Payards – who wants dessert?


Pastry chefs and perfume.  Let’s just think about that for a minute.  Really great pastry chef makes perfumes.  Well, they hired Calice Becker to make their perfume.  Everyone ready to go with that for a bit?

Gourmands have the capability to be the absolute worst perfumes in the world and also be some of the most compellingly sniffable. I’ve smelled a lot of them that are the worst, and it is perplexing to try and figure out how someone could make a perfume that smelled sickly sweet and think that was a good idea to put on your skin.  Can a pastry chef and Calice make this work?  I have my doubts.

Bergamot Truffle has notes of Dark chocolate, Calabrian bergamot, orange flower and Tahitian vanilla.  Well, it’s definitely a gourmand, and they skirt that chocolate note that just makes my nose scream for mercy.  It pretty  much smells like, well, a truffle.  Do you suppose I can just sniff this when I’m jonesin’ for a truffle or two?   I’ll be upfront and say I don’t want to wear this – well probably don’t want to wear this, um, very often, maybe just to bed or when I’m hungry.  Not because it doesn’t smell good – it really does smell great. I just don’t want to smell like a chocolate truffle wrapped up in some sweet florals. That’s just me.  If you love gourmands, you reall should try it.  It smells great, walking that fine line on chocolate and sweetness without toppling off the fence.

I’m less optimistic about Lychee Mousse, but what the hell.  Notes of White chocolate, lychee meringue, raspberry and Turkish rosewater make up this perfume.  I get Lychee, lychee and more lychee on the open.  The chocolate does rear up after that and diffuse some of that overwhelming lychee.  A blessing. It’s not bad, it reminds me of some Montales that do chocolate.  Again, it smells good, pretty much like a lychee mousse, but I’m not going to wear this either because I don’t want to smell like that as I walk through my day. They’ll laugh at me in spin class and then go hunt up a chocolate mousse after class without knowing why they’re craving it.

Pistachio Ganache, which I was most hopeful about for wearability.  Notes of Milk chocolate, pistachio nougat, lavender honey and Egyptian jasmine.  Oik.  That honey note on the open sure is strong.  Okay, better now, I can breathe.  This is really lovely.  Delicate, once it dries down a bit and just makes my mouth water. I might wear this one because it’s just not sweet and not as purely gourmandish. The honey and lavender give it enough additional notes to make it work for me.

All three of the Payards are beautifully done. Restrained gourmands that aren’t going to suck you into the sweet zone.  If you like gourmands, you should definitely take a look at these.  50 mls for $40-something is not a financial owie.

  • tammy says:

    I, too, will pass on these. As gourmands go, they sound lovely, but I just can’t fathom going around smelling like a dessert. I feel the same way about scented candles; just don’t care for the bakery scents, although I admit they smell good. But if I want my house to smell like a sugar cookie, I’ll bake me some!

  • Elle says:

    I’ve tried these and, since I adore pistachios, I had some hope for that one. It’s definitely subtle and certainly not an obnoxious, in your face gourmand, but when I’ve had it on, I find myself unconsciously glancing around to see who else in the room has perfume on – simply doesn’t smell like something which is in sync w/ me. The other two never even made it past the initial sampling.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Oh dear – no thank you. I do confess to loving Iris Ganache, which is not overly sweet on me at all, but the idea of a chocolate scent makes me feel slightly nauseous, especially in warm weather.

    But thank you for the review! Now I know not to be tempted (by the scents, that is. The macaroons are a different proposition).

  • violetnoir says:

    Girl, I was wondering about these, but waiting for someone else to try them first!

    Gourmands always make me crave sweets, so I think I need to steer clear of these…but I would like to try them as a dessert, especially the Bergarmot Truffle and Pistachio Ganache. I’m salivating just thinking about the ingredients and how they would taste!

    Hugs and love!

  • Joe says:

    Hmm, with the vast river of perfume passing us by day by day, I think I can let these just float downstream, though I’ll happily sniff if one ends up in my swap bucket one day.

    For some reason, though, I still keep thinking about that Guerlain Iris Ganache thing that I never tried. It’s calling me.

  • Hi Patty! Thanks for the write-up.

    I don’t suppose I’m their target audience exactly, but I am much more comfortable with Payard doing high-gourmands than say Guerlain doing calorific tonnage to kill insuline-resistant people from across the street. And I admire the guts to go for the modest prices (enfin!) although it’s a little weird they’re lower than actual Payard desserts comparatively. Perhaps if they embelish the deal with offering a little amuse-bouche I’ll bite (couldn’t resist!!)

  • Nava says:

    I’ve been eyeing these up since I spotted them on LuckyScent. I am an absolute sucker for a good gourmand, and I think it completely ironic that their prices are less than the actual dessert creations at the Payard store.

    • Nava says:

      Where’s that lightbulb emoticon??? These are eaux de colognes. How’s their lasting power?

  • mals86 says:

    NST mentioned these a while back. They didn’t appeal to me then, and they don’t appeal to me now. Smell like chocolate? No, no, no. I might want to smell like the sun tea my friend Mary Catherine makes – really strong black tea, sugar, lemon and mint. I might want to smell like chai, or, as March says, a mojito, but truffles? Ack.

    • Musette says:

      I don’t know if this will do it for you but my summer ‘tea’ fix is Agraria Bitter Orange, which is so fresh and smells exactly like Constant Comment iced tea. Yum!

      The Payards are making my head ache, as I type this. Try as I might I cannot manage the gourmands, though so many of them sound good enough to eat! the one sweet note I like is honey, which brings me to….

      …. Serge. Lydia (who used to be at L’Artisan, now closed, and is now at Barneys) talked me into trying Miel de Bois again……and I think I might like it quite a bit.


      • mals86 says:

        Oooh, thanks! I’ll check that one out! I think I’ll also spring for some of that L’Occitane Bergamot Tea, it sounds refreshing.

  • March says:

    Woman, you are braver than I am! Joining Francesca in wondering what LT would think of these. I want something that smells like a mojito for summer. 😉

  • Melissa says:

    Guerlain is about as gourmand as I can go these days, but I could see wearing the pistachio, as long as the honey really does calm down. Strange that I picked that one, because I don’t really like milk chocolate, only dark. And honey isn’t my thing either. But maybe it supports the idea that most of us don’t want to smell like the foods that we love to eat?

  • Louise says:

    I have one choco-frag that I wear, lightly, on occasion, but seem to be running quickly away from gourmands into the arms of bitter herbs and dry aldehydes.

    However, I do dream of a really nice really bitter chocolate scent to layer with some of my too-sweet treats, especially my vanillas and tobaccos. CB, are you listening? Please :))

  • Francesca says:

    The lychee one sounds interesting, but these all seem a little foody for me. Wonder what LT would have to say about them, since he always loves Calice Becker’s frags.

  • carter says:

    Well, I lovee Payard, but in me, not on me. I’m not much of a gourmand girly, but I’m game, I guess. Sorta. I do have to say that I’m a bit disappointed that there is no macaron something-or-other, because mainly I go to Payard for the macarons. The pistachio one sounds quite tasty, I must admit 🙂