If the scent of iris and violet evokes your Grandma Ethel's stuffy perfumes, it's time to rethink the classic blooms. "These notes are back again because they were forgotten for a long time," says International Flavors & Fragrances' Veronique Ferval. Some of the most cutting-edge designers around are opting in, such as Jil Sander and Prada. "The rhizomes [subterranean stem] of the iris were used during Renaissance times to treat leather," explains Rodrigo Flores-Roux, a senior perfumer at Givaudan. "The root of the Prada house is leather making. It's very close to their DNA to put out an iris fragrance." Others using the notes include Tom Ford for Men, DKNY's Delicious Night, Bulgari's Omnia Améthyste and Creed's Amalfi Flowers. "What makes them modern now is adding a freshness," says Symrise's Isabel Lopes, "making it easier to create a lighter, less heavy [scent]." Still, Ferval advises discretion when spritzing. "Take time to let the notes develop: Evaluate the background, not just the top notes."
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