The most precious and the most ancient aromatic materials come together for a scent that moves perfumery into the future by going to its roots.
The iris holds a precious position in the world of perfumery: Its prices soar beyond gold and its singular aroma cannot be experienced for six years after planting. In Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazarena, the rare floral root is reborn. It is huddled in conversation with incense, resulting in a mysterious and sensuous iris-incense accord that drives this deeply captivating perfume.
The perfumer Ralf Schwieger had long wanted to offer a contemporary interpretation of iris without referencing its most well-known olfactive expressions, particularly Chanel N°19, which he calls “the benchmark of iris-based scents and an unsurpassed template since its launch in 1971.” He also wanted to incorporate transparency into notes that can be seen as somber, and end with something that would express a beauty that is both mystical and enduring.
Iris Nazarena is named for the rare species Iris Bismarckiana, which is also known as Iris Nazarena because it grows mainly in the mountains east of Nazareth. The uncanny beauty of the blossom, with its brown or purple spots and delicate, bluish-purple veins, seduced Karl Bradl as soon as he discovered it on a postcard. It became the muse of the second Aedes de Venustas scent when it launched in 2013.
The flower itself does not give off a scent. Most irises don’t. Instead it is the root, or rhizome, that has become revered in perfumery. To turn it into an aromatic material, the flower must grow for three years before being uprooted. Then it is left to dry for another three years before developing its characteristic note, a mix of powder and wood and violet. It is then ground and distilled. Only after this time and labor-intensive process is the majestic iris resurrected, a journey that reflects the history of the land where the Iris Nazarena grows.
The suede-soft petals of the mystical iris muse are sketched in a subtle sfumato of brown, purple and white. Ambrette sheds the tender light of dawn on the top notes, rose adds a touch of floral sensuality, and the cool, vivid green of star anise conjures the stylized stems and leaves of the flower.
Resinous juniper berry, patchouli and vetiver allude to its roots, driven into dark earth and rock, while the sacred smoke rising from the altars weaves its mineral, leather-scented tendrils throughout the development with clove, oud and incense. Incense is an olfactory thread that runs through much of the Aedes de Venustas collection. This millennia-old burnt offering to the gods is at the very origin of perfumery, since the word “perfume” itself springs from the Latin per fumare, which translates to “through smoke.”
Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazarena has now been carefully transferred to a precious new vessel: A fluted glass bottle marked by peacock blue accents, a matte black insignia-stamped cap, and a sleek yet weighty design that marks the next chapter in the Aedes de Venustas story.
To wear Aedes de Venustas is to sink into a rich sensuality, an intensely harmonious expression of the rooted and the revered.