I might have said it before, but although I like the concept of Le Lebo (poncy ultra-exclusive nothwithstanding), many of their fragrances leave me feeling slightly short-changed. I know this house has many fans, and I do enjoy Oud 27, but there are not many that have truly blown my socks off. The notes for Iris 39 include Iris, patchouli, rose, ylang-ylang, musk, violet, ginger, cardamom and civet.
Iris 39 opens with a strong, earthy, even carroty iris accord and stays like this for quite a long time. Its not a powdery iris and not particularly feminine either. It never becomes sweet, and is fairly spicy, almost incense-like at one point. I can't really detect the spices individually, such as the ginger and cardamon, and the rose and ylang-ylang are even more elusive to my nose. However the sum of all these notes creates a type of zingy buzz for a time. As the fragrance progresses, the focus stays on iris and the civet, if it is in here, embellishes the other notes, rather than taking over, which is as it should be.
I find this a well-blended fragrance, like a lot of the Le Labos. The only note that really stands out is iris; at least, I think so. Its a good unisex iris and never becomes too powdery, despite the iris and violet combination. As iris fragrances go, this tends towards being rooty and earthy, rather than powdery or woody and never comes across as too cold or austere, as iris-dominated fragrances often can be.
Do I like Iris 39? Yes, I actually do. Again though, its another of the Le Labos that doesn't quite blow me away; I don't necessarily need to be blown away, but at this price point, one would hope for a few more fireworks. Having said that, this is well-crafted, elegant. sophisticated and perfect for both sexes. It is interesting enough to warrant attention, yet could be worn to the office or on a night out.