Hermès Hiris – Acuarela en azul

foto: Iride di Augusto Bianco www.biancoiride.it

foto: Iride di Augusto Bianco    www.biancoiride.it

Hiris fue creado por Olivia Giacobetti en 1999, algunos años antes de que Jean-Claude Ellena se convirtiera en el nariz in-house de Hermès.  Podría pasar horas elogiando el talento de la Srta. Giacobetti: sus perfumes son inteligentes y transmiten una sensibilidad inusual. A pesar de estar cargados de poesía, no son difusos sino, por el contrario, muy nítidos.

Buen ejemplo del delicado estilo de Giacobetti, Hiris es un retrato de la planta de iris en su totalidad, con rizoma y todo. Este retrato es una acuarela pintada en azules: pasteles, polvorosos y -por supuesto- transparentes. El otro iris de la casa, Iris Ukiyoé, creado por  Jean-Claude Ellena para la serie Hermessence, elige hacer zoom en la flor.

Los perfumes de iris pueden resultar glaciales y crueles (sí, No.19, te estoy hablando a vos) pero Hiris logra equilibrar temperaturas. Luego de una salida fría, cobra un carácter suave y mullido que lo hace parecer cálido incluso cuando no lo es en sentido estricto. Etéreo y limpio, Hiris señala la transición olfativa desde las raíces (ilustradas por zanahoria y ambrette) a la flor (neroli, rosa). Heno miel endulzan la mezcla que, con el paso del tiempo, se torna sutilmente jabonosa y atalcada. Discreto pero definido, resulta un maravilloso perfume para la oficina. Aunque no proyecta demasiado, la longevidad es excelente para un eau de toilette.

Hiris comparte ADN con I Love les Carottes, que Olivia Giacobetti hizo después para la marca orgánica Honoré des Pres usando sólo naturales. Les Carottes resulta más terroso y vegetal. Me gusta pensar que Hiris es una muchacha distinguida y Les Carottes, su prima bohemia.

Hiris ya no se distribuye de manera amplia en Argentina, aunque puede encontrarse por un precio muy razonable en la boutique Hermès de Avenida Alvear.

Nobleza obliga: pese a que los vendedores de Hermès tienen una reputación (a veces merecida) de ser descorteses y snobs, sólo guardo palabras de elogio para Miguel y Lorena en la tienda de Buenos Aires. Son entusiastas y  conocedores sobre perfumería,  lo que hace mucho más placentera la experiencia de comprar.


Origen de le muestra: Botella comprada en la boutique Hermès, Buenos Aires

foto: Usa.hermes.com

foto: Hermes.com

Hermès Hiris – Watercolor in blue

Hiris was created by Olivia Giacobetti in 1999, some years before Jean-Claude Ellena became Hermès in-house nose. I could praise Ms Giacobetti‘s talent for hours on end: her fragrances are intelligent and convey an unusual sensitivity. Despite being laden with poetry, they are not diffuse but, instead, very nitid.

A fine example of Giacobetti‘s delicate style, Hiris is a portrait of the whole iris plant, rhyzome and all. This portrait is a watercolor painted in shades of blue: pastel, dusty and -of course- transparent. The other iris from the house, Iris Ukiyoé, created by Jean-Claude Ellena for the Hermessence series, chooses to zoom into the flower.

Iris fragrances can seem icy and heartless (yes, No.19, I am talking to you) but Hiris manages to balance temperatures. After a cold opening, it acquires a soft and fluffy character that makes it appear warm, even if it is not so in a strict sense. Ethereal and clean, Hiris makes the olfactory transition from the roots (illustrated by carrot and ambrette) to the flower (neroli, rose). Hay and honey sweeten the blend wich, over the course of time, becomes subtly soapy and powdery. Discreet but with a definite presence, it makes for a wonderful office-fragrance. Although it doesn’t project far, the longevity is excellent for an eau de toilette.

Hiris shares its DNA with I Love les Carottes, which Olivia Giacobetti later did for organic house Honoré des Pres using only naturals. Les Carottes is earthier, more vegetal. I like to think Hiris is a well-bred girl and Les Carottes, her bohemian cousin.

Hiris is not widely distributed any longer in Argentina, but it can be found for a very reasonable price at the Hermès boutique on Avenida Alvear.

Noblesse oblige: while Hermès salespeople have a (sometimes well-deserved) reputation of being rude and snobbish, I only have words of praise for Miguel and Lorena at the Buenos Aires store. They are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about fragrance and that definitely makes for an agreeable shopping experience.


Origin of sample: Bottle purchased at the Hermès boutique, Buenos Aires

9 responses to “Hermès Hiris – Acuarela en azul

  1. Pingback: The Versatile Blogger Award and 15 Blogs I Love | Kafkaesque

  2. Another fantastic review, dear Caro. The range of your knowledge always impresses me. As for the Hiris, I’m afraid I’m not really one for such an icy, cool flower, especially if the note is clean, fluffy or sheer. (The Hermes one is out too, as I’ve got deep issues with Jean Claude Ellena’s perfumes these days. He’s taking minimalism into the realm of olfactory nonexistence…. *sniff*)

    Oddly, however, I sat up at the description of I love Les Carrottes! Bohemian??! Oh my. That one I may need to check out. Plus, I actually do love the carrot note! I hope you’ll do a review of that one!


    • Fret not, Kafka, Hiris is not too icy, just a bit at the opening. I sampled it first many years ago, when it was released. I didn’t “get” it then and found it too dusty. Dusty is in this case a more accurate word than powdery. I have now come to appreciate it and wear it to work.
      I am not the biggest fan of JCE either (except for his earlier work), but this one is by Giacobetti. Today I was telling Birgit, of Olfactoria’s Travels that I feel sort of scammed whenever I buy something by him. My issues have not to do so much with transparence as with substance. How in the world could they label Ambre des Merveilles as eau de parfum?
      I guess all those Amouages, Puredistances and NVCs have spoiled me rotten.

      P.S.: I don’t have any samples or bottles of I Love les Carottes. I have only tried it, a bit hurriedly, on travels. I think the whole Honoré des Pres line is very smart. The fragrances don’t smell all-natural (I mean it in a good way)


  3. I’m so pooped that I didn’t explain myself well. (Which is typical. lol). I meant that this one from Giacobetti didn’t seem suited for my personal tastes (especially with the added detail of “dusty”!), and that the JCE one wasn’t an alternative either. But Giacobetti’s I Love Les Carottes definitely sounded like it would be an iris I could manage.

    I think we both have the same issue with JCE scents. They are so minimalistic, transparent and sheer that they have no body, no depth, no range, no intensity. And please don’t get me started on my pet peeve about Ambre des Merveilles & its cult status. It figures that the only Merveilles I would love and adore would be the one NOT made by him: the Elixir. God, I remember the days when he did First for VC & A! I was small (and hated it) but at least that was a solid perfume. (It was actually my very first serious perfume and I was 7. LOL.) At the rate he’s going now, I seriously expect him to offer us salt water for his next perfume and, then, later, barely scented air.

    You know what I’d love for you to try? My beloved Alahine by Téo Cabanel. Have you tried it? If not, perhaps I can send you some. xoxox


    • Alahine sounds close to perfection: I have only tried Oha from Teo Cabanel and liked it very much.
      As for JCE, let’s just not get there…we are not meant for each other, except for a few of his creations, belonging mostly to his earlier work. I prefer a more robust fragrance style.


      • I’m thinking of you, my dear, as I’m about to test Oha. 🙂 As for Alahine, I would be happy to send you a small sample if you email me your address. It is in my Top 3 of modern, non-vintage scents! (And you know how many things I DON’T like! ;P lol)


      • Oh, that speaks quite highly of Alahine.
        Thank you for your kind offer!
        I will get back to you during the weekend.



  4. Beautiful description of Hiris. Unfortunately when I tried the fragrance a while back I didn’t like it much. On my skin it was quite watery, aquarel like and that’s not exactly the kind of iris that I really love. But your review makes me want to retry it.


    • Hi Lucas! I tried Hiris years ago when it just came out and found it too rooty and dusty.
      Maybe my tastes have changed, maybe it has been reformulated, but it seems to work wonderfully for me now. I am very sensitive to watery notes (not to mention aquatic) and I don’t get any wateriness from it.
      Of course, retrying it won’t hurt 😉
      Thank you for stopping by.



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