Monday, May 24, 2010


The weather took quite a turn yesterday (Sunday).  All last week, it was stretching to reach 60.  Beautiful weather for a gardener in the spring, actually;  plenty of overcast, cool days to go out and work comfortably, in weather that was gentle on plants being divided/transplanted/attended to.

If you had been eyeballing an unusually tall thermometer, and putting those eyeballs at level with the top of the mercury, and found yourself squatting a bit to meet those temperatures...well...yesterday was your chance to straighten up.

One degree shy of 90.
And humid.

Aiy yi yiy.

I was heading out to meet a friend...had to put on real clothes, and had another meet up following...and I wanted to be scented.  But, despite the chatter that's been going on recently about how awesome it is to experience a heady floral or oud-y wonder in the full on heat -- yes, Denyse, I agree that there's a reason why that's the weather Nature chooses for opening up those beauties in the garden -- I wasn't ready to put my head in that space.  This was just Too Soon.

I went for cool.  Not cool-me-off-in-summer citrus.  Or cool green.  But, the uncanny rooty cool of iris root, unsweetened, straight up.  Which one?  The one that some people complain is too grey, too rooty, too austere.  Hermes Hiris.

This is the one that I long ago wrote about taking up to the northern woods, and found that it suited the shady green near the water environment.  A complement, as it were, to my natural context.  As if I were one with what I was moving about in.

Yesterday, the note was the same, but in a different tune.  This time, instead of a harmonious third, it went to a full 7th.  Starting on the 7th, filling the chord out from there.  Slightly in tension against the hot, humid air, as if going to my arm were like finding the shady spot under some ferns.  A welcome respite, which did not clash with what was going on around me, but offered yet another tone to the whole.

I'm not a fan of hot and humid.  In general, I find it oppressive and somewhat boring.  I love that characters in books--especially mysteries, hmmm--are sometimes all about digging the vibe that you find in the slowed down but thick and heightened miasma of, say, the bayou.  I love that people love that.  I don't love that.

I do love having the option of spritzing on Hiris.

Score one for once loved bottles waiting patiently in the drawer, waiting for their moment again.


Bloody Frida said...

I don't love it (heat and humidity) either. But there's one positive thing about humidity - keeps one's skin moist.

You know I have had a sample of Hiris for quite some time and shall test tonight.

La Bonne Vivante said...

I love that! I grew up in Montana, and it gets hot there, but never humid, so I have been enjoying the humidity out east ever since. I think we are having the same heat here in Ithaca--I was sweating as I walked around the quad today!

Iris sounds perfect for today, but alas, I already put on cucumber, which is not doing it (it rarely does for me, but sometimes I do like the Marc Jacobs cucmber EDT, since I think the water lily/lotus helps subdue the cuke smell). I'll wait for it to die down and then dig around for my sample of Hiris. I know it's here somewhere...
Good luck with the heat!

Ines said...

Hmm, for some reason,which I cannot for the life of me figure out, I don't own a bottle of Hiris.
And I loved it from the first sniff in my little sample.

Mals86 said...

Hate humidity (yeah, I'm in VA, that sucks, don't it?). CANNOT do Hiris (musty basement bleah). Silences fills that cool and austere slot for me, though.

And yay for the treasure in the drawer.

ScentScelf said...

BF, this is true...the moisture is good for our skin, yes? Focusing on that happy thought...

Would like to hear how Hiris strikes you. Try it a couple of times, in different was one of those that was kind of skittish with me at first, until we found our dance position. :)

ScentScelf said...'re in the gorges! Ah, at least there's beauty to cushion the humid blow. But don't mind it? And Montana you are from? That's an awfully big state, missy. I drove across it for 2 1/2 days one summer. Gorgeous. And big.

(Didn't help we were on a diagonal path.)

Not sure how I feel about a cucumber scent, which is funny, 'cause I love cucumbers to eat, like how the liven up a cold glass of water, and like green and aqua-ish things. Hmm. Must try.

We should do cross-reporting on Hiris and MJ cuke. Which I need to get a sample of. :)

ScentScelf said...


There was one brief shining moment when Hiris flooded the discounters. I got a travel bottle then. Which is @ 25ml, and a good size for many reasons. (Was my step up from a sample; did the risky business of skipping a decant/split. Of which there are more options these days, it seems.)

Anyway, do you still have any in your sample?

ScentScelf said...

Mals, you know I loves me some Silences. Hiris for me is taking dirt out of the equation. Maybe a hint of mushroom remains? Which just might be the element that translates as "musty basement" for you.

Yeah, there are times when sticking with the obsession on a gently keeled approach actually pays off.

Mals86 said...

I don't know what produces that musty basement. I do know that I rarely love an iris-focused scent; they just don't tend to capture me. Iris scents I like? No. 19. AG Heure Exquise. Silences. Prada IdI, although it's not very irisy. I liked Iris Taizo (now Oriental, I think) from a sample but I didn't want to buy any. Ditto Felanilla. I have a sample of ISM in my to-test box, and I'm (ssh) afraid of it.

I'm wondering if there's an aspect of powdery violet that's killing me with the mustiness. Bvlgari Pour Femme went through a musty phase similar to Hiris, but it was in the middle, not the time when one would expect a lot of iris... nope, just checked, no violet listed for Hiris, and iris listed in the heart notes for BPF. I could just say iris is iffy for me, and be done with it.

ScentScelf said...

Okay, let's review.

No. 19, Heure Exquise, Silences: galbanum.

You're right about Infusion d'Iris...not particularly irisy, and no galbanum. Taizo is all about PG to me, I'd put it on another chart. (Drydown, baby.)

But what's this about Pour Femme also smelling musty to you...hmmm...not to me. A very polite light floral on me, that has quiet development but is ultimately about the (also quiet) flowers. I think it's time to start working that angle to identify the culprit.

(And...are you *really* going to be done with iris? Have you ever tried Iris Silver Mist? That's pretty straight up, but haunted by naughty on me. At least that was my impression last time I tried it.)

Mals86 said...

Fine fine fine... I will unearth the ISM and attempt it, perhaps tomorrow. It's humid here now, and Rose Barbare has turned out to be a huge FAIL for me today. I'll just have Silences at the ready to rescue my nose should it be necessary.

My Most Hated Accords: tolu balsam +patchouli, fougere/shaving cream, and musty basement. I COULD decide to be more open-minded, but I feel that I have to put up with enough crap in my real life that I need not force myself to tolerate what I don't enjoy in my fragrances.

ScentScelf said...

Ach. Open minded is one thing; self-flagellation, another. If you know you don't like it, why beat yourself up?

I say that, but acknowledge I do make a habit of returning a few times a year to a certain Prissy Mits who claims to reign supreme, and to me is all about the perils of Persicol. My nose is my nose. I yam what I yam. I endeavor to open up and learn, but for heaven's sake, I like to smell dirt, too, and that's not for everyone.


Josephine said...

I really like this post! I'm with you; hot and humid is oppressive and boring. You captured Hiris perfectly. This is one that I picked up several years ago in Baltimore. It's not always right, but when it is, you know it and nothing else really fits the bill.

ScentScelf said...

Josephine, I'm glad you like the post. :)

Interesting that you mention where you got Hiris...I, too, have some scents that I purchased while visiting other places, and that becomes part of their history whenever I think of them.