I read a review of Iris Poudre on Makeup Alley that had me very intrigued. Reviewer isk107 wrote, “I have to be in the right mood to wear Iris Poudre. Perfect blowout, polished makeup, chic clothing.” I love the idea of dress-up fragrances, including Frederic Malle’s own Lipstick Rose, so I figured that I couldn’t go wrong with Iris Poudre. Then I actually tried it.
Iris Poudre is surprisingly sweet and very soapy. It is blindingly bright, very high-pitched in tone. I understand what isk107 meant by “polished”: Iris Poudre brings to mind platinum highlights and a somewhat chilly demeanor. It is more elegant than glamorous, more Grace Kelly than Marilyn or Mansfield. I can even see it on Tilda Swinton’s terrifyingly tempting White Witch.
Does anyone else wish they could be SWINTON for a day? I want to be 5’11” and live with my 2 boyfriends.
I am intrigued by Iris Poudre conceptually, but would not actually want to wear it. I have read many comparisons of Iris Poudre to Chanel No. 5, but Iris Poudre lacks the golden warmth that I adore in No. 5. There are 2 types of blondes in this world (this is not remotely true, but just go with it): Marilyn Blondes and Hitchcock Blondes. Iris Poudre clearly belongs to the latter category. In contrast to the bubbly demeanor of the Marilyn Blondes, Hitchcock Blondes are aloof and frankly a little scary. As Kim Novak said of Marlene Dietrich and Jean Harlow, “When they gave a man the come-hither look, the poor guy didn’t know whether he was going to be kissed or killed.” I’m afraid that I’m just not blonde enough for this perfume.
Perfumes with a strong violet note tend to go in one of two directions: powdery, candied violets or green violets. Broadway Nite definitely falls under the second category. It opens green and bracing, which makes the always-pleasing-but-somewhat-cliche violet/rose combination feel new and exciting. Broadway Nite has a sparkling feel that I associate with aldehydes; imagine a bottle of champagne on a Broadway diva’s dressing room table. Eventually Broadway Nite becomes creamier, with vanilla and musk creeping in. If you smell closely, you can detect the scent of the Lancome lipstick (Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose employs the same lovely trick) that the diva applies before she belts her heart out on stage.
Broadway Nite was aptly named- it is undoubtedly the most flamboyant of Maurice Roucel’s creations. Broadway Nite is a Josephine Baker kind of gal, the type to buy her pet cheetah a diamond leash and take it for walks along the Champs-Élysées. She pities those who save false eyelashes and red lipstick for special occasions. I find this kind of high-personality brassiness delightful, but I suppose it could also be considered vulgar in some circles. Broadway Nite reminds me of my best friend’s mother, a former broadway actress and the most fabulous woman I know. I can give it no higher recommendation.
Josephine Baker. Too fierce for words!
Broadway Nite can be found at Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods, Bond No 9 boutiques (which are all in New York), and on the Bond No 9 website, http://www.bondno9.com/. It is available for $45 for 7 ml, $140 for 50 ml, and $205 for 100 ml.
Disclaimer: I got a sample of Broadway Nite at Saks Fifth Avenue.