The crisp white iris
I remember reading some good reviews on this one and finding a good deal on the sample pack from the official site of Parfums Divine. I wasn’t expecting the sheer beauty of this Man of Heart.
This is a woody iris but not just. There are other beautiful woody irises out there like Dzongkha, Bois d’ Iris and the likes but most of them combine the buttery, opaque qualities of iris with woods to produce beautiful but somewhat dim fragrances. What is unique about L’ Homme de Coeur is how bright and uplifting this iris is.
L’ Homme de Coeur opens with a sharp woody note reminiscent of polished wood. A peppery wood full of the sparkle of juniper and the bitterness of angelica. The iris softens the sharp effect and turns the mixture into a skinscent that hugs the skin in a comforting and uplifting way. It is a powdery scent but the kind of powder you would like to have on you coming out of the shower. Fresh without any trace of citrus, velvety in texture.
Of all the iris fragrances in my wardrobe this is the most versatile and overall “happy to wear” of them all. The one I reach for when I need a fragrance to take with me on a holiday, like I have done now, while I am on holidays in Amorgos. The beautiful, supercool aluminium refillable bottle helps as you know it will travel well. It has accumulated some dents during our holiday breaks together but these do not diminish its beauty. On the contrary they remind me how this elegant bottle has accompanied me and filled my summer nights with its classy, reserved, original aura. The contents that are running seriously low are another proof of our fond relationship.
I have read reviews reporting this as synthetic, electric cable smelling. First of all “synthetic” is not a dirty word in my book. It isn’t a nice one either for that matter. It is irrelevant. All that matters to me is that this one smells sensitive but strong, soft but determined, familiar but original. In a nutshell it feels intelligent. It borders mainstream but manages to remain elusive and original because it plays with the contradiction of bitter woods and soft iris. The tiny hint of plastic doll head note deep down in the base only adds mystery to the cocktail of contradictions.
The only thing that I would gladly change in this one is a little bit more oomph! Just when you need to sniff again the mixture of suave understated elegance and sophisticated softness you find that the star has left the stage. Thankfully the bottle is stylish and well designed enough that you can carry with you and refresh but still I would like to see this Gatsby-esque charmer stick around a bit longer. Maybe this is part of its charm. After all how long can a crisp white shirt be worn for and stay crisp and white?
Notes from Parfums Divine (www.divine.fr): angelica, juniper berries, cypress, woody notes, amber, vetiver, ambergris, deer tongue (Carphephorus spp or vanilla leaf). Researching this I discovered that it contains coumarin and it is used in potions to help the bearer gain confidence in matters of the heart and of the law. I read this after writing my review and it just striked me as odd that my perception of this fragrance is one of calm power and confidence.
Notes from my nose: juniper berries, white woods, powder, barbie smell