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.