When I finished composing Green Iris, I ran over to The Twisted Lily, a perfume boutique just a few blocks from me, to get their opinion. One salesperson exclaimed “Iris!” while another said, “Well, that’s certainly outside the box.” Since, I’ve been thinking about the outside-the-box comment and have been wondering if my perfumes are so out of the normal realm that they aren’t even perceived as perfumes, but simply as smells. In other words, my scents may be the equivalent of outsider art.
So, I’ve been debating if I should “perfumize” Green Iris by combining it with the Grossman accord (iso e super, hedione, galaxolide, methyl ionone) to bring it into a paradigm people can better relate to. There is something to be gained and something to be lost. Adding these compounds will certainly make Green Iris last longer which is never a bad thing. They will also give it a radiant and abstract quality that makes the perfume more like the idea of itself and decidedly modern. They also would make this incredibly expensive-to-make perfume less costly without it losing any of its power. On the other hand, in the original version there’s a lusciousness, almost like a flavor, that people find irresistible, like they want to drink the stuff. In fact, it might be fair to say that Green Iris is made more like a vintage perfume, lacking some of the aroma chemicals that give perfumes a more contemporary feel.
Unfortunately, The Twisted Lily has since closed and my friendly perfume critics are no longer available. So, I’m in a quandary. I don’t want my perfumes rejected for being outside the normal paradigms, but I also don’t want everything I make to smell like Hedione. If I do decide to reformulate, it will involve emptying out dozens of 30-ml. bottles and combining the contents with new aromatic compounds before rebottling, not a task to be taken lightly. In the meantime, I have a bottle of the original Green Iris next to one with the new aroma compounds so I can compare and wait for my indecision to clear.