It’s been awhile since I got moved by the Keiko Mecheri stand, mostly for the fascinating, elegant and so geometrically Japanese bottles. Since June I’ve been waiting to test one of her perfumes properly, given that our suffocated and sweaty Italian summer didn’t seem the best choice for such black poetry. Finally, a wonderful Friday morning has come, and golden trees surrounded by the cool sunlight were just asking for something sophisticated.
Ladies, this autumn the winner is Keiko Mecheri Iris Pourpre.
Keiko says the inspiration for Iris Pourpre came from a lacquered panel from the Edo period. The panel showed the nobles of Kyoto admiring fields of golden iris. In fact, Iris Pourpre is so rich and classic you have to grow up for it.
Last autumn I often used Kenzo Kashaya. What else could melt into the cool air better than a warming mixture of roasted apples, vanilla and ylang-ylang? The choice of this year could be called a more successful cousin of Kashaya: it’s fruity, dense and very liquor-esque.
Iris Pourpre reminds me of the colourful autumn from the Japanese movie Dolls by Takeshi Kitano. It’s so silent and subtle yet so full of everything it doesn’t need to talk. It’s eternal yet so temporary, restrained and polite yet so wise and filled with sadness.
I couldn’t describe this perfume in notes: Iris Pourpre is so integral and continuous that to cut it in three pyramid layers would be offensive. All I know is it smells like rich mature plums and sweet a little sticky plum wine or liquor. It smells like dense and violet plum blood dropping through a wicker basket; it smells like black grapes being crushed with feet; it smells like dense ink drying on a brush. It smells like something woody and lacquered; like a jewellery box carved with Japanese characters or like an old lacquered folding screen. By the way, iris here is not as we’re usually used to smell – it’s powderness is gone, all that remains is some lingering luxury which covers the emptiness.
Iris Pourpre protects and keeps you warm but only if you’re mature enough. It goes along with silence and gentleness, strength and being able to pull yourself together. It’s a perfume I would love to find in a crowd. It’s the scent that reminds you of bonds with people you have run away from but that you still carry. And everyday you send them a silent hug they never find out.