Guerlain Iris Ganache ~ fragrance review

Guerlain Iris Ganache perfume

Ok, so anyone who reads Now Smell This regularly already knows I love iris. Prada's new Infusion d'Iris is only the latest in a long list of iris fragrances that make me swoon, and I'm still mourning Chanel's 28 La Pausa, which I adore but refuse to buy inasmuch as it is just too costly for such an ephemeral experience.

But I don't love everything iris. Angela recently wrote a lovely appreciation of Le Labo's Iris 39, and I was very glad she did because I had nothing nice to say about it. And while I get the idea behind Frederic Malle's Iris Poudre, I have no desire to wear it. Same goes for Dior's justifiably lauded Dior Homme.

Iris Ganache, which was added to Guerlain's L'Art et la Matière range (see Cuir Beluga, Rose Barbare, Angelique Noire and Bois d'Armenie) earlier this year, sounded like it might not be my sort of iris... iris butter ‘worked like a pastry ganache’. A mouthwatering scent, like ‘white chocolate shaded with floral notes’ and enhanced with cinnamon, bergamot, patchouli, white musks, cedar and a slightly ambery vanilla note. (via osmoz)

...and as it turns out, it isn't. I like chocolate, and I like iris, but the creamy-gourmand Iris Ganache was very nearly a scrubber on me. I can't say the chocolate is overdone — it is actually rather subtle — but what there is of it is awfully sweet. The cinnamon provides a bit of an antidote in the heart notes, but it is eventually drowned out by the vanilla sugar in the far dry down. It seemed to get sweeter and more overwhelming the longer it was on my skin, despite the fact that it really isn't a strong fragrance overall.

Nearly everyone else likes Iris Ganache at least somewhat better than I do. You can check out reviews ranging from lukewarm at Bois de Jasmin to glowing at Aromascope, or somewhere in between at Perfume Smellin' Things. Me, I'm intrigued by the the idea but not the execution. How often do you start to redesign a perfume in your head almost as soon as you put it on? I substituted a dark, nearly bitter chocolate for the white chocolate, took out all of the patchouli and all but a dash of the vanilla, amped up the cinnamon and woods. There, that's better.

Guerlain Iris Ganache was developed by perfumer Thierry Wasser, and is available in 75 ml Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Guerlain under Perfume Houses.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This one makes me want to barf a little. I was ready to buy unsniffed with the description because I love all things yummy. But this one made me sick the longer it was on. I couldn't believe whom ever created this thought it was blended enough? Just like a real ganache, it has to be blended until it is silky and seamless or you get a lot of bumps on your tongue and the cream and chocolate never really come together. Sad, because I really am ready to shell out $ for something fabulous for the fall, oh well moving on to the “Double Vanille” can't wait to smell that!

  2. Anonymous says:


    I am a new comer and I love this blog and i am very happy to read every day all the news and the comments about the news launches.

    To me “Iris Ganache” is a kind of a modern version of Aprés l'Ondée with more modern raw materials. For me it doesn't smell really orris roots and has more gummy effects of heliotrope and vanilline.

    Moreover, it's quite too much expensive for what it is, even if it's written Guerlain on the bottle.

    The best of all the orris note is “Iris silver mist”. Ciao!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You know, there is something about really sweet iris that makes me feel claustrophobic. Not sure they could even make this silky enough for me unless they also made it drier? We'll see. Don't think there is going to be a rush of chocolate+iris scents to test my theory.

    Forgot about Double Vanille. Think I read somewhere (probably on one of the blogs) that there is a tester at BG already.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Welcome! Agree entirely on Iris Silver Mist, and as to Apres l'Ondee, I'll stick with the original :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Iris Ganache was just chocolate-coated marzipan on me. I didn't get much in the way of iris, but an awful lot of sugary almondy stuff. I don't hate it, but it makes me feel nauseous after a while.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Where do you buy it? I have never seen it. : (

    I wish someone would review Jicky. The perfume is on back order at most department stores. I have never sniffed it, and for some reason, I think if it got a good review, I would go and track it down…to sniff.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Where do you buy which? If the Iris Silver Mist, it is one of the exclusives from Serge Lutens, so you can't buy it in the US at all, unfortunately.

    Jicky is lovely, and the parfum is undoubtedly the best form but I prefer the EdT — so I am undoubtedly the wrong person to review it, LOL…

  8. Anonymous says:

    See, it wasn't sweet on me at all, but I didn't love it all the same, although I guess I liked it a little more than you did.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You are much kinder than I am if you don't hate something that makes you nauseous ;-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    IIRC, you said you'd wear it if somebody gave you a bottle? If somebody gave me a bottle, it would get re-gifted pretty quick :-)

  11. Anonymous says:

    I'd re-gift only to someone I didn't know or see very much, I don't even want to smell it on another person.

  12. Anonymous says:

    LOL! I love this one, and a darling friend just gifted me with a generous decant.

    And, I love Iris Poudree and think that Le Labo's Iris 39 is simply lovely.

    I guess we have taken different paths when it come to iris, R!


  13. Anonymous says:

    We certainly have — sounds like you're in Angela's camp, although I don't know what she thinks of the Guerlain, actually. She doesn't like my Hiris though!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Had to revisit my sample. Your post made me a little sceptical, but fortunately, on me, this smells absolutely wonderful. Very Guerlain, reminding me of family members Shalimar and L'Heure Bleue. OTOH, I didn't like Insolence at all, which I'd happily trade for this one. It must be my skin chemistry that brings out the best of this fragrance. The chocolate is very understated, and I don't get no marzipan or almond at all.

    What I don't smell much of is the Iris, the way I smell it in AdP Iris Nobile. Doesn't bother me, though, as I like it the way it is (I guess, I am my own fan club?)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Agree it does smell Guerlain-ish. It just isn't me. I'll take the Insolence, myself. But seriously doubt you are your own fan club — guessing this one is way more popular than the comments here would suggest. Probably most people who love it are just shaking their heads in dismay and can't be bothered to tell me I'm nuts, LOL…

  16. Anonymous says:

    I briefly sampled this one in the Guerlain boutique I visited in Paris. When I requested Apres l'Ondee, the sales woman suggested I also try this one as it was a modern interpretation. I agreed with her after sniffing it. It definitely did bear some resemblance, but not being a fan of gourmand notes, I preferred the original.

  17. Anonymous says:


  18. Anonymous says:

    I'll stick with the original too, although I'm not always anti-gourmand.

  19. Anonymous says:

    There's room in my heart to enjoy IG, and love you at the same time…

    It's pretty, but I love my TDC and bell jar.

  20. Anonymous says:

    How sweet :-)

  21. Anonymous says:

    Iris Ganache *sounds* disgusting to me, so after your review, I think I'm done.
    Though I love Iris 39 … agree completely with Angela on that one. It's WAY up there in my daily rotation. Maybe it's the cardamom — I love Feminite, too, as we know. Iris 39 threw Bois d'Iris pretty much out of the running.
    As for ISM — love to sniff it, don't love it on my skin.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Seriously think you might want to try it if you love Iris 39! Don't know why but I think they're in the same class, although the Guerlain is much sweeter.

  23. Anonymous says:

    OOOOHHH-KAY. *makes note to razz R if all goes badly*

  24. Anonymous says:

    LOL — always happy to take the blame, if not cover the cost ;-)

  25. Anonymous says:

    Hi there! I know I am about two years too late for the “Cuir Beluga, Rose Barbare & Angelique Noire” post, but I am wondering where one would get a sample of them….I think I would love the CB and AN. The Iris Ganache sounds interesting to me, even though most don't care for it. But, I like Hermes' Elixir des Merveilles…and that is very “foody.” :)



  26. Anonymous says:

    Bergdorf Goodman in NY or Neiman Marcus in San Fran would have testers. Otherwise, your only option is to buy a sample from one of the decanters — The Perfumed Court probably has them.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I adore Jicky and have the parfum and like the edp too (I have never tried the edt). Do you have a Nordstrom nearby? Mine carries it and even has testers in the parfum concentration of that and several other Guerlains. Some of the smaller stores may not have it though (I am in Chicago). You could buy a decant online maybe…

  28. Anonymous says:

    Trish McEvoy has made an iris perfume named White Iris no 11, that I have seen once, at Harvey Nichols in London, but never seen rewieved. You have not, by chance; tried this? Have anybody here anything to say about this perfme? On trish McEVoys this is saig about it: An alluring feminine blend of honeysuckle, white iris and Bulgarian rose create a passionate, fragrant aura. Sophisticated undertones of jasmine and sandalwood add a touch of mystique.

  29. Anonymous says:

    It is a floral, rather heady in the opening, with a non-earthy iris and lots of sandalwood. Not really my style, but pretty.

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