Iris 39 is a perfume by the American niche brand Le Labo and is part of the original edition with which the creators of the brand opened their first store in New York in 2006. Among these perfumes are some real masterpieces, which have been unfairly put in the corner by the mega-success of Santal 33 perfume, as one of the founders of the Fabrice Penot says in one of his interviews. Iris 39 is such a perfume, very unusual and unique, barely known, as well as Patchouli 24, Jasmine 17, Ambrette 9, Rose 31, Fleur d’Oranger 27, Labdanum 18, Bergamote 22, Vetiver 46 and Neroli 36, all members of the original guard.

Iris 39

Iris is one of the most used materials in perfumery, and with the skillful touch of a perfumer, its complex nature can branch out in either a floral or woody direction. Combining with other materials, one can point out its powdery scent that we all know (I would dare say and love since it is used equally in men’s and women’s creations and perfume hits like Dior Homme or Guerlain Insolence), or its resemblance to violet. What is certain is that it gives each perfume a dose of sophistication and elegance, which, after all, Frank Voelkl, the creator of the Iris 39 perfume, likes to emphasize – the elegant feeling that this perfume gives you while wearing it.

Iris 39 is one of the most unusual iris-themed perfumes in existence. One of the most beautiful too. It is a real rarity when a perfumer and the perfume house decide to take a bold step and present to the world something that will not satisfy everyone’s taste, maybe even no one’s, but that is the charm of creating perfumes, at least as they used to be made. Iris 39 provides an incredible dose of excitement after the first breath. I was overwhelmed with emotions, something that should be an inherent feature of perfumes, but which is lost in today’s hyper-production of fragrances that smell like sweets from the amusement park.

The perfume composition Iris 39 is a floral chypre, which means that a floral note is added to the classic chypre base of patchouli and musk in the base notes and bergamot in the top notes – in this case, iris. Iris in Iris 39, unlike the usual powdery, is very airy and refreshing, green. It is a bit reminiscent of Tom Ford’s Black Orchid if we exclude the chocolate facet BO, so I believe that fans of those mentioned above could find a new obsession in Iris 39. The scent of patchouli – wet, woody, and earthy, gives a great counterbalance to the iris’s scent from top to bottom notes. Absolute perfection! If you happen to come by a niche perfumery and get lost among Le Labo perfumes, do not reach only well-known and famous names, give a chance to the unjustly neglected Iris 39, and smell the nameless glory.

[Fragrance notes] iris, patchouli, musk, violet, bergamot, civet, ginger, rose, cardamom, ylang ylang.

[Fragrance group] floral chypre.

The creator of the perfume is Frank Voelkl.