I have always loved L’Artisan’s Voleur de Roses, for its smell but also its name, because that’s what I once was – a rose thief.



One time I was even caught and cautioned by the police for pillaging from the neighbours’ bushes, as I came home from some party or other and found myself ripping them out callously from the soil to perfume my bedroom.



My friend Helen and I also tore up whole rose beds as teenagers, at dawn – not for mindless vandalism, but for the flowers and their smell, as we breathlessly collected rose stems from parks and inhaled them, deliriously, back in her car. We were floral delinquents.




This tendency also spread to other flowers. A few years later, at the university library, one bored summer’s day, on an impulse when leaving and in full daylight, I uprooted four magnificent irises from the entrance garden despite the presence of the official library staff and ran for my life. I’m not sure what I was trying to prove ( and I doubt I would do such a thing now), but the adrenaline was potent and they looked, and smelled, gorgeous in my room.





Creed’s Irisia, an unfairly overlooked fragrance (and the signature scent of Sophia Loren) is the only iris that reminds me of the part of the plant above ground. The florid, anthered, waxy scent of my plundered, majestic irises.




The perfume is strongly and bracingly floral (violet, tuberose, iris), woody (sandalwood), and sharp, with a bracing top accord of mandarin and Calabrian bergamot:  a tri-coloured flag, like the iris flowers themselves.




There’s orange in the smell; yellow; and of course, intense, indignant purple (the irises were probably happy where they were.)



















One of Creed’s most unusual scents, and a real mood booster when skies are grey.


Filed under Flowers

20 responses to “VOLEUR D’IRIS : : : IRISIA by CREED (1968)

  1. Indignantly purple …. My autowriter wrote perplex, but I corrected him. You can see the irissen not wanting to bend their stiff necks and being brought to the henchman like ….. Not lambs. Put in whoever strikes you for being the perfect blooming sacrifice. You always make my digital day! And curious, even better.

  2. Sounds lovely. I also love the thought of getting carried away with roses in youth, it’s the flower that most impossibly excited me as a child and still represents magic for me at the start of summer.

  3. Nancysg

    Iris gardens take me to my childhood. In the dry sunny weather of Eastern Washington state, (Not the rainy coast) bearded iris flourished. My Mother had a long row of various colors planted at the edge of the grass, straight up beside the wheat fields. The wheat provided the green and later the golden backdrop for the rainbow of iris. I doubt she ever bought a single rhizome. Instead friends would share when splitting up their oversized plants. I too love the smell of the flowers. I never understood how people say the flowers don’t have a scent. Velvety purple…need to find this Creed to experience it again.

    • What gorgeous images floated into my mind reading this.

      I don’t think that Irisia captures the full weird inkiness of the rich iris smell, but it translates it nicely into a very vivacious interpretation of it that doesn’t smell like anything else. Hermes Iris Ukiyoe was supposed to smell like the flowers, and I don’t mind it actually, it’s just a bit of a wimp.

  4. So happy you reminded me of this fabulous Creed scent. I often forget how much I always enjoyed smelling it, sadly I do not own it.
    I have always loved flowers, roses, jasmin, honeysuckle, oh and lilacs are a real favorite of mine. I always enjoyed having blooms in the house to parfum the air, especially roses, roses really are special. I never thought of iris though.
    Now iris, I have seen them from time to time in neighbors gardens, but never took a moment to smell them. I just always thought the best scent came from the root; that rich, creamy, sensuous note. I will now have to be on the lookout for iris and have a good smell of them.

    • As you know, it is the root that every one uses for that exquisite ethereal powderiness, but some iris flowers have a quite pungent smell, almost bitter-sweet, that has its own hypnosis.

      I think lilacs are fascinating in the way they appear to be respectable and old fashioned and all that but are actually incredibly potent, even filthy when you get up close. Positively animalic with decay, yet prim and sweet at the same time. They could put you in a trance.

      • I totally agree, and they do put me in a trance. Sadly I have yet to find a holy grail lilac scent. En Passant is lovely, but just not it.

      • No: way too ozonic and polite.

        Have you ever smelled Borsari’s Fior Di Lilla? That one is INTENSE and really quite animalic. I can imagine you liking it.

      • jennyredhen

        I once lived somewhere where lilac and jasmine bloomed at the same time.. heaps of lilac bushes and heaps of Jasmine… now that is a great scent combination!

  5. I was not commenting on You, but on The perfume floral industry. You gave them a place in your home. And did not harvest them by the hundreds. Anyhow, who am I to cast a stone At the providers of my delight?
    When in France in june I see many magnificent irissen in all colours, And they remind me of the Mucha affiche of Sarah Bernhardt, that has hung in my room for a long time.
    It is a pity that the Creed fragrances are So expensive, and do they have the same quality as in the past? I love the smell of kamperfoelie, can’t recall the english name for it, as well; especially in the eventing they expand and just envelop you in gentle spicy, sweet clou de giroflish waves.
    I can’t decide to try them and I don’t think they have small bottels or do they?

  6. I will have to try the Borsari. Lilac, animalic, goodness what a lovely combination.
    Ozonic is exactly what En Passant is, which is why I could never fully love it.

  7. Neil, I actually could not locate any, with the exception of one on eBay, would you be so kind as to provide a link.
    Thank you

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