The best perfumers use their past to define the present. No one has been more adept at this than perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. Throughout her career you can draw lines from previous perfumes straight through to the newest release. There is a name for this. When objects are placed side-by-side and there are small differences to each subsequent item yet when you reach the terminus it is quite distinctly different than the beginning. This is called a continuum. Mme Giacobetti has seemingly designed her perfumes to be the next data point on her personal version of this. Talc de IUNX extends it.
Mme Giacobetti is one of the most important perfumers of the last fifty years. Unlike her contemporaries she has delighted in doing things her own way. Currently that means the only place she makes perfume is for her own brand, IUNX. Which is sold in only one place; the IUNX boutique in Paris. This is typical of Mme Giacobetti who would rather blaze the trail than tread after others. Her body of work speaks for itself as her signature transparent style has now become commonplace. She has been around long enough to see what was once perceived as a flaw become the trend.
When I say Talc de IUNX is part of an evolution in Mme Giacobetti’s perfumes in this case I am referring to the iris-centric perfumes. I would say this line begins with 1996’s L’Artisan Parfumeur Drole de Rose to 1999’s Hermes Hiris to three of the perfumes she did for the all-natural brand Honore des Pres; Bonte’s Bloom, Sexy Angelic, and We Love NY: I Love Les Carottes in 2010.
Iris is an ingredient of duality as it embodies powder and root. The latter, which is the source of the perfume material, can be used to provide a shimmering effect which the powdery nature dusts. In Talc de IUNX the name should give you a hint which part of the duality Mme Giacobetti is most interested in.
Mme Giacobetti begins with the iris out front. It is listed as “white orris powder” on the website. What I perceive is an iris which is slightly powderier while still retaining that silvery effect of the root. To ensure that the powder remains ascendant over the root Mme Giacobetti uses rice absolute. This warms the overall iris effect while also enhancing the powderiness. Rice powder and iris powder are kissing cousins on the cosmetic table; in Talc de IUNX they mesh in a more intimate union. Layered underneath this is white cedarwood essential oil. This does not ground the perfume but adds a gentle lift to the iris. What does tenuously ground things is ambrette seeds. Ambrette seeds are a source of natural musk. They provide a gentle scent of skin. With all the powder, along with the name, it is difficult not to think “infant’s skin”. That is not entirely off-base but the ambrette is more like a gentle caress of human touch. It makes Talc de IUNX feel like a kiss of benediction.
Talc de IUNX has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I haven’t gone more than a few hours since I received my sample without thinking about Talc de IUNX. When I add this to The Giacobetti Continnuum of iris perfumes it feels like a culmination of all she has done in the past.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.