Impossible Iris 
Ramon Monegal (2010)

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Impossible Iris by Ramon Monegal

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Ramon Monegal
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Impossible Iris is a shared scent launched in 2010 by Ramon Monegal

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Reviews of Impossible Iris by Ramon Monegal

There are 11 reviews of Impossible Iris by Ramon Monegal.

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.

Soapy clean iris, I couldn't pull this off, it is tooo feminine.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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