Penhaligon’s Iris Prima Perfume Review

Launched in 2013, Penhaligon’s Iris Prima is the latest offering from the British perfume house. Working closely with the English National Ballet, master perfumer Alberto Morillas was able to create a fragrance that captures the spirit of the ballet – a perfume described as being “a work of olfactory choreography”.

At first sniff, you will smell a rush of dazzling pink pepper with a “tulle” of bergamot and warm amber. These three top notes seem to almost dance together in the opening scene to give way to the “Prima Ballerina”, the Iris Absolute.  This middle note dances in perfect harmony with centre stage partner, Jasmine. On the dry down, you can smell the leather and sandalwood softening into a powdery floral musk scent. It is this musky, leathery note that represents point shoes with worked in leather soles. On the skin, this fragrance is soft, yet has the depth and richness of ancient theatres with velvet seats. This is a fragrance with a graceful soul, intricate yet approachable.

“The spirit of the ballet. Bottled.”

TOP NOTES: Bergamot, Green Amber, Pink Pepper
MIDDLE NOTES: Iris Absolute, Jasmine Sambac, Hedione, Paradisone
BASE NOTES: Leather, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Benzoin


RRP: $190 (Canadian)
Availability: In-store and online.


If you like Penhaligon’s Iris Prima, you may also like:  Atelier Cologne’s Silver Iris. One of the first two Cologne Absolues in the Collection Métal, Silver Iris is an oriental earthy floral fragrance for men and women. This is a strong and long lasting cologne that opens with a punch of  peppery tangerine and sweet black current.  Shortly after, the earthy vegetal scent of the iris note becomes very apparent. It smells like carrots pulled from beneath the earth, but sweetened by delicate mimosa. Silver Iris lingers on the skin in a sexy powdery scent that is warm, and soothing, perfect for the cooler months.

Natalie Cola, 
The Etiket Insider Beauty Editor

About Etiket

Etiket is a luxury retail and on-line destination providing the best in cosmeceuticals, skincare and beauty products as well as exclusive perfumes and accessories. At our boutique we also offer a range of esthetic services.

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