo Iris 39 (one of the most majestic Iris ever) and i have to underline the utterly floral-indolic and (barely) aqueous nature of the Monegal one, if compared with the musky/animalic and rooty/earthy Iris 39's mystic nature. I don't use to crave for such kind of minimalistic and indolic juices too much stressed over the floral path although have to recognize the more than remarkable craftsmanship in the appointment of this utterly natural and assertive floral concoction (natural but with a rather short duration on my skin-but possibly it is just ostensible). I substantially agree with the complex Drseid's previous reconstruction; Impossible Iris, before to become all about a natural Iris standing over a weak, aqueous and dry cedary bed, is anteceded by a really botanic/indolic wet ylang-ylang burst and flanked in a while by a sheer jasmine and a juicy raspberry which imprint a fruity and intensely floral vibe to the blend, before the note of iris starts to emerge in all its glory but floating over a sink of aqueous fruitiness characterizing the general ambience. The note of Iris is finally wet, vaguely peppery and cedary while Iris 39 becomes in the dry down more dark, sharp, animalic, massive and rooty/earthy. Two different takes on the main theme. A well appointed and modern humid/assertive but juicy (berries) Iris that anyway hardly gratifies my full pleasure.
9th February 2013
Impossible Iris opens with a considerable amount of ylang-ylang before almost immediately transitioning to its iris heart. The iris here is not as powdery or as waxy as one might expect, but instead you get the true nature of the iris in all its glory with just the right amount of slightly soapy powder. The iris is well-supported by prominent jasmine and just the slightest amounts of raspberry and mimose balancing the composition with an almost hidden cedar in the base. Projection is average and longevity is excellent.

I am not a big fan of iris compositions in general, so I went into smelling Impossible Iris on skin with very low expectations... It would apparently be near-impossible for me to truly enjoy just about any iris composition, but I can definitely vouch for the scent's name being legit as I absolutely love Impossible Iris! Monegal achieves the unthinkable in letting the iris come through unobscured by the usual characters, while complimenting it rather brilliantly with just the right amount of jasmine and raspberry to let the iris shine while underpinning it with just the right support. The cedar in the scent is hidden so well that I really have to concentrate to smell it, and frequently just enjoy the iris without thinking about it being there at all. Finally an iris composition I really want to buy, earning an excellent 4 stars out of 5... An "Impossible Iris" indeed!
17th July 2012