Once given to me by a Japanese friend who liked the scent but found it too melancholic (‘setsunai desu’, she said – it makes me sad), I still use this perfume on occasions when something cool, dignified and is required. When I want to erect (invisible) barriers.

A modern iris; airy; an ethereal bouquet of solemnity – the botanical fragility of the flower’s texture evoked with a perturbing, paper white of carrot leaf, lifting the petals somewhat balefully as they exhale their timidly rarified fragrance – Hiris then remains like this throughout its clear, morose introversion: clear, pallid, depressive almost, developing very gradually, gently, to a soft, light, yet austerely powdered note of orris root and ambrette: the refined, bluest, very essence, of discretion.


Filed under Flowers

12 responses to “WHEN IT ALL GETS TOO MUCH……….HIRIS by HERMES (I999)

  1. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    What a lovely floral message on my breakfast tray. Will definitely try this one out. Need some banners after exhausting trip to Venice. Fell in love all over again with this magical kingdom by the sea Fter 39 years . Hope it keeps floating on. Took Mandarine ambree with me for daytime and was spritzing quite often. My co-travelers wore comme des garcons 1, flowers and my fruit were ok-ish; nothiing but bathing gel, absence of scent and presence; and modern opium, a bit of a wedding clash. My comme des garcons 2 for evenings turned out to be a llonely wanderer on the pizza and pasta herbal scene; sea and silty salt were the ruling and still lasting scents, rightly so. Next time i’ll walk in my wild lone with ?? On my side in scents

    • Lovely to read. I still haven’t been to Venice, and Italian is still the only foreign language I come anywhere near to speaking fluently. I must one day.

      As for Hiris, it will smell familiar, even dull to you I imagine when you come into contact with it, but there is a purity to it; lightness, and a modern melancholia that works rather beautifully when you are in the mood for it.

      • Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

        You will adore it. Hotel Les Bains from Death in Venice is closed and will be reborn, sigh, as a residence for the rich and famous. The Lido is very nice to stay in tourist season and the city out and in the water remains Truly beautiful. I visited the Biennale in too short a time , 2 days. the Arsenale is a magnificent art depot, an awesome experience. I think Venice deserves a classical outspoken elegance, jasmine, spicy, subdued arrogance and a pinch of salt for the illusional reality. Madame Rochas ? Italian ? Or else?

      • Not Madame Rochas. Too enclosed. Spice, yes. Ungaro Diva maybe me thinketh.

  2. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    AND an oriental streak, although they are in the western hemisphere they look to the east for trade and wealth

  3. Venice…one of my best memories happened in the piazza near Café Florio.
    As for Hiris…it is one of my all-time favorites and the perfume I reach for the most and also when I am in a quandary as to what to spritz..

    • There is definitely something whole-making despite its melancholy aspect. I do really like it and my bottle is only a ninth left. Shall have to ponder another one at some point.

  4. Hey there,
    Tara from Olfactoria’s Travels has been wearing this one a lot. Loads of people love it and I quite like it. Hiris doesn’t really sing on me. So glad it has its lovers though because I always loved that blue/purple bottle.
    Portia xx

  5. Laurels

    Lovely review, and helpfully discourages me from buying it blind. (Like Portia, I love the bottle.) I think Ferre by Ferre is about the chilliest iris I can pull off.

    • And if I remember correctly, that is rather warm….

      My friend Helen HATES, DETESTS this perfume because she just finds it unbearably dour and depressing. I think that is what I like about it though.

  6. Glorious review, you really have conveyed the soul of Hiris. I used to own this, but alas, it made me far too melancholic whenever I wore it. I completely understand how your friend who gave this to you felt.
    It is such a lovely scent, I really wish I could have embraced it more and not felt so down while wearing it.

    • I wonder what it is exactly that has such a plangent effect ?

      I don’t find it searingly beautiful, just calming, but there is undoubtedly something rather downcast in there.

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