Scented Advent, December 9

The Guerlain sample of the day is Iris Torréfié, which was created by Delphine Jelk and launched in 2020. I had to look up the word “torréfié”, as it was unfamiliar; it means roasted, often in reference to coffee beans. Sure enough, among the notes listed for the fragrance is coffee. The full notes list on Fragrantica is: Top notes, Cardamom, Coffee and Bergamot; middle notes, iris and Ambrette (Musk Mallow); base notes, Leather, Tea, Vanilla and Amber. I’ve never associated iris with coffee — or roasting, for that matter — but I do like the opening of Iris Torréfié very much.

Iris Espresso coffee beans
Iris Espresso coffee beans

The very first thing I smell upon spraying my wrists is the iris, and it’s a beauty. Rich, a bit fruity, a bit carroty — it’s a gorgeous iris. And who knew? There is an actual iris called “Coffee Trader”. So maybe they are meant to be together after all!

Tall bearded iris "Coffee Trader"
Iris “Coffee Trader”; image from

I don’t smell cardamom at all in the opening, and I’m a little disappointed by that because I love the smell of cardamom. I do smell the bergamot; it makes a quick appearance to brighten the opening and then steps back. If I hadn’t been told there was a coffee note in Iris Torréfié, I would not have known. To my nose, the opening is all about iris with a light touch of bergamot.

In the middle phase, the iris is still dominant, still gorgeous. There is an underlying muskiness that emerges, which must be attributable to the ambrette. As Iris Torréfié dries down, the base reveals itself to be a warm combination of leather, vanilla, and amber; I don’t smell the listed note of tea. The iris continues to reign, warm but not “roasted.” All of these accords play very nicely with each other, while keeping the iris the star of the show. The leather is very subtle and segues smoothly from the ambrette.

Iris Torréfié is a lovely fragrance, and the first among my Guerlain samples that could tempt me to a full bottle, even though I have several iris-forward fragrance. It has just the right balance of floralcy and vaguely spicy, soft leather. Have you tried it? What did you think?

9 thoughts on “Scented Advent, December 9

  1. I love Iris Torreife! I sampled it a few times when it first came out and bought a bottle a few months later. I get the tea note on the drydown and I do like it, but I agree that the beautiful iris is the star of the show. I’ll wear mine for Saturday. I wore Angelique Noire, another favorite, today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried this at the Guerlain store in Epcot once and remember liking the opening as well. It might have turned too cloying on me later, but this was during hot, humid summer. May have to try it again in cool weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is high on my list of things I want to try. I am not a huge Iris lover, but the combination sounds so interesting. Disappointing that you can’t get any cardamom, though – love the smell of that.


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