Sultan Pasha (2017)

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Irisoir by Sultan Pasha

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About Irisoir by Sultan Pasha

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Sultan Pasha
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Sultan Pasha

Irisoir is my ode, my homage to iris of the yesteryear, from my favourite period of European art and culture... La Belle Époque.

From the outset, one is greeted with the rooty notes of the finest Florentine iris and violet. Slowly revealing a honeyed fruity woody core with a deft touch of spice, just to tease ones senses with something extraordinary rather than the mundane and lacklustre examples of this genre that one is accustomed to.

This is a composition that even took me by total surprise as it revealed countless facets of the usually shy and timid iris, and now you shall be able to experience them with me! Be prepared for a journey back in time...

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of Irisoir by Sultan Pasha

There are 5 reviews of Irisoir by Sultan Pasha.

I came to Sultan Pasha for his exquisite ouds and deep layered chypres, stayed for his fougeres and now… somehow I think his belle epoque classical French compositions have somehow become my favorite attars. I really don’t know how. Initially I dismissed Irisoir and Violette Noyee but they absolutely sing in a way my favorite Guerlains(apres L’ondee, l’heure bleue, et al) haven’t been lately. I’m baffled. This stuff is very good.

I guess I can't expect to like all the samples( of which there are 30 )received of SSP Attars. This scent dries down to an accord of Ceremonial Sweetgrass, which for some is sublime and sacred. Particularly when burned for it's ceremonial. Reaction to my skin produces a reedy, whiney overpowering rather monotone
I'm much more comfortable with the decay of resins, Grandflorums, Citrus on my skin.

A very floral and feminine iris coupled with violet is what I get which does become more buttery. After a while you can detect hints of lavender and peach with a slightly sweet mimosa joining the composition. The first hour or so the projection is very good until it withdraws to become closer to you.

Not my cup of tea as it smells too feminine, would smell great on a lady but I just could not pull this one off. After three hours it's basically a skin scent, it does not perform as well as some of his other compositions but that could just be skin chemistry.

When I first encountered Sultan Pasha's series of Iris notes, I have to admit I was stunned - from a lot of modern western perfumery Iris usually comes across in one of a few ways: powdery, waxy (which usually comes from a more 'raw' orris root note,) in a way smelling like it's infamous bread-like rhizomes (which again come from either the orris root or butter) or like a synthetic coolness that to me doesn't ever feel like iris/orris, but becomes simply 'that synthetic note' which is used to re-present iris. None of these are the feelings I get from the Sultan Pasha fragrances whereupon iris is prominently displayed. For instance, Masque Millano's wonderful L'Attesa is a great example of the starchy, buttery, and waxy/dusty orris root/butter, which can be used amazingly to contrast with Irisoir, which reads a lot more to me as a Pure Iris Flower if such a thing can be spoken of in fragrance. Of course in both situations there are a tonne of notes being used to create the total representation of a note, and to amplify or curve other notes - if you can imagine a photo-realistic painting of an iris for instance, there is of course a lot more at play that simply depicting an image of an iris - and ultimately the 'framing' or the work is another way through which the master artist is constructing the whole of the iris to be displayed.

All of this is to say that, in works like Irisoir, there is a lot more at play than simply the 'note of iris' despite the fact that, to me, iris is the entire image focused on in this work. I do get Cedar, violet, carnation, heliotrope, lilac, rose, sandalwood, ambergris, peach, and vetiver for sure at various movements throughout this work, for it is one through which the fruity, woody, ambered, and slightly spicy elements of iris are explored, and while violet does read at times as a 'primary note' it never replaces the iris as the focal point for me, and ultimately becomes that which displays again the lovely iris flower itself - more often than not by creating the very leaves of the iris itself - while the mimosa, carnation lilac seem to speak to the temperament of the iris, and the carnation perhaps as a pollen of sorts, while the cedar, sandalwood and ambergris the environment which the iris itself grows in. The peach and rose add a honeyed/ambered element through which you can almost taste the sweetened dew dripping from the flower itself. Irisoir is an absolutely masterful work which prompts me to say again what I said at the end of my first series of notes on this fragrance: "it feels luxurious and a true celebration of florals with a direction that indeed seems to guide one towards an unspoken manifesto of the ways in which florals should be."

A very rare iris, and one which lovers of the note MUST experience.

YT: Jess AndWesH

Smelling Irisoir, right from the opening, is a deeply satisfying experience to me. The orris is the unequivocal star of the first half hour, an exquisite delicacy of velvety, even buttery richness, violet-tinted woody elegance and just a hint of its rooty quirkiness. At the same time, a honeyed, slightly powdery floral heart steadily grows. Carnation, mimosa, lilac, almond-y helitrope are intricately intertwined into a fleecy bedding over smooth sandalwood and soft balsams, a luxurious, velvety mattress so soothing that the orris could all but fall deep within. This middle phase reminds me quite a bit of L'Heure Bleue, especially the sumptuous extrait de parfum (my reference is one from 90s). But Irisoir has a much stronger presence of orris and less of the anisic spiciness, tonka bean and other oriental elements. As a result, Irisoir feels much more floral in comparison, and more delicate and vibrant as well.

A quiet whisper of peach can be heard throughout the composition as well. It's at first slightly bitter and woody besides its sweet-tart fruitiness, like the flavour close to its stone. When the elegant and enveloping floral heart gradually softens after about 6 hours, the peach gains a bit more prominence. It's now a tender fruity warmth mingled with the dainty, honeyed petals of rose, rendered suede-like thanks to the ever so plush orris. Irisoir maintains this adorably silky skin scent of orris, violet, peach and rose over a discreet salty vetiver until it disappears with a total longevity of at least 10 hours. It mostly stays close to the skin, although it projects slightly during its opening hour.

Irisoir is described by some writers as a close contender to the mythical Iris Gris. As I've never smelt the original vintage version or the reconstructed one in Osmothèque, I can't provide any comparison. But I would say that the peach is more like a supporting actor in this star-studded attar. And the L'Heure Bleue association stemming from its abstract yet nectarous, powdery floral heart, rather evokes to me the perfumery of the early 20s century, like Sultan Pasha himself described it as a tribute to La Belle Epoque. That being said, Irisoir does not feel like a mere copy, but a timeless beauty that truly is inspired by the classic perfumery and moves forward in a certain artisitic direction with the help of quality materials and exquisite blending. I'd highly recommend giving it a try, especially if you are an orris/iris fan or if you enjoy warm floral oriental à la L'Heure Bleue.

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