Perhaps it came to mind because last weekend I was in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and you can’t go far there without chocolate heaving into view in one form or another. Then I started to hanker after a recently discontinued Guerlain, Iris Ganache, which yearning is sure to wind up making me poorer. I’m mystified by Iris Ganache’s appeal for me anyhow, since I’m the blogger who said she didn’t own any gourmands. It’s partly the business of saying I didn’t wear gourmands that brought this on. To be more precise I didn’t think I wore gourmands, but the sneaky truth is that sometimes, just like paring off ridiculously thin slices of cake and eating them, I do. Covertly, in the middle of the night-ishly, but I do.
My introduction to real gourmands came from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. She had a cocoa sandalwood oil I loved, and she still sells Hippie Chic, a great summer oil that combines coconut with nag champa in a ridiculously haute bohemian way.
My next foray into gourmand territory was Strange Invisible Perfumes Dimanche. Dimanche is honey, cocoa, amber, rose and iris. This is easily the most irresistible of all the Strange Invisibles; extremely easy to wear, like pulling on the oldest of old jeans or an ancient cardigan, but somehow luxurious too. The perfume is an evocation of lazy Sundays in France over long lunches.
These days are probably what my French brother in law calls “old people’s Sundays” meaning ones dedicated exclusively to talking and eating. Dimanche is a gourmand through and through, but the combination of iris and chocolate bring the sweetness of the scent into balance. I love Dimanche and would wear it like a shot but the price is very high, $US 385.00 and so make do with the occasional sample. But Dimanche, if the fragrance could be made into a mass market perfume, would be a hit.
Iris and chocolate got me into trouble again in Guerlain’s now discontinued Iris Ganache. This perfume is a polarizing one, meaning that some people love it and some think IG is a sticky cake in a spray bottle. Iris resembles Guerlain’s blockbuster Insolence somewhat (though I don’t smell Insolence’s violets). The overture of bergamot, white chocolate and cinnamon give way to the iris and two unexpectedly woody components, cedarwood and patchouli which are in a minor key. The base is more comprehensibly Guerlain, with amber musk and vanilla where the melody becomes more cheerful.
Altogether Iris Ganache is sweet, but also sophisticated. There is even something just a bit poetic in Iris’ white chocolate and iris melody, something affecting, perhaps it ‘s the resemblance in passing to a lovely tune you once knew, and that, of course, is Apres L’Ondee. All in all, I’m sorry that this perfume was discontinued, Iris provided a bridge between the chasm that separate modern Guerlains like Insolence from the classics like L’Heure Bleue, and L’Heure de Nuit (currently in the Parisienne releases) is too narrow a blue silk bridge to cross that, on its own anyway.
Perhaps Guerlain should do a chocolate violet perfume? I’d eat- I mean – I’d wear it.