Aedes de Venustas is a very special place for all perfume lovers. As its name suggests in old Latin, it is a temple of beauty. Opened not so long ago in 1995 on Christopher Street in New York City, in a neighborhood known as Greenwich Village, this temple has served and serves today still, as a place where people of all sorts of profiles, professions, social milieu gather around one thing, its majesty – the divine fragrance. The artifacts of worship are many, but they are all gathered around one of the most beautiful on the theme of the iris, under the name – Iris Nazarena.

This perfume boutique, designed in the style of the French boudoir, was founded by Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner at the very time of birth of niche perfumery. In Aedes de Venustas, passionate lovers and perfume experts could find fragrant concoctions that were not available elsewhere. What Diagon Alley was for the wizarding world of Harry Potter books, Aedes de Venustas is for the world of perfume wizards.

aedes de venustas

They made their first perfume called Aedes de Venustas in 2012 in collaboration with the famous perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, who is well known for his incredible creations with house L’Artisan Parfumeur, as well as many other niche (Acqua di Parma, Amouage, Comme des Garcons , Frapin, Majda Bekkali, Olfactive Studio, Penhaligon’s, The Different Company) and designer (Dior, Lacroix, Escada) brands. The perfume was a great success, due to which eight other fragrances followed, among which is the one that is the theme of this review – Iris Nazarena.

Inspiration for Iris Nazarena, Ralf Schwieger, found in one of the best female perfume classics:

With Iris Nazarena eau de parfum I had to face two major challenges: to find a point of difference with Chanel No. 19, which has always been a reference point for iris-based scents and an unsurpassable model since its launch in 1971, and to incorporate transparency so that the beauty of the Nazarene iris would be best expressed.

I think that he has succeeded in it in more than one way. In the opening of Iris Nazarena, the note of iris is immediately noticeable, cold, slightly dry and ashy, reminiscent of the icy, somewhat alien floral which is Chanel no. 19. What distinguishes Iris Nazarena from Chanel 19 is its dynamic nature, which surprises us in time, showing us different aspects each time we take a whiff. Sometimes it’s cold and distant, sometimes warm and welcoming, but always absolutely sophisticated.

iris nazarena

Perfume composition of Iris Nazarene is woody floral musk, in which the main role is played by the note of iris. Not any iris, but one harvested in the fields of Nazareth in Israel (Iris bismarckiana). However, as with all extraordinary accomplishments in the field of perfumery, this note did not overcome and mask all the rest: leather, tobacco, spices, but enabled them to stand out and shine for themselves. And, in turn, all other notes made the whole composition richer and fuller. It is similar to human nature where really great people, just like candles, do not shine only to themselves but illuminate the whole room, and even those pale, reclusive, shy, sitting in the farthest corner, as is the case with the fragrant note of rose in Iris Nazarena. Pale, rosy cheeks, as if it just popped out, like Merry Poppins, from Vermeer’s paintings. Accompanied by musk, rose share a quiet, intimate conversation, long after all the other notes have disapparated.

Can I imagine someone wearing Iris Nazarene? No. Do I think it’s a fantastic perfume? Yes. Iris Nazarena is an exercise in high perfumery. It has a clear vision, pure ingredients, and complex nature. Will it save contemporary perfumery, just like Jesus of Nazareth? No, but it will sort a few wandering strays down the right path.

[Fragrance notes] top notes: iris, ambrette, juniper berry, anise; middle notes: leather, oud, rose, clove; base notes: incense, vetiver, musk.

[Fragrance group] woody floral musk.

Creator of perfume is Ralf Schwieger.