Post by Dionne
All the Iris Fiends in the House say Yeah…
Hey, my niche nerds!
Today I’ll wax effusive about one of my all-time favorite frags, 28 La Pausa. Not only is this my numero uno iris pick, but it sits in my all-time top three perfumes.
Now I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but as I get to know a perfume, associations start to develop: an image or a painting, a texture, a feeling or scenario, a specific memory, a color, a place. Everything eventually gets a story. And for me, the iris note has turned into a woman. She’s tall and slender, blond hair done up in a chignon, elegant and intelligent and often intimidating. I like that about her, her cool strength. And I borrow some of that strength when I wear iris, it’s emotional armor for me.
Photo Stolen WikiMedia
My mental image for 28 La Pausa is that lovely woman now in her early 70’s. She’s still tall and slender, still elegant with her white hair in a chic short cut, but the steel is now tempered with kindness. She adores her grandchildren and has a gentle, easy humor and is quick to smile. Her mind is sharp, but she’s become a master at putting you at your ease. (OK, I’m totally cheating with this particular image, because I know someone exactly like this. She’s marvelous, a good friend, and the perfect match in my mind for 28 LP.)
28 La Pausa by Chanel 2007
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Leather, rose, orris
If I was to place 28 La Pausa in the iris continuum, it’s towards the violet end instead of the carrot, woodsy instead of metallic. Nowhere near as powdery as Infusion d’Iris, and it doesn’t have the cosmetics vibe of Dior Homme, either; the powder aspect in this just seems more natural, like nothing’s been added to augment it. Not as cool as Iris Silver Mist because it’s got a hint of musk, but not as warm as Equistrius either. If you’re starting to sense a Goldilocks theme here, you’re right. This hits my sweet spot of juuuust right in the iris line-up; no wonder it’s in my top three.
Photo Stolen WikiMedia
Also, there’s one thing about 28 La Pausa that I’ve never encountered in another iris frag, and that’s the vetiver hanging out in the background. Luca Turin’s review in Perfumes: The Guide mentions the vetiver in the base, and for the longest time I had no idea what he was talking about. And then all of a sudden one day there it was…. Tadaa! How did I ever miss it? Actually, I know exactly how I missed it. Somehow Jacques Polge managed to wrestle this very distinctive note into playing backup, which to my mind is no small feat. Ladies and gentleman, this is how you blend perfumery notes. Kudos, Monsieur Polge. It’s interesting to see notes listed for 28 La Pausa, as sometimes vetiver isn’t even listed.
Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Olfactoria’s Travels
28 La Pausa is still available in CHANEL Boutiques, you may have to hurry though (the SA in Sydney’s Bondi Junction has it in stock)
Surrender To Chance starts at $4/ml
Photo Stolen DeviantArt
Last off, a caveat and a heads-up. You’ve likely heard about 28 LP’s poor longevity. It’s true that scent-glue skin is a real advantage when wearing this frag, but even if you don’t, the quietness of the sillage means you can go crazy with the sprays without gassing out the neighborhood, and the pale color of the just means you can spray on fabric without staining.
If you haven’t had a chance yet to try this lovely fragrance, now would be a good time. With the introduction of 1932 to the Les Exclusifs line, 28 La Pausa is being discontinued. I wish Chanel hadn’t made that decision, but economics rule. And remember how 200ml seemed so large when the line first came out? If you’re going to stock up, it’s good to have options.