Iris Prima 
Penhaligon's (2013)

Average Rating:  8 User Reviews

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Iris Prima by Penhaligon's

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About Iris Prima by Penhaligon's

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Penhaligon's
Fragrance House

Created by Alberto Morillas for Penhaligon's, in collaboration with the English National Ballet.

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Iris Prima by Penhaligon's

There are 8 reviews of Iris Prima by Penhaligon's.


Hard or old-fashioned, candy-sweet smell, like candy cigarettes. Slight green leaf note. Bergamot shows up, then jasmine. Not a whole lot of iris here - just little whiffs. There are some odd notes / moments here, I can't figure out. Anyway, this is flowery for awhile then it begins to fade.

...And fade, it does. The base is extremely pale. It falls flat. It's a blob of mixed notes that hazily doesn't go anywhere. It lacks ambition. More iris would've saved it, from mediocrity.


It's not bad, but it gets a neutral rating because I was really expecting something better.
The iris is dry and bitter, and quite weak for performances. You don't get its softness.


Penhaligon's (and the overproductive Morillas) go the whole hog with utterly clichéd perceptions of what ballerinas are supposed to be about – ethereal grace, delicacy, subtlety, blah-de-anodyne-blah. The result is a perfume centred on a watery-powdery ‘iris' note, citric-tinged at the start and utterly unremarkable, puffed by some light musks and airbrushed floral synthetics.
None of this reflects the reality that ballet is hard work – years of training, straining, eventual physical deformity for some practitioners, sweat and tears. This perfume conveys not a speck of that gutsiness – and, of course, one shouldn't be limited in one's appreciation by marketing backstories. But when Penhaligon's habitually turns out perfumed waters of little distinction or emotion, one gets a bit desperate in trying to say something about the utter banality of the offerings. Even the slightly sweaty leather and sandal base here seems to be going through the motions, rather than providing a dynamic contrast.


Subtle and restrained IRIS layered over a very soft SUEDE leather - a slightly dirty suede at that. Very pleasant.



Utterly lovely. An ultra sheer watercolour of a fragrance. The bergamot and pepper in the opening departs fairly swiftly to make way for a beautiful powdery iris-dominated floral accord. The middle notes are fairly feminine and evoke face powder and flowers around a heart of softest suede (the Bottega Veneta comparison is apt). The base is more masculine – a restrained resin note and a just a whisper of vanilla to lend a very slight sweetness to the composition.

This is beautifully done. A featherweight veil of fragrance. It is quite unisex – not in a genderless sense but in the sense that the feminine and masculine components come together to complement one another in a seamless way (much as in the ballet).

Fans of Infusion d'Iris and Bottega Veneta should certainly test this. For me, this is far and away the better fragrance. I find both Infusion d'Iris and Bottega Veneta to be fairly linear. Iris Prima has a more distinct development to the fragrance.


I smelled it once at a Penhaligon's shop and detected a beautiful, soft and balanced iris suede. So when i got the chance to get it at a decent price, i went ahead and pulled the trigger.

When my FB came, I eagerly sprayed it but then questioned whether it was a tad too soft and hence feminine, especially for work.

And then I came across drmike's review below and his suggestion to try it layered with Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver!

"Ok this might sound heresy but i then tried it with a tiny blast of Tom Ford grey vetiver WOW that combination really is fantastic for a man "

I was doubtful at first, but it works! Now I think I am confident of wearing Iris Prima to work - 3 spritz Iris Prima, with 2 spritz Tom Ford Grey Vetiver.

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