Way Off Scenter's Review of Iris Oriental / Iris Taïzo 14 by Parfumerie Generale

Genre: Woody Oriental

With iris fragrances sprouting like toadstools these days, I'm happy to report that Iris Taizo is not your standard issue orris root concoction. Whereas the majority of recent iris compositions range from rooty and earthy to demurely powdery, Iris Taizo goes in an entirely different direction. In fact, I'm not sure if it qualifies as an “iris” scent at all. I detect plenty of iris root alright, but the iris isn't really the featured attraction in this scent. Instead, Iris Taizo reads as a clean, fruity leather scent along the lines of Serge Lutens's Daim Blond or Parfum d'Empire's Cuir Ottoman.

While the iris root doesn't dominate the composition, it does steer the leathery base toward suede gloves, rather than equestrian tack or bikers' jackets. With an intense sweet-tart apricot and floral accord that's reminiscent of osmanthus at its heart, and a warm labdanum in the base, Iris Taizo is a dignified, comfortable, and eminently civilized fragrance. In mood and general structure, it reminds me of it's near-contemporary, Dior Homme. And while it will raise a few hackles if I say so, I see Iris Taizo as what the wildly overrated Dior Homme might have been were it a better scent; i.e. stripped of its ghastly, cheap Jolly Rancher candy note and given a more elegant and interesting drydown.

Sillage and projection are both moderate, so that Iris Taizo registers easily, but never becomes intrusive in enclosed spaces. Longevity is also more than adequate at six hours or more, during which the extended drydown is a treat. Though it's a bit sweet, I consider Iris Taizo to be gender neutral, and any man who's comfortable with Dior Homme should be able to wear this with ease.

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