The modern iris perfume is a curious beast: it pops up more frequently than one might expect thanks to the availability of new-fangled and affordable iris ingredients. But it often ends up smelling less than convincing, because those very same materials can’t quite sustain the iris illusion if they’re pushed out into the world without a host of supporting players (cue: so many of the wan Daniela Andrier creations for Prada). In this regard, Giovanni Sammarco’s Yael - the follow-up to last year’s heart-breaking Naias - is most interesting. You can see straight away what he’s tried to do with the central note: make it sharper and fizzier (and therefore more modern?) through the addition of ginger and raspberry facets. And that’s certainly a commendable idea in itself. But towards the end, the lightness begins to grow just a touch wearing and you long for some subtly cashmere-like drydown to add substance to the denouement. Mind you, this isn’t a major complaint. As far as contemporary irises are concerned, Yael is unquestionably better than most: it’s a Frankenstein that’s adroit enough to perform a more-than-passable arabesque. But step closer to the stage and you can easily see the bolts in its neck.
[Review based on a sample provided by Sammarco in 2018.]