Of the four grades of fire with which the ancient alchemists worked, the primary one for the true alchemist was the Secret Fire – the fire that was able to affect matter without having a physical presence itself. It is the “serpentine working power in the body, ” the electro-spiritual, creative life force of the alchemist himself. The acclaimed artist-perfumer Bruno Fazzolari has brought the secret fire to life in this shape-shifting ode to the orris root.
Feu Secret opens with a bright-cold burst of pink pepper and eucalyptus that lifts the orris root to the sun, almost mimicking a citrus note. This is no earthy-cold iris – if anything, the spices bring out the hidden warmth of the orris butter, melting into the skin. The transformative nature of the iris comes out in the heart, not lipstick-violet in any mortal way, but ethereally smoky, reaching its roots into the earth. Reducing all other attempts at rooty orris to mere sweet carrots, rising tendrils of birch tar smoke give way to a gauzy, woody veil, enthroned in vanilla and cedar. The vibrant life energy is properly interpreted here, by turns airy, fiery, and earthy on the skin. As a divine incantation, Feu Secret is surprisingly androgynous and sublimely distinctive.