Perfume Pen Pals: Frederic Malle Iris Hand Cream



Katie,

As you know, ancillary products are not my thing. Aside from soap, toothpaste and perfume, I only use one product, this G.M. Collin Hydramucine Optimal Gel that I’ve been putting on my face for over ten years. I look okay with it and I’m almost certain I'd look okay without it, but at this point why take any chances?

Every other part of me -- which is to say every part not including my face, my teeth and my smell -- is in disarray, as a matter of both neglect and self-sabotage. My one hair concession is I’ll use a leave-in conditioner when my hair starts getting “poofy.” And I trim my eyebrows, but only when someone reminds me.

Poofy hair: a Dan no-no.

My hands are especially indefensible: dry skin, fingernails chewed to shit, callouses on both my index and ring fingers, the result of a lifetime of nervous...grinding. All of my internal discontent expresses itself in my damaged hands, which are in worse shape than those of a 1940s dock worker.

A reminder of this one area of neglect came from Susan on Valentine’s Day, when she gave me a tube of the new Frederic Malle Iris Hand Cream. I’ve spent my whole life switching between being in relationships and trying to be in relationships and were it not for those two dispositions, I don’t know that I’d ever leave the house.


Now I’m the last person who should review hand cream, I can’t compare Frederic Malle’s efficacy to anything else because I’ve never used anything else, but I can tell you the scent of this stuff is heavenly! It’s rich but not overbearing, just a smooth, serene iris. It’s completely at odds with my broken-down hands.





Here’s my question for you, user of ancillary products: is it frustrating when you find a great-smelling product that isn’t a perfume?

In a case like this, a perfume essentially had to be created. And because it smells so great, wearing the hand cream discourages wearing perfume as well. So why not also release it as a perfume?

I’ve been signing lots of petitions lately. Do you think I should start one for Frederic Malle, demanding he create a perfume with the same scent as his hand cream?

Which do you think would irritate Frederic Malle more: a perfume petition or having to see the condition of my hands?

Dan



Dan,

I just tried the FM Iris Hand Cream the other day! I was really surprised by the smell, because it's not really perfumey at all. It's that austere, subtle, "distant bread" aroma that the classiest iris has. It's definitely a connoisseur's scent.


The smell is so enigmatic. It somehow smells like indoors and outdoors at the same time -- airless but also green, and vaguely woody. The scent of iris always seems to convey restrained, yet intense, luxury.

It's a transparent-enough aroma that it wouldn't clash with perfume -- am I wrong? Or is it that you enjoy the iris hand cream smell so much that it's all you want to smell?

Katie



Katie,

Yes. The latter. I put it on before a run this morning and I kept smelling my hands. Y’know, discreetly, pretending I was wiping sweat from the tip of my nose or something.

It IS austere. Maybe the scent would carry more if I glopped it on my arms and my neck. It’s moisturizer, it doesn’t know it’s only supposed to be used on my hands.

So many of those hand lotions have bright, crass floral or citrus smells. I say from now on, all lotions and creams should be iris-scented. Am I speaking out of turn when I say that’s the scent everyone should want for a lotion?


Dan



11 comments:

  1. The two of you make this sound intriguing. I need to track this stuff down and try it. When Katie says something smells wonderful, I pay attention, but the image of Dan furtively stealing whiffs of his mitts while going about his day is a compelling thought, indeed.

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    1. My performance report is that it feels rich, but sinks right in with no residual slickness -- especially noted since I went to a warm vinyasa yoga class with my freshly-moisturized paws.

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  2. Ok now I have to smell this. I am now itching with curiosity. It's going to get scratched. :::running to Google:::

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    1. It's anti-bombast. I've taken to putting it on right before bed, so now my sheets subtly smell of it, too.

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  3. You had me at "restrained, yet intense luxury." I am all about paradoxical skin care. And I adore iris anything so sign. me. up.

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  4. Katie, I'll have to try the hand cream. Thought you'd like to see this recent story about FM. "Portrait of a Lady" is on elf my favorites. Didn't know that Estee Lauder bought the Co. http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-frederic-malle-20170323-story.html

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    1. Thank you so much for alerting me to this interview. I enjoyed the detail about Frederic wearing Halston Z-14 as a teenager, because I do remember Z-14 being a real stand-out when it came out. The bottle was a sensual, palm-sized sculpture, and the smell was exotic - especially as worn by the cool new-wave guitarist I had a crush on in the early 80s.

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  5. "Here’s my question for you, user of ancillary products: is it frustrating when you find a great-smelling product that isn’t a perfume?"

    Philosophically, I say get your kicks where you can. Also, there's always been something about ancillary products having a pleasant smell that I like almost more than perfume. Maybe because it's more unexpected, or like it gives that product even more of an identity and personality. It's comforting.

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  6. This FM Iris hand cream looks like a great product for perfume lovers and enthusiasts like me! Thanks for sharing, Kate! xx
    Kate | Fragrance Expert Voucher Codes

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