Essence Rare is a beautiful floral iris, with a tiny trick up its sleeve.
Straight away this presents itself as an iris fragrance to me. While not the soft and focused Iris Des Champs from the house, Essence Rare has a similar beautiful quality of iris in it.
What it adds are greener and stronger floral tinges. There’s a tiny bit of skank in the opening that surprised me; could be the oakmoss, giving off more of a sharper, retro scent than actual skank, but either way I was not expecting it and I do enjoy it. I could even imagine a tiny hint of suede.
I don’t often appreciate lily-of-the-valley, but I like it here quite a bit; it’s crisp, clean, but not as delicate as one would expect from this scent-profile. The longevity wasn’t all that impressive on my first wear, but the scent itself has a real body to it.
It’s a bit too early to call, but I think Essence Rare might be my favorite Houbigant that I’ve tried so far.