Spoiler alert: an iris fragrance. If that’s what you’re expecting then that is exactly what you are going to get with this flirty, flouncy little scent.
Bergamot, mandarin capua, orange sanguine, violet leaf absolute, fig leaf, carrot seed oil, orris butter, violet, rose de mai, jasmine sambac, vanilla absolute, cedar, vetiver, ambergris.
The iris and violet family of scents seems like a difficult one to crack. These notes have been around for what seems like forever and they’ve moved in and out of fashion in accordance with trends of the era. To take on a fragrance centred around iris is to take on not only that note, but all the associations and preconceptions that your wearers carry with them about this particular family of smells.
With that in mind, we weren’t quite sure what to expect as the latest Dusita creation. Would this be a parma violet humming fragrance that goes on for days, or would it be something else entirely that only uses iris as the spine of the scent and builds everything around it?
In essence neither are true of Splendiris, which feels like a pretty water colour painting of an iris scent. It opens with an aquatic parma violet tone given some structure by the very pleasant citrus accord which feels fresh and enlivening. The citrus is soft but mouthwatering and we wanted more of it, which is always a good sign.
The top of the scent was the part we enjoyed the most, it felt cheerful, innocent. The citruses ping off the violet prettily and a honeyed note slinks about in the background. There’s a sort of wet tea leaves vibe at times which we rather enjoyed; it stopped the scent becoming too frou-frou too quickly.
Once the fragrance has really settled and opened, the watercolour painting vibe really develops. It’s dainty, delicate and full of washes and tones. At times it sparkles faintly, which could be memories of the citruses that started the fragrance off.
There’s a cleanliness to be found in the scent, the faint vibe of line-dried washing, and a soapiness which is bubble-bath reminiscent. It never goes so far as to be particularly crisp though, retaining this gentleness throughout.
A watery green nuance peeps out as the fragrance ages, from the orris most probably, but the sense of delicate washes of fragrance laying atop one another never really fades. Sometimes, scents which have that parma-violet-reminiscent vibe in perfumes smell really manufactured and synthetic, and whilst we are very happy to wear synthetic notes in fragrance, there’s something about the delicacy of Splendiris which makes it seem more genuine and natural.
Splendiris continues in a similar vein in the base, there’s a damp, green tone, almost ever so slightly leathery in the background, overlaid with more powdery, soft iris. The scent feels a bit like the texture of suede or peach skin when you inhale.
The fragrance hums along softly to itself, never bold, never loud, never in-your-face. It’s an iris fragrance for sure, but for people who don’t like their iris too strong. Think of it as iris cordial, dilute to taste.
If there is any nitpicking to be done with this scent it was that it didn’t surprise us. We know Dusita are capable of adept florals from the beautiful Melodie de L’Amour. In comparison to Melodie (which in fairness, we do love unashamedly), Splendiris feels like a slightly less confident composition – although it’s come along later into the brand’s evolution and they seem to have carved out a well-established niche for themselves now. If you are wanting an iris scent then this is exactly what you will get, if you are wanting an iris scent with a twist then – although this is pretty – you’re probably going to keep looking. Classic, yes, but surprising less so. Make of that what you will though, sometimes getting exactly what you expect is just what you need.
The other stuff
Splendiris is a delicate, dainty scent which hums along quietly to itself. It’s not particularly loud, and we felt that it projected to less than handshake distance away from the body – maybe even as close as hugging distance only.
The fragrance is pretty, feminine, and likely to be purchased by those on the more female end of the spectrum. There was something a bit innocent about it which made us wonder if it would suit someone a bit younger to wear?
If you don’t like bold, overpowering fragrances and are looking for something classic and feminine then this could be a good place for you to start. Also a good fragrance for someone wanting to try niche but who gets overpowered easily.
The longevity of the scent is moderate, we found it lasted between 3 and 5 hours when we tested it, although at a much reduced volume later in the wear.
If you’d like to know more about the brand and founder Pissara Umavijani, please read our interview with Dusita.
We were very kindly given a no-strings-attached travel size bottle of Splendiris by Parfums Dusita when we met them at Esxence 2019. Thank you to them for their kind generosity.