Hi dear APJ. How are you all doing?
We had our first visitors this week. Friends drove all the way from Rotterdam and I was eager to show them around Basel and the surrounding areas. They saw that I still needed to finish certain things in the house and helped me accomplish everything over the four days. I feel blessed to know such kindness. They gave me the greatest gift – time.
Iris, how I adore thee!
Ever since I lived in Rotterdam, irises have become one of my favourite flowers. Of course I admired the blooms and enjoyed smelling my iris perfumes. But it was not until I moved to Basel and discovered an iris garden that I became truly obsessed with the fragile iris. I dragged my family to the garden every ten days or so as I wanted to see if they were in full bloom or not.
The Merian Gardens has a stunning historical bearded iris collection. The collection dates back to a well known iris collector Gräfin Helen von Stein-Zeppelin. After her studies she opened a garden centre which specialized in irises. During World War II she was forced to plant potatoes instead of her beloved irises. She hid several bulbs of each type of iris in home gardens and in cracks in walls in order to save them. After the war Helen von Stein-Zeppelin was able to replant her bulbs and start her collection again. By the end of the 1960s she had accumulated over 1000 varieties of irises. Due to the large collection of irises she had amassed, she looked for a new garden for her treasures. The Merian Gardens accepted her collection in 1969.
Today the collection is home to approximately 1500 varieties of bearded iris. Many varieties are no longer available commercially. This is why the Merian Garden iris collection is well known as a reference for historical bearded irises. The irises are sorted by colour and year and also have the names of the breeders.
Iris blooms do not have a scent. They are stunning to look at but they do not perfume a home. This is why I was stunned to stand amongst hundreds of irises and was bewitched by a magical scent surrounding me. There were no other trees nor blooming flowers next to me. It was a warm sunny day, and perhaps that contributed to the smell. Oddly though it was only in one section of the iris garden.
Throughout the past six weeks I have been wearing some of my favorite iris perfumes and lemming after a couple as well. I wore Hermès Musc Pallida, Hermessence Iris Ukiyoé and Atelier des Ors Musc Immortel. I will definitely buy a bottle of April Aromatics Irisistible and I must go and finally try Hermes Hiris.
Do you like iris as a note in perfumes? What is your favorite iris perfume?
Until next time.
Oodles of fragrant kisses,