Last week, I received two bottles of my favorite perfumes as a sort of Thanksgiving gift, and I am elated !
You see, I love boutique and niche brands, and I love all things vintage and French, so Diptyque is right up my alley.
There is something wonderful in smelling rare, of truly having a signature fragrance – when you buy a best-selling perfume, even if your skin’s chemistry will change the perfume, you will essentially be wearing the same fragrance as other people. While perfume like this is a rare luxury (thankfully, these bottles were gifts!), if you’re a perfume addict like me, they’re worth every cent.
Diptyque is one of those iconic French luxury brands – the candles are absolutely cult, and I lusted over them for nearly 10 years before getting my first one. Most of the chic Parisian homes I visit have a Diptyque candle, everywhere from the left bank intelligent crowd in Saint Germain des Près to the glamorous apartments on the Avenue Montaigne. It wasn’t until later that I discovered Diptyque perfumes, and I am SO glad that I did – when I wear them, people say I smell rare, feminine, and even expensive, which are strangely pleasant compliments to hear on one’s perfume.
All of Diptyque‘s fragrances are unisex and made with the finest ingredients. They use some of the best ‘noses’ in the business, and have created a cult, if exclusive, following for their fragrances – I have a number of friends, both male and female, who swear by their Philoskyos perfume, described as THE fig perfume to end all fig perfumes! They also have a range of luxury skin care, which is very tempting, but also excessively expensive (perhaps once I’ve made my first million, I’ll indulge)!
Inside the simply chic white gift bag, I found two fragrances wrapped up in brightly colored tissue paper – Vetyverio, my usual fragrance, and L’ombre dans L’eau, a new treat.
The packaging is lovely with thick glass bottles and hand designed labels that I feel give the bottles a bit of intellectual charm, as though they came from a secret apothecary many decades ago.
The first perfume is Vetyverio, which I have been wearing for about a year and a half, regardless of season. It is described as a woody fragrance with notes of mandarin, grapefruit, lemon, bergamot, ylang ylang, Turkish rose, geranium, vetiver, carrot seeds, nutmeg, apricot, clove, cedar and musk.
From the Diptyque website: “Ambivalence, elegance and sensuality, both masculine and feminine. The highly masculine vetiver plays an intimate adagio with the most feminine of all flowers: the rose.”
The citrus top notes, while classifying this technically as a chypre fragrance (oh so trendy in Paris these days) aren’t noticeable on my skin, but what I do get is powdery rose on the first smell, with a dry down of vetiver, geranium, and rose. This perfume is so unique because it is the ONLY vetiver fragrance I know of that manages to remain feminine, and doesn’t use overpowering musk. On my skin, this smells clean, fresh and bright – the geranium makes appearances throughout the day to keep this very green indeed – and I do get strong hints of the rose as well (which as you know, I enjoy). Some people have reported getting whiffs of sweet apricot, these don’t make an appearance at all on me. There is nothing synthetic about this fragrance, which is a wonderful change from so many of the perfumes on the market today. The sillage is excellent and stays throughout the day – but I have to be careful to apply this sparingly, otherwise it can be overpoweringly floral and fragrant. To speak of the lasting power – I sprayed this on my scarf last week and it still smells as though I had just sprayed it, despite numerous cigarette breaks. While this would work well on both men and women, I do find that the rose that comes out so clearly on my skin makes this more of a feminine fragrance for me – though rose was once a staple in men’s perfume!
The second perfume, L’ombre dans L’eau, is one that I had fallen in love with but not yet bought for myself. Launched in 1983, it is described as a floral fragrance with notes of blackcurrant nectar and Bulgarian rose.
From the Diptyque website: “Recalls the rustling of petals and the leaves of bushes heavy with fruit in an English garden.”
What’s strange about this fragrance is that the fruity notes don’t show at all on my skin. This fragrance is VERY green, perhaps even overwhelmingly so. The only way that I could possibly describe it would be like walking in a wet garden, crushing ivy underfoot – which makes this fragrance a little bit magical for me, reminding me of the ivy in our garden when I was a little girl. This fragrance is sharper than Vetyverio, with none of the powder of the former, and takes me a few seconds before I can really enjoy it. Once the initial sharpness has worn off, though, this really mellows out on my skin and becomes something I really enjoy – it smells clean, green and bright and very true to nature (once again, no synthetic notes in this one). While the name might mean ‘shadow on the water’, this perfume makes me think of clear sunshine after a rainstorm in spring, and due to that, is more a warmer weather fragrance for me. The roses aren’t as defined as they are in Vetyverio, perhaps due to the extreme green feel, but instead work with the fragrance as a whole. Some have reported getting too much cloying blackcurrant with L’ombre dans L’eau, but as with Vetyverio, I don’t get the sweet notes at all on my skin – perhaps my body eats sweet fragrances and only exudes floral ones? Who knows! This scent is truly neither feminine nor masculine, despite the rose and blackcurrant – it is so very fresh and clean smelling that it would work excellently on anyone who likes clean, grassy fragrances – this gets an A+ on versatility and wearability. The sillage, as always, is fabulous, so spray with discretion and is very long-lasting.
I’m so happy to have been reunited with my favorite Vetyverio and to have added L’ombre dans L’eau to my collection after a long wait – these were wonderful gifts, and would make excellent Christmas gifts as well if you know the fragrance preferences of the receiver. Everything about this brand is beautiful and simple – the picture of refined, Parisian elegance, though I do think that the gift packaging could have been a bit more festive. In a day and age where it seems I smell Thierry Mugler‘s terrible ‘Angel’ and the sickly sweet ‘Amor Amor’ by Cacharel everywhere I turn, it’s wonderful to be able to find a signature fragrance, especially ones that are so evocative of olfactory memories.
Each bottle is 120 USD for 3.4 Oz/100ml, or 88 USD for the smaller (50ml) versions.
Diptyque is sold at their boutiques in New York and SF, as well as at selected Neiman Marcus and Barney’s stores.
Visit their US website for more information:
Note: If you’re in Paris for the holidays, Diptyque currently has a pop-up store open at Galleries Lafayette Maison on Boulevard Haussmann. You won’t see me there due to insane crowds on the blvd at this time of year, but it might be worth a peek if you’re in the neighborhood!