The smell of wealth, Guerlain Iris Ganache

Guerlain Iris Ganache is a fragrance belonging to the exclusive collection of scents known as L’Art et la Matiere. It was created by Thierry Wasser in 2007 and since then it became one of the most iconic fragrances among Guerlain exclusives. Sadly this perfume is being discontinued so if you spot it somewhere and like it – bear in mind that this might be your last chance to get a bottle. Iris Ganache is an oriental woody fragrance dedicated mainly to women. That’s how wealth smells like.

Iris, a lot of powdery, voluptuous iris with a sheer, almost transparent rooty/woody feeling. That’s how Iris Ganache smells in the opening. The aroma is intoxicating, reacting with all the senses. It’s rich but after few seconds some floral notes come to play. They’re not very strong and it’s still definitely iris but from the angle of it’s purple petals. Floral of elegance. There’s something in the opening of Iris Ganache that makes me think it’s a truly mature creation, not something a cheeky girl or self-confident 20 year-old would wear.

One of the greatest stars in Guerlain Iris Ganache is white chocolate. How many perfume with white chocolate you know? Exactly, not many! This white chocolate is huge and erotic as hell. It’s smell is vibrating and evolving from something that brings the feeling of creamy to something that could be associated with delicious pastry custard. To me the best word to describe white chocolate here is buttery. There really is something buttery, a little bit oily. Like a real butter infused with precious essences of iris. The way it smells make an unforgettable impression. It’s like no other.

After this luscious buttery chocolate a vanilla appears that makes Iris Ganache even more into gourmand style. Its sweet smell is calm, toned down so that the fragrance is not sugary. It is sugary to the acceptable point but no sugar overdose here, no toothache. Musk in the base of Guerlain make the fragrance long lasting and it provides a velvety finish. Notes list suggest there’s also cinnamon in here but couldn’t smell it. My nose didn’t notice any spice vibe coming from it.

Ambery notes also create a drydown of Iris Ganache. I don’t doubt it is here but the sweet notes are so smooth, so melted together into delicious unity that it’s hard to pick a creamy amber there, so as far as I’m concerned I trust Guerlain that Thierry Wasser put some amber into it. Bergamot is also supposed to be here which is more doubtful since I couldn’t smell it at all. Maybe it adds some lightness to the scent in its late drydown, its not there to entice us with its juicy smell. Notes at Fragrantica also indicate patchouli – also not noticeable in Iris Ganache. Will I go too far if I say that it probably plays a role of fragrance fixative? The last note listed is for this Guerlain is cedar.

Guerlain Iris Ganache seems to be one of the most luxurious smelling fragrances known. It has a rich, complex smell that I highly associate with, lets call it financial status. It’s the smell of wealth. Who I imagine smelling Iris Ganache? Probably a refined women in her early or middle forties. She’s wearing tailored black dress made of silk, on her wrist and neck some white gold jewellery shines. She’s on a ball under crystal chandeliers, drawing attention of everyone around.

Iris Ganache was created as eau de parfum and is available in 75 ml bottle.

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21 thoughts on “The smell of wealth, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  1. poodle says:

    Wonderful review Lucas. I’m not sure how I feel about iris really. I think in some perfumes I like it and in others not so much. I love the flower and have tons of them in my flowerbeds. I haven’t found an iris perfume that I really love though. Have you tried Iris Silver Mist? How does this compare?

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you Poodle, sweet of you to say! Iris is difficult as it can be done in many different ways. There are many irises that I don’t tolerate.
      Iris Ganache is luxurious but I feel happy I didn’t click for a bottle while sampling it.
      Iris Silver Mist is my most nightmare iris, I need to (anti)review it one day

      • poodle says:

        See, it’s a nightmare on me too. Awful, just awful. Yet others swoon over it. On me it’s like being stuck in a root cellar peeling carrots. Iris Ganache might be a better fit for me but since it’s almost impossible to find I’m not going to put it on the wish list.

        • lucasai says:

          I once described ISM as a “rotten carrots in a damp soil kept in a creepy cellar”. I know people love it, but I just can’t stand it. I’m happy I’m not alone with the feeling.
          I think you would like this one, but maybe it’s better not to sample it, since it’s discontinuation

  2. Dear Lucas
    The Perfumed Dandy is a confirmed fan of Iris – in both the powdery and the more buttery and luscious incarnations. I am therefore entranced by your, as ever, precise and thoughtful review.
    I am also enamoured by the white chocolate note you speak of, most prominent in the very under-rated Must de Cartier – in fact it had been used as a point on which to attack that perfume.
    What The Dandy is much less a fan of is the discontinuation of this fragrance before he has become fully acquainted with it. Please tell me the whole L’Art et La Matiere series is not being removed from sale… I am a new devotee of Elixir Charnel Florale Romantique.
    Finally thank you so much for clarifying the use of patchouli as a fixant – I too often see it listed but my poor nose is unable to detect it further.
    Enlightening and enticing in equal measure – both your review and the scent itself.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • lucasai says:

      Oh, another iris lover, good. Do you also fancy more earthy, rooty or carroty iris? Me, not very often.
      Glad you liked the review. The chocolate is the source of glamour in Iris Ganache. Yes, they’re taking it from the stores, didn’t hear any rumours if they’re planning to do the same with other exclusives too

  3. R says:

    I can’t even imagine how white chocolate must smell. especially when combined with iris. I’m curious what do you think is the smell of wealth on the men side?

    • lucasai says:

      Then go to the sweetshop, get some and give it a sniff. And then try Iris Ganache if you have a chance and feel curious.
      The smell of wealth from male perfume releases? A good question, will have to think about it

  4. Undina says:

    I love iris note and own many perfumes with it playing a prominant role. Iris Ganache… I absolutely loved wearing it on several occasions (I have a small decant of it) but the last time I wore it I got a headache (most likely, not related to the perfume) – so now I’m afraid to wear it. I’ll give it a try in a while.

  5. hajusuuri says:

    Iris is my favorite note in perfumes. Like Undina, my FBs, specially the ones I bought in the last 12 months, have Iris as the predominant note.

    Having heard so many good things about Iris Ganache, I was lamenting that it was discountinued. To my surprise, it was still available at the Saks flagship store in New York! My mom did not raise a fool, so I snapped up that awesome find right away.

    While It is an elegant perfume, I also find it suitable for casual wear.

    By the way, I do smell the amber but not the patchouli or the bergamot. I think the musk is covering the subtle hints of these materials.

    • lucasai says:

      It’s my favourite too. Few of my perfumes are iris dominant too (like… 3!). Great you got a bottle when you got a chance to do so. I find it more for special occasions but that’s just my opinion.
      Patchouli and bergamot are well hidden. Patchouli is probably more of a fixative here.

    • I snapped up the second to last bottle at Saks! As far as I know, they only got one left. Maybe none now.

      Iris is my favorite flower if I were forced to choose one. And Iris Ganache is one of my favorite fragrances. I absolutely adore it and you’re right, there is nothing else like it out there. Sadness that it is discontinued. If I had more money and a wine fridge to store it, I would have snapped up that last bottle too.

  6. Kafkaesque says:

    I love your review, Lucas. It’s truly evocative and gives a sense of the perfume. Alas, I’m not crazy about iris notes and I also find a lot of the new Guerlains to be far too sweet for me. This one sounds like no exception. Iris *and* very gourmand = not for me. But I so enjoyed reading your review of it!

    • lucasai says:

      Glad you liked it. So you haven’t tried Iris Ganache, huhn? I understand you seem to be put off by it’s iris + sweets style. It’s being discontinued so maybe give it a try at least (if you can)

      • Kafkaesque says:

        No, definitely not for me. But, I have a friend who loves both Guerlain and gourmand scents (she fell head over heels for Angelique Noire), so I’ve posted a link to your blog on FB for her to read. Since she lives near an actual Guerlain store, perhaps she will be tempted to snap up a bottle of this perfume before it’s forever gone. 🙂

        • lucasai says:

          I see! I definitely prefer some older Guerlains from the newer ones (that said I have very small experience with Guerlain exclusives). Hope your friend will enjoy the review and eventually will buy a bottle since she still can.

  7. […] an end. These songs could be perfumed with warm, embracing perfumes that have an inner glow, like Guerlain Iris Ganache, Histoires de Parfums Ambre […]

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