- today orris concrete (Italy or France) came in grades - 5%, 10%, 15% representing the content in irone, a key molecule (there is also orris resinoid). There are differences between all those, in price but also olfactory. Back in 1947 the orris was "simpler" than today … but still I have no idea how it smelled and to which product of today it would match.
- methyl ionones (with their orris-violet smell) came also in all kind of grades (isomers + different ratios). They are not only different in prices, but also in smell quality, not best/worst but woodier, fruitier, dryer, etc. I do not have them all and usually work only with one of them. There is one methyl ionone that has a fruity-woody orris note - Raldeine A.
Iris gris is basically orris and peach and my idea is that Vincent Roubert was inspired by this molecule, or a similar one. That would be a very modern approach, even today. Meanwhile the combination orris and jasmine (with its heavy animalic note) was very common in that period. But the perfume is not jasmine but peach, capturing only the fresh and fruity side of the flower as will do Roudnitska later (the jasmine note based on benzyl acetate, hedione, jasmone cis and peach aldehyde, fresh and light without the heavy greasy note of the absolute). From this point of view Iris gris would be an abstract perfume (or the modernized idea) of a theme often used in classic perfumery.
In my trials I realized that:
- the formula is very simple
- the choice of the ingredients is crucial
- the harmony is vital
With no clue about the methyl ionones and irones inside, I had the general accord in 3 trials. The perfume is deceptively simple but like a fine "grisaille" it's not easy to have it all.
In my opinion it's not built as the beautiful Iris Silver Mist around the orris concrete (though it has a huge amount) but around a methyl ionone note (or Raldeine A + irone alpha).
Iris gris is like a classical haute couture dress: the shape is very simple, the materials are quintessential and the cut is like a laser. Because is so "simple", any fault of a raw material is visible if not produced properly. An exquisite perfume of the classical era.