eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Friday, June 3, 2011

Not Afraid of the Pink: Guerlain Iris Ganache

When the release of Guerlain's Shalimar Parfum Initial was announced and early reviews of it were circulating on a few perfume blogs, there was a general hue and cry against the color of the juice. OMG it's pink! Shock and horror! Well, it's not the first Guerlain with pink juice, and certainly not the first Thierry Wasser creation utilizing it (example: our fair Iris Ganache). I don't understand what the big deal is, personally. The color of perfume is inconsequential to me. Sometimes it can be an enhancement, just look at the photograph of Iris Ganache above. How pretty is that? Gold and pink, made for someone like me who gets a little thrill looking at it. Bulb atomizers are the pits, but really, how pretty is it, I ask you? Very. I understand that Shalimar devotees are disgusted with the emergence of yet another flanker, but I'm looking forward  to Parfum Initial, as I am not a fan of the original Shalimar, and this sounds different enough from it that I will probably like it. A lot. Okay, more on Parfum Inital after I get a bottle, which I hope will be sooner rather than later. On to the star of our show- Iris Ganache!

notes: bergamot, cinnamon, white chocolate, iris butter, patchouli, musk, cedar, amber, vanilla

Iris Ganache was created by Thierry Wasser in 2007 as part of the L'Art et la Matiere line. Among the extremely attractive list of notes above are two words that make my pupils dilate when I set my eyes upon them: IRIS BUTTER.

There is a rich berry-jammy opening which feels right (despite the fact that there is none credited in the official notes list) given the ultra-gourmand nature of this perfume. It is so pleasant and delicious, almost cherry-almond to my nose, and thankfully this facet of the fragrance lasts a long time. Fairly soon, a squishy lactonic doughiness seeps through with a healthy dose of cedarwood. This is a purely seductive sweet scent, the iris butter is not really enough to create a sense of there being much iris at all (in a floral or rooty sense), but ultimately, this is an Oriental. It lacks the distant, cool nature of iris in many other blends. Instead, Iris Ganache is giddy and friendly- it is the girl who you know will put out at the end of the night as long as you make her laugh a lot.

Iris Ganache operates on a fairly high frequency for a gourmand Oriental, at first it feels a bit tinny due to the contrast between the cedar and berry/cherry until it settles on the skin for about 30 minutes. That's when the base notes start to form an irresistible, classic veil of incense that lasts for several hours. The vanillic, white chocolate accord lends itself well to sweetening up this blend even more; as time passes, it seems to get sweeter, and more delicious. It's more cream cheese frosting to me than creme brulee.

Iris Ganache is not groundbreaking, but the blending is impressive. It's got Thierry Wasser written all over it, and for me, that's a good thing. I could settle down with this one. This is not a juvenile gourmand perfume- it's grown up, extremely sensual, and for someone with my particular tastes, it's straight-up perfume porn.

Iris Ganache MAY be available at the Guerlain counter at Bergdorf Goodman, I haven't called to check yet, but plan to. Otherwise, it's available in decants and samples at The Perfumed Court in The United States, and full bottles are available in several places in Europe.

[my decant was purchased by me at The Perfumed Court for my own personal use]

photo credit: bakewithus.wordpress.com


  1. I love Iris Ganache and proudly own a full bottle of golden pink gorgeousness (it comes with a regular spray nozzle as well as the bulb atomizer, which is pretty to look at, but nothing else).
    Your review makes me crave it again, thank you! :)

  2. Oh...yes...I fell so very hard for this one, and oh, yes...it's you who put me on the road to that perdition! :-) I'm not complaining...it's glorious, chewy, sweet, woody and all things good and grand in the world! Can't wear it, it's too hot, but I must go sniff it...now...:)

  3. Gold and pink...GLAM combo colors! I wouldn't mind having lovely packaging in that color combo lol... It sounds truly glamorous!

    Thanks for your input sweetie on our blog! Design A it is! *wink wink*

    Can't believe I wasn't following your blog...but I am now! :D

  4. Birgit: Oooh, I'm jealous you have a bottle! It's good to know that it's got the regular atomizer too. My 8ml decant is about half gone already, and it's not cheap through TPC. So, as expensive as it is, if I'm going to keep using it, I need to get a full bottle- it'll be cheaper in the long run!

  5. Sheila: I'm glad you are loving it! It's definitely not one I'd want to wear in the heat, though, you're right.

  6. Margarita Bloom: I'm so glad you're following my blog! Welcome aboard! Pink and gold is just one of those combinations that makes me swoon. Like black and bronze!

  7. "it is the girl who you know will put out at the end of the night as long as you make her laugh a lot"

    LOL! I don't know if I should ever work that hard for a beauty product/perfume. ;D

  8. Great review. I really like several of this line, and have never been bothered by the pink! I also wanted to let you know that the whole line is carried by Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, if Bergdorf's falls through.

  9. Liz: You don't have to work that hard to wear Iris Ganache, it's like some libertine sex game, you know what I mean? Liaisons Dangereuses. All in fun! (until somebody gets hurt, of course)

    anotherperfumeblog: thank you very much for the tip about Neiman's, I will remember that!

  10. Another amazing review, Carrie. I love your writing style. :)

    I got a heads-up from Tarleisio, telling me that the two of you particularly loved this scent and that I should check it out. Now that I know that Miss Birgit loves it too, I most definitely will.

  11. Wow! Iris Ganache sounds so rich and heady! I think this perfume would probably wear me, but I would love to smell it on someone.

    I'll admit the pink Shalimar is a real groaner for me. It's because I'm bitter about perfumes being killed by regulations, only to be reincarnated into what look like Sex in the City cocktails. ;)

    Bitterness gets pretty exhausting after awhile so I think it's time to say goodbye to sour grapes and await your review of Parfum Initial!

  12. Want.

    Need I say more?? ;)

  13. Suzanne: Thank you so much! I hope you find Iris Ganache as intoxicating as we do. :)

    Joanne: I am also looking forward to my review of Shalimar Parfum Initial... if I could only get my mitts on a bottle!

    Dee: No, you don't need to say any more. I'll send you a little sample vial of it. ;)

  14. Ah, you are an angel!!! :)