When I was recently compiling my list of Top 10 Spring Fragrances 2013 (a very subjective guide to what I'm wearing right now and will be wearing for next month or two), I realized that we've never posted a review of Lostmarc'h Iroaz; so, better late than never. Iroaz was released in 2008, and its name comes from the Breton word for "rose." Lostmarc'h describes the fragrance as "a delicate yet wild marine rose. Rose absolute refreshed by marine aromas and red berries. The subtle and profound aroma of orris forges the link and harmonises the whole."
Iroaz is one of those fragrances that appealed to me when I first heard about it, and I have no idea why I took four years or more to try it out and then purchase a bottle. Iroaz has never had the fan following of Lostmarc'h's Lann Ael, which puzzles me, because it's a well-crafted fragrance that should appeal to a range of tastes. When I sniff Iroaz from the bottle, I notice a lemony citrus note. But when I spray it on my skin, it's an interesting blend of aquatic and peppery notes — and don't let the word "aquatic" scare you, because Iroaz definitely suggests sea air rather than swimming pool fumes. It has a slightly salty aspect, which is another aspect of the "marine" mood, and if it's a day at the shore, there are also a few passing clouds in the sky. This whole phase of the fragrance feels true to nature and pleasingly androgynous.
Iroaz's heart is softer and more floral than its coastal opening; this is the part with the beach roses and a dusky, earthy note, perhaps some vetiver in addition to the orris root. Iroaz turns more feminine after an hour or two of wearing, but it's still not a "girly" rose fragrance. It evokes driftwood and a few strands of seaweed as well as flower petals, so you don't need to love rose fragrances to wear Iroaz; in fact, if you're looking for a real springtime rose scent, you'd do better with something like Diptyque Eau Rose or Parfums DelRae Coup de Foudre. Instead, Iroaz could be categorized with Les Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose (although it's more transparent and less ambery) or Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's Beach Roses (which includes notes of rose with sandalwood, palmarosa, lemon, and lily). One note that never appears in Iroaz when I wear it, despite its mention in the Lostmarc'h description: "red berries." That's fine, actually.
Iroaz has average staying power for an Eau de Toilette. I wish it lasted longer on my skin, but this lightness also means that Iroaz is nearly impossible to over-apply (making it suitable for daytime and office-wear) and that it's easy to wear for hot summer weather as well as balmy spring days.
Lostmarc'h Iroaz is available as 100 ml ($85) Eau de Toilette. For purchasing information, see the listing for Lostmarc'h under Perfume Houses.
Note: top image courtesy of the author.