Chocolate Irises to Love: Iris Ganache and Dimanche

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANearing the end of February I find that I have not gotten around to one of my favorite topics: chocolate.

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:White_chocolate_with_rose_petals.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:White_chocolate_with_rose_petals.jpg

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.

iris  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.

 

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9 Responses to Chocolate Irises to Love: Iris Ganache and Dimanche

  1. annemariec says:

    You make IG sound nicer than I remember it. I have a sample sent me by a kind perfume penpal so I’ll dig it out. For me it was pleasant but unremarkable, and the iris was smothered by the sweet notes. But that was a while ago; I’ll give it another sniff. It’s a pity IG was d/c. That made a lot of people very sad.

    Prada Candy now, in THAT I do get lots of lovely iris, same iris as in Infusion d’Iris, unsurprisingly. On the whole I’m not a gourmand lover, but I do like the perfumes that dance the line between gourmand and non-gourmand. Candy is one, Kenzo Amour is another.

  2. Blacknall Allen says:

    Prada Candy is my daughter’s favorite perfume and she has a carefully hoarded bottle. I had not really smelled iris in it, but will sniff to see if I can discern any-it’s a very nice idea, vanilla, oppoponax and iris.

    Kenzo Amour is another that does and does not smell edible. I like it, think it’s quite a sophisticated take on the gourmand idea-without actually being one. And Iris Ganache has infected me- like measles- after a discussion with other perfume lovers. I went and did the stupid thing,smelled it at Saks, and lo and behold, another Guerlain craving beginneth :-)

  3. carole macleod says:

    Your daughter has good taste with her Prada candy! Do you two share fragrances? My mom and i had entirely different perfume tastes, but there were a few we shared.

    Another good chocolate fix can be found in Bulgari Bul. It’s chocolate and vodka. Sounds vile, smells good. it did not receive much fan fare-the entire Bulgari line did not have much cohesion, but i liked a many of them.

  4. Blacknall Allen says:

    In answer to your question,we both like vanilla but she CRAVES it, and does not love my choices except for Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s Minuit, which she calls the “most beautiful smell”.

    I’ve really only sniffed some of the Omnias, the Amethyst, and thought it was pretty but did not try the Blu. Now I will, vodka and chocolate? OK, I’m up for it, though between you and me, I’m up for anything that contains chocolate!

  5. Undina says:

    I like IG but it’s a decant-worth like, not a FBW love.

    I think I enjoy wearing some gourmands from time to time but they feel like … lesser (?) perfumes than those that don’t possess that edible quality.

    • Blacknall Allen says:

      That feeling that gourmands are a bit less dignified than florals or chypres gets to me too. Wearing food is maybe just a bit- inelegant, but then I do sometimes wear gourmands. They can be informal and fun :-), though iris Ganache does remind me a little bit of Apres L’Ondee and that’s not really a fun loving ‘fume!

  6. Sarah K says:

    There is something a note in both Insolence and Iris Ganache that very unfortunately reminds me of the scent of whatever chemical mix was used to fill the chemical toilets we used at campgrounds in my childhood. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I don’t enjoy either of these Guerlains much!

    • Blacknall Allen says:

      Wowza, what an unfortunate association to have! Eau de chemical toilets! Sorry. I DO feel your pain but your comment cracked me up.
      Dimanche would be a better choice if you like chocolate and iris but I hate to recommend anything that pricey- although I did- and let’s face it the Guerlain ain’t cheap either. Stick with Chanels No 19 or 18 for your iris perhaps…

      • Sarah K says:

        Yes, there are many other irises out there for me to love. I haven’t tried Dimanche though, and I do like the idea of chocolate and iris, so I’ll have to see if I can find a sample to check out. Thanks!

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