Reviews of Iris by Santa Maria Novella

I smell mostly powdery, soapy clove and orange, lightly musky but in the style of old-fashioned soap as opposed to anything truly animalic. I don't think I'd have considered this an iris perfume without the name, though I can imagine that there's iris in there adding depth and richness.

If you enjoy SMN's signature powdery old-school clove core that they use in a lot of their scents and soaps, then you'll likely enjoy their Iris. But if you're looking for something that actually smells strongly of iris, you may be disappointed. Personally, I like these, so it's a thumbs-up for me.
9th August 2019
A very pretty violet fragrance.
18th April 2016

This is a very worthy entry into the 'iris' category -- it's earthy/rooty but not to the point that Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist takes it. Quite enjoyable, with discreet sillage but good staying power. It's linear but that's what I came to expect from iris/orris fragrances. I do not detect many other notes, iris/orris definitely dominates. Recommended for the iris lovers, along with Chanel La Pausa, Le Labo Iris or Heeley Iris de Nuit.
23rd July 2009
I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered a sample of this. I've been exploring Italian houses, and SMN is one of the best. What I like about the Italian houses is that they remain very low key, with no marketing, boutiques, flashy distribution, etc. Instead the quality of their fragrances is the selling point, and SMN, Profumum, Mazzolari, and Farmacia Anunziata dal 1561 all offer serious fragrances for the collector that put most French houses to shame.Anwyay, SMN's Iris has a little bit of everything, and it's quite beautiful. It is neither the earthy, rooty take on iris found in Iris Silver Mist or Hiris, and it's not the super-sweet, violet-backed iris by L'Occitane. It's somewhere in the middle. While you can definitely detect the earthy, floral, 'iris-root' notes, there is a slight and sweet, vanillic powderiness balancing these notes . It's this light sweetness that you detect first, and only as you inspect deeply do the root notes become more apparent. The closest iris fragrance to SMN Iris is L'Artisan's Iris Pallida, (which is $300/100ml). L'Artisan's Iris isn't quite as powdery as SMN's, and the rooty notes aren't present at all, but it has a similar light sweetness and depth of iris. (I do detect a touch of violet in L'Artisan's Iris, which I don't detect in SMN's.). There are also similarities between this and MPG's Fleur d'Iris, which is mix of rooty iris and vanilla. MPG's offering is far less harmonious, and I find the clash between strong root notes and strong vanilla uncomfortable in that fragrance.This fragrance is on the feminine side, much more so than Hiris. I will wear 'feminine' fragrances to a point, and unfortunately this is just over the line of too feminine. It's a linear fragrance, as are most of the SMN soliflores, and the quality and longevity are both excellent. This isn't the sort of fragrance from which you would expect, or want, sillage. However, it doesn't stay nearly as close to the skin as other iris fragrances. Overall an excellent offering and I highly recommend it.
22nd November 2008