Perfume Review: Guerlain Iris Ganache
Iris Ganache is the fifth perfume to join Guerlain's excluisive L’Art et la Matière collection. Created by Theirry Wasser, the scent is described as "iris butter worked like a pastry ganache" ( osmoz.com). Ganache is a term that describes a mixture of chocolate and cream, and in the case of Iris Ganache, the chocolate is said to be white. I am very happy to report that the chocolate note is completely missing on my skin, and the fragrance does not smell to me in the least gourmand. The Ganache part of the name perhaps should not be taken literally, as it hints on the soft, "rounded" quality of the composition and its gentle creaminess rather than on any overt foody characteristics.
The fragrance starts with an iris note brightened by citrus. The iris smells rooty and cold, just the way I like it, and the lovely creaminess lended by vanilla poses a very appealing contrast to the silvery chilliness of iris. Both the creamy and the rooty aspects stay present throughout the scent's development; iris, however, gives way to violet, which seems to dominate the heart of the fragrance adding to it a certain, not overwhelming, powderiness. (As a side note, I have read about Iris Ganache being somewhat reminiscent of Insolence, but again I am happy to say that there is no similarity between the two on my skin. Both scents feature violets, but between the faux-youthfull brashness of Insolence and the softly-spoken elegance of Iris Ganache lies the world of a difference.) The middle stage also features a dash of spice, which, paired with the earthy patchouli, adds depth and darkness to the blend. This powdery, slightly brooding part of Iris Ganache smells very "Guerlain" to me, more so than the other four L’Art et la Matière perfumes, which is probably only to be expected from an orris fragrance. The base of Iris Ganache is to me the best stage, after the creamy and shimmering beginning. The mix of velvety woods, amber, patchouli and that raw note that runs like a leitmotif through the composition of Iris Ganache remind me a little of Dior's elegantly fluffy Bois d'Argent.
The raw property, which I mentioned several times, is what makes Iris Ganache smell interesting to me. This is not the first time I admire the raw quality in a perfume created by Wasser; his poignantly frail and very earthy Sloth showcased that quality wonderfully. Having said that, I wish that Iris Ganache was not quite so soft and understated. It is a quiet scent, with hardly any sillage and very mediocre lasting power. And it is not that I begrudge it its elegant mutedness and its short life on my skin (I don't mind re-applying scents I love), it is just that...oh I don't know...I feel that it is too neutral, somehow lacking in character. Still, it is a charming, elegant, extremely wearable fragrance, and if someone gave it to me, I would have used it with much pleasure, but I will not be buying it for myself.
Iris Ganache is available at Bergdorf Goodman, $200.00 for 75ml.
Image source, osmoz.com.