Maison Bouche, the East Bay Chocolatier, has come tantalizingly close to creating a lavender chocolate bar that works, and by works I mean doesn't remind one ineluctably of soap. The most impressive thing about its Lavande des Hautes-Alpes et Fleur de Sel bar (and no it is not going to translate for you) is how succesfully the flavor layers hit. First comes the intense lavender, then a wave of sea salt, then the creamy milk chocolate. Whole milk powder is used and it really shows. Unfortunately I don't know that it's possible for lavender in a foodstuff to completely escape the curse of the bath product, and adding extra lavender flavor to the alleged high alps lavender itself doesn't help. So as usual with these types of bar, only real floral lovers need apply. The question you are probably asking yourself is 'if you feel this way about lavender, why did you buy the bar?' and a fair question it is. The fault lies with BiRite, and the way it deals with its space constraints. BiRite is, of course, tiny. One of the things that suffers is its selection of non-BiRite products. When it carries a brand it generally only carries a few examples at a time. Maison Bouche makes a bar with tiny bits of crumbled crepes in it (crepes!) and yet BiRite chooses this variety instead, among the piffling two it carries. So strange.