Iris Ganache from Guerlain's L'Art et la Matiere line is perhaps the most controversial fragrance in that range. Guerlain has always been famous for vanilla notes and a pastry shop accord, but perfumer Thierry Wasser went all the way with Iris Ganache and added a very distinct white chocolate note. Even more so, the description of this perfume includes an "iris butter worked like a pastry ganache". It clearly says: "must love gourmands". And I do. Dearly.
For those who love Iris Ganache, it is intoxicatingly delicious. It starts with a bergamot-vanilla blend that is very recognizable as a Gueralin perfume. There's a twist, though, as cinnamon and chocolate enter the picture very quickly, adding thick and rich layers to this pastry. I wore Iris Ganache during my last visit to Paris and it was incredibly appropriate considering the time the husband and I spent at various patisseries and coffee shops. This fragrance goes extremely well with eclairs.
The iris and chocolate notes that are the core of Iris Ganache are intoxicating. The white chocolate is obvious, but there's also patchouli with its cocoa-like facet that darkens the fragrance and make it even more edible. But here's something interesting: in warm temperatures the chocolate melts quickly, almost sliding off my skin like a satin sheet, and I end up with a very naked and very real orris. Slightly bitter, a touch sweet, buttery (it did inhale some of that calorific ganache) and smooth. Also: beautiful, dark and sexy.
Of course, there's still a musky vanillic dry-down and it is a Guerlain perfume through and through, so that vanilla thing lasts for very long hours. But it's that moment when the iris emerges and stands alone for a while that brings everything together for me and proves what a beautiful and enjoyable perfume this is. It's all pleasure and I refuse to feel any guilt.
Read other reviews of Iris Ganache on Olfactoria's Travels, Eyeliner On A Cat, Perfume Posse, and I Smell Therefore I Am.
Notes: bergamot, cinnamon, white chocolate, iris butter, patchouli, musk, amber, cedar and vanilla.
Guerlain Iris Ganache ($250, 2.5oz EDP) is available from Guerlain boutiques and department stores that stock the L'Art et la Matiere line.
Art: Jean Beraud - La Pâtisserie Gloppe aux Champs-Élysées (1889)