Niche Fragrance Magazine

A Night at the Opera

in Reviews by


When I ‘m curios about a perfume I’m doing a kind of research looking for the message but also wondering about the notes and composition. Usually I start trying to find out which is the message that marketing people put behind the scent and then wondering about the key not of the incriminated fragrance

So, here we start : let s take Penhaligon s Iris Prima . According to Penhaligon I discovered that Iris Prima is “The Spirit of the Ballet. Bottled” and we can find out easily who’s the Prima Ballerina – the Iris:
“Iris Prima, the new scent from British fragrance house Penhaligon’s, is a work of olfactory choreography, with Iris Absolute in the role of Prima Ballerina. Effortlessly elegant and faintly melancholy, Iris Prima offers a fascinating glimpse into the secluded yet magical world of the ballet.”
My mind went quickly imagining a delicate powdery iris with some classic accents very much in line with Penhaligon’s hallmark and having no expectations to be surprised by this fragrance.
Now being mentally prepared and knowing more or less about what should I expect before trying the perfume I did the reality check and put Iris Prima on my skin. During the first fifteen minutes I was living in a delicate fresh powdery floral cloud surrounded by pink silky ballet pointe shoes, tones of silk ribbons and pink tutus with a lot of powder floating around. A definitely feminine fragrance with a fresh iris among other flower . I was then expecting for a solo from the iris as it was announced but SURPRISE !
The fresh Iris young ballerinas floating in powder were suddenly replaced by an unexpected and surprising scent of leather. A very well mannered leather with almost nothing animalic in it, actually is all about suede. In spite of the fact that oud is not mentioned in the composition I smell a very soft trail of oud which enters on the stage in the same time with the leather but vanishing quickly.
This pleasant slightly musky suede smell is growing bigger and bigger leaving behind the feminine flowery pink tutu territory and leaning more and more to masculine territory but never really reaching it . Still some powdery trails are telling that Iris is still there but not for long time. Supporting leather vetiver enters into the stage bringing much more emphasis and giving Iris Prima a unisex identity much more than feminine. Both of them suede and vetiver are soft and well balanced, all their harshness was turned down by an excellent director – Alberto Morillas with a touch of vanilla. The final stage has complexity given by the presence of sandalwood , bezoin and the soft vanilla.
After this performance of leather as Prima Ballerina in spite of the fact that we were told that Iris will perform I can easy say about Iris Prima that is a soft floral leather fragrance classic and classy in the same time.
If your are looking for a leather fragrance or the leather/suede note is a new territory for you to discover just give a chance to Iris Prima.

Iris Prima Penhaligon ‘s 2013
Perfumer: Alberto Morilla
Notes: Bergamot, Green Amber, Pink Pepper, Iris Absolute, Jasmine Sambac, Hedione, Paradisone, Leather, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Benzoin.

Shopping resource: Find Penhaligon’s at Essenza Nobile


My name is Alexandra , I’m a pharmacist working as a consultant in pharma and healthcare living in Romania. I’ve been always fascinated by the world of scents , perfume and horses being my hobbies . I m interested in the perception of the perfume and in discovering the emotions perfume is triggering , focusing less about the notes of a perfume . My fragrance reviews are based on my perception being an subjective olfactory experience so, please always sample yourself.

Leave a Reply

Latest from Reviews

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This


Subscribe to our Newsletter and grab your  free eBook copy of "PERFUME 101 - From Beginner to Aficionado" by Fragrance Daily Author Claire Vukcevic now!

Fragrance Daily eBook Cover

YAY! You subscribed successfully and became part of the growing FD cult!

Go to Top