Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, Do Son and Philosykos Eau de Parfum : Reviews

The intense green of sun warmed tomato leaves, the salty taste of red fruit, the bitter pungency of black currant buds… On my wrist was the smell of my fantasy summer, long walks in the park and lounging on the grass included.  When I reached for the new Eau de Parfum formulation of Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, I didn’t expect it to be dramatically different from the original L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. Much to my surprise, it was!

The fragrance was so exhilarating and vivid that a single whiff won me over. I stepped out into the grey afternoon holding the perfume box wrapped in thin, crackly paper. It might have been raining, but as I pressed my nose to my wrist and inhaled the perfume of crushed leaves and earthy roses, I didn’t even notice.

I rarely purchase perfume on the spot, so at first I was worried that my impulsive purchase of  L’Ombre Dans L’Eau was just a momentary fancy. As I’ve been wearing it almost daily over the past couple of weeks, I knew that this is in fact true love. Compared to the EDT, the EDP  is richer and denser. The green notes that in the EDT are the delicate buds of spring; in the EDP they are the dark green leaves of late summer, smelling of dust and rain drops. This kind of heavy green note would have been unbearably rough if it were not wrapped in the honeyed sweetness of rose.

The licorice darkness of myrrh and amber gives the drydown of the EDP a seductive accent, which is such an unexpected contrast to the sparkling top notes. It’s a perfume to wear from morning to evening, and its lasting power is good enough to sustain your scented aura for the whole day. If you loved the original EDT, you will find the EDP a more dramatic and intense experience. But it also retains the wistful, dream-like quality that makes this Diptyque fragrance such a marvel.

Encouraged by my success with L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, I tried the EDP versions of Philosykos and Do Son. I found the EDTs interesting, but too linear and one-dimensional. Unlike with L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, these EDP concentrations change the accents, but don’t add more lines to the story. Do Son feels creamier and warmer, an etude of white petals soaked in coconut milk. Philosykos, on other hand, starts out green and fresh, only to become sappy and woody. If you love the fig leaf coyness of the EDT, you’ll find the EDP similarly charming. However, I miss the transparency and crystalline freshness in the new take. As I wear the EDP, I realize that those were the traits that made Philosykos appealing.

Of course, the Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum and Extrait de Parfum appellations don’t mean much, because sometimes the EDT can contain a higher percentage of fragrance oil than the EDP. Nevertheless, comparing different concentrations of the Diptyque perfumes once again made me realize how much difference even a small change can make. A richer floral note, a juicier orange, a thicker layer musk, and the fragrance has a new completely character. No wonder the reformulations are so fiendishly complicated.

Do you have any perfume that you prefer in one concentration over another (EDT, EDP, parfum)?

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49 Comments

  • Lucas: Oh no 😉 Philosykos in EDP concentration would be even more unbearable for me. I can’t stand the EDT version, really! fig like this is not for me. Well I would say more, I thought I don’t like fig in perfume at all but then I’ve found Ninfeo Mio with a fig I like. July 13, 2012 at 7:33am Reply

    • Victoria: Philosykos in both forms isn’t for me either. I find it too one-dimensional, and I get tired of it very quickly. But I know that it’s a very popular perfume and it has many fans.
      My favorite fig is Hermes Un Jardin en Méditerranée, because it’s more blended into woody and sheer jasmine notes. Ninfeo Mio is another one I like very much. July 13, 2012 at 8:02am Reply

      • Lucas: Hermes’s Jardins don’t work for me either so for this moment I claim Ninfeo Mio to be the only figy scent I can wear, I’m sure that accidentally I’ll discover few more which will be working for me. July 13, 2012 at 8:10am Reply

        • Victoria: Ok, let’s see what else… Have you tried Marc Jacobs Men? It was a take on Philosykos, but I actually prefer MJ to Philosykos. The new Armani Privé Figuier is pretty good too, a green tea and fig perfume with a crisp amber note. L’Artisan Premier Figuier is worth trying too.

          I also adore DelRae Bois de Paradis for a jammy, sweet fig note, but I don’t know where you can find this line in Europe. Just mentioning it to you in case you come across it in your explorations, since you seem to be so adventurous. 🙂 July 13, 2012 at 8:31am Reply

          • Lucas: Thanks Victoria! It’s not that I’m on a special look-out for a fig scent, now that I discovered Ninfeo Mio I’m sure I’ll buy it one day (and make a split)
            I already have my queue on my “perfume to buy” list. Think the 1st position will be fulfilled right at the beginning of August July 14, 2012 at 4:34am Reply

            • Victoria: If you’re anything like me–reading blogs and checking the launch news, your list of perfumes to try must be a mile long. 🙂 I no longer want to try every single new perfume, but I still get excited about the possibility of something interesting. July 14, 2012 at 3:11pm Reply

  • Anna Minis: There are figtrees in my street, and their leaves smell so wonderful, that I am glad to have this in winter in my bottle of Philosykos! It may be lineair, but it captures very good the scent of the real figleaves. But I think eau de toilette is better for this kind of perfume, have to try. Thank you for the post, Victoria. July 13, 2012 at 8:18am Reply

    • Victoria: I had a small potted fig tree, and I loved the scent of the leaves. Not sure if you can pick the leaves from your trees, but if you can, try wrapping fish in them before baking or grilling it. The flavor is just incredible–roasted almonds and sweet hay. Mushrooms are good baked on a bed of fig leaves. July 13, 2012 at 8:36am Reply

  • Andy: Just the other day I got this intense craving for fresh figs—when I finally got some, I spent a lot of time just smelling them, and it reminded me of how much I love fig notes. I don’t think I’d like a richer variant on Philosykos, though. The freshness and clarity is so important to me in fig fragrances, because fig notes can get so sticky and heavy if there are too many other notes around. That said, however, I was intrigued to learn that fig accords are in fact created by a combination of specific notes—sappy green notes, earthy fruity notes, and creamy sandalwood or coconut notes. July 13, 2012 at 8:33am Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve been craving figs too, but so far they have been mealy and disappointing here, so I got some dried figs to satisfy my cravings for the time being.

      I completely agree with you that fig notes can get overly heavy and sticky (like Thierry Mugler Womanity which besides a sweet fig has lots of creamy, gourmand notes). To create a perfect fig accord, you don’t need much (mostly a crunchy green note and a sappy-milky one), but it’s so tricky to get the balance right. July 13, 2012 at 8:42am Reply

  • kjanicki: MMmmm the EDP of L’Ombre dans l’eau sounds lovely, but I still have an almost full bottle of the EDT. I’ll gave to give it a sniff though. July 13, 2012 at 8:36am Reply

    • Victoria: Krista, I was thinking of you right away, since I know how much you love this fragrance. If you have a full bottle of the EDT, you probably don’t need the EDP right now, but I think that you will enjoy smelling it. Those green rose notes are even more saturated in this version. July 13, 2012 at 8:38am Reply

  • CM: L’Ombre dans l’eau was one of my very first niche perfumista finds and purchases. I fell heels over head for that green juicy rose and love it in the heat of summer. As I’ve sampled more perfumes, though, I find that this one is very linear. The opening, heart and drydown are very much the same, and it lasts forever! I wonder if the EDP version has that same linear quality?

    I found that I’ve grown tired of the EDT over time. After a few hours, I want it to morph, yet it holds fast to its green rosy self.

    I think I may need to give the EDP a try. July 13, 2012 at 9:26am Reply

    • Victoria: There are more layers to the EDP, which is why I ended up liking it so much. The EDT is sharp on my skin, and after a while it just starts to nag me. But the EDP is more complex. I doubt that it would sway someone who didn’t like the fragrance in the first place, but if you liked the EDT, but were sort of on the fence about it, definitely give the EDP a try. July 13, 2012 at 10:43am Reply

      • annemariec: Ah, that sounds like me. I have been on the fence on this one for ages, and you describe my reaction to the EDT perfectly – it is sharp and it does nag. I should seek out the EDP for sure. July 13, 2012 at 8:30pm Reply

        • Victoria: Anne Marie, sounds like you’re a perfect candidate for the EDP then. 🙂 It has the character of the original, but with a smoother, more voluptuous character. I would love to hear what you think when you get to try it. July 14, 2012 at 3:09pm Reply

          • Heather: I am sorry to jump in here at such a late date, but in the past I had found the EDT to be sharp and to nag too. However I just went out to test the EDP, only found the EDT, and wound up buying it. I am finding it to be softer and more multi-faceted than I remember, and within an hour it has faded considerably and there seems to be more musk than before. It could just be that my memory is off, but I wonder if you have tried the EDT in the new bottle? Do you think there is any chance it has been reformulated? For once I will not complain if it has been, because I am finding this to be very wearable. October 12, 2012 at 10:52am Reply

  • Nicola: Oh I shall look out for these, thanks for the review! I find L’Ombre hard to wear though I love smelling it. Philosykos is one of my favourite fig scents but I agree with you on the note in Bois de Paradis – so jammy. Ninfeo Mio is my favourite fig scent. I liked Do Son though never wore it. Io my mind it was supposed to be a bit watery so the EDP strength might not work. Def worth a sniff though. In terms of concentration, this is a bit of a cheat but Prada’s Infusion d’Iris – I have steadily developed a love for the absolue. I always liked the EDP original but found it too ethereal and the EDT the same. I almost dismissed the absolue because it just smellt the same on first sniff but I’ve got to know it a bit more and though undeniably Infusion d’Iris it is also its own scent. I won’t get started on the classic Guerlains! July 13, 2012 at 9:26am Reply

    • Victoria: I really need to get to the store to smell Infusion d’Iris Absolue. Robin wrote on NST about it, and I just loved her review.

      The classic Guerlains are remarkably different between all their concentrations. I didn’t care for Mitsouko until I discovered it in the parfum form. The Mitsouko parfum then opened my eyes to the beauty of the EDT. July 13, 2012 at 10:46am Reply

  • Sherobin: Oh, now I can’t wait to try EDP versions of all three! L’Ombre dans L’Eau and Philosykos are both favorites of mine. The only thing that sometimes puts me off wearing L’Ombre dans L’eau is that it can be a bit oversweet at times; I would think a bit more earthiness in the base might balance it perfectly. Philosykos I consider to be nearly perfect, but I will take fig almost any way I can get it, so I have high hopes for the EDP.

    Do Son is the one I think really needed to be brought out in EDP. It is pretty, but a bit thin, so I can’t wait to see what they’ve done to flesh it out. July 13, 2012 at 9:32am Reply

    • Victoria: I didn’t care for Do Son all that much to begin with, but the EDP is much better. I agree with you that the EDT was far too pale and thin. The changes give it more oomph, and while it’s still a delicate fragrance, it feels much substantial. July 13, 2012 at 10:47am Reply

  • sacre bleu: I prefer Chanel Cristalle in the edt.
    I prefer Gucci Envy in the edp. July 13, 2012 at 9:38am Reply

    • Victoria: I also prefer the EDT of Cristalle for the sparkling citrus and bitter orange leaf notes. July 13, 2012 at 10:48am Reply

  • Jessica: Oh! Thank you for this review, V! I’ve been wearing L’Ombre dans L’Eau every summer for the past 8 years, at least, and I love everything about it except its tendency to fade so quickly. I can’t wait to try the EDP. I hope it still includes enough rose for me! July 13, 2012 at 9:51am Reply

    • Victoria: I think that it has as much rose as the original one, but the rose feels richer.

      And I ended up liking the new packaging very much. It was unimpressive in the photos, but it turned out to be very well-made and elegant. I love the dark tint to the glass around the edges. The good packaging isn’t a big deal for me, but it’s a nice bonus all the same. July 13, 2012 at 10:50am Reply

  • Elizabeth: True story: When I was twelve, I received a perfume-making kit for my birthday. It included formulas for making different types of perfumes. My favorite one was the “Oriental Bouquet,” a smell which I recognized again many years later in….L’Ombre Dans l’Eau! I don’t know why they called it oriental (or maybe my memory is wrong) but the smell was very similar. July 13, 2012 at 11:07am Reply

    • Victoria: See, you were a perfumista from the very young age. 🙂 And had a perfume-making kit too! I love this story, Elizabeth.
      So, did you make any custom blends? July 13, 2012 at 11:28am Reply

      • Elizabeth: Of course! My favorite accords were the bergamot (no surprise, as I always loved my mother’s Shalimar) and the florals, especially rose and jasmine. I remember being puzzled by the amber, because I knew that the gemstone amber didn’t have a smell. I had no idea what it was, but it smelled good! I think I made my own primitive Shalimar (though I didn’t know it at the time) by combining bergamot, jasmine, and amber. July 13, 2012 at 11:36am Reply

        • Victoria: You were a sophisticated 12 year old! 🙂
          Kids are actually so receptive to scents. At one point, in the perfumery school, we had to host a group of schoolkids who came to learn about fragrance. They were so excited to smell and while they didn’t have the vocabulary to describe scents, their responses were so spontaneous and refreshing. Perfumer Christophe Laudamiel worked with the Fragrance Foundation to create scent kits for schools. I am not sure what happened with this program in the end, but it was a lot of fun. July 13, 2012 at 12:06pm Reply

  • Elisa: Oh wow! I am now glad that I haven’t yet bought a bottle of LODLE in the EDT, because the EDP sounds wonderful. I will have to try it soon.

    For the longest time I didn’t understand why people always say the EDP of Donna Karan Gold is better than the EDT, as I have bottles of both and they smell and look the same to me. Then a friend sniffed both and said my EDT bottle is clearly mislabeled, and they’re both EDP. So I still don’t know what the EDT actually smells like. July 13, 2012 at 11:10am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t remember off the top of my head the difference between Gold EDT and EDP, but I recall liking one over the other. One of them, I think that EDP, had more incense and myrrh, while the other was fresher and greener. But I need to dig through my samples and compare. July 13, 2012 at 11:24am Reply

    • Victoria: Duh! Just checked my own old review of Gold, and I see that I described the differences in it:
      http://boisdejasmin.com/2006/11/donnakaran_gold.html
      Sounds like my favorites were the EDP and the parfum. July 13, 2012 at 11:29am Reply

  • greatsheelephant: I agree that the current version of Philosykos in edt is somewhat linear. To my nose the edp smells more like the edt used to when I first wore it in the 1990s, although the dry down is perhaps a little different. July 13, 2012 at 11:11am Reply

    • Victoria: Some people also mentioned here before that L’Ombre Dans L’Eau EDT doesn’t smell like it used, that it has gotten thinner over the years. The EDPs of all three perfumes have so much more richness. July 13, 2012 at 11:22am Reply

  • Elena: Oh no! After Suzanna’s enticing review, I was forced to get a sample of the EdT, and I just love it. This sounds even better. You two are wrecking my resolve to get just one full bottle per quarter. I just picked up Violet Blonde, I have asked for Chanel no. 19 EdP for my birthday, and l’Ombre dans l’Eau would be number three. At least my increasing credit card bills smell fantastic… Speaking of fig, I tested Womanity yesterday. I didn’t know it was possible to be bludgeoned by such a small fruit! July 13, 2012 at 1:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: Sorry! We didn’t mean to. 🙂 Suzanna’s review is what prompted me to revisit L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, and then I noticed the new tester for the EDP… and that’s how I ended up with a bottle.

      Womanity is a monster! I like this fragrance, but I can’t wear it. I discovered, however, that it smells great on my husband. His skin brings out the marine-salty notes much more than the sweet ones. However, I can’t persuade him to wear something called “Womanity.” 🙂 July 13, 2012 at 3:18pm Reply

      • Elena: In some ways, I enjoyed it too. I won’t be buying it, but I have to admit I kept going back and sniffing that arm like crazy, just to try to get a hit of it when the woodiness, sweetness, and saltiness did balance perfectly. It just didn’t happen often enough for me. At least it’s not boring! July 13, 2012 at 4:51pm Reply

        • Victoria: If you come across the shower gel at discount, I highly recommend it. It has the addictive sweet-saltiness of the perfume, but without too much richness. And it lingers nicely on skin. July 13, 2012 at 5:36pm Reply

  • grain de musc: I’ve been comparing the edt and edp versions of the Diptyques and though I’m not much of a rose person, I agree L’Ombre dans l’eau edp is very good indeed. It’s actually — as are all these new fragrances — a different formula, not just a change in concentration. And I suspect there’s a decent amount of rose oil. July 13, 2012 at 2:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: D, here, the change is for the best, IMO. I love how rich and vivid L’Ombre Dans L’Eau suddenly feels. July 13, 2012 at 3:23pm Reply

  • Undina: I remember that I really liked the opening of L’Ombre Dans L’Eau EdT but then it developed too sweet on my skin (which is very strange since I do not smell many “sweets” in perfumes that others do). I will give them both a try when I have a chance.

    I have a couple of perfumes I prefer in one concentration or the other: Chanel No 19 – my favorite is EdT, then comes parfum (and I do not care much for the EdP); vero profumo’s Rubj Extrait de Parfum smells so beautiful and EdP is an immediate scrubber on my skin. July 13, 2012 at 2:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: Rubj is a great example of that! I also couldn’t warm up to the EDP. I liked it, but it didn’t make the earth move. On the other hand, I fell hard for the parfum. It’s still among my top favorites. July 13, 2012 at 3:25pm Reply

  • slinkypanther: I too revisited this marvelous fragrance and just love it. I have been wearing the L’Ombre roll-on perfume oil for the past two weeks. I am eagerly awaiting the EDP especially after your review. Any news on when it’s going to hit the U. S. shores? July 14, 2012 at 12:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think that it will be around starting late August-early September. It’s already sold in Europe in various stores, not just Diptyque boutiques, so this usually means that it’s coming to the US soon. July 14, 2012 at 3:10pm Reply

  • Robin: I love the sharpness of the EdT, so might end up liking it better, but now I do look forward to trying these, & had not even thought much about them before. Surprised they are not doing Tam Dao, or are they? July 14, 2012 at 10:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: One of my friends said that the EDP smells to her the way L’Ombre Dans L’Eau used to smell when it first came out. I never wore it that much (and certainly not when it was first launched), so I was curious to hear that. At any rate, I would love to hear what you think.

      Tam Dao would be wonderful in the EDP! And also Eau Lente, another one of my Diptyque favorites. July 15, 2012 at 1:24pm Reply

  • neil chapman: I LOVE the sound of the new L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, and your wonderful reaction to it. In Japan they have the solid perfumes and now the oil version of Ombre and Philosokos, but I haven’t heard of any EDP releases…..

    Do Son I bought at the time, but came to realize it has something very synthetic and ugly at its heart. …L’Ombre creates real poetry. A bit snobbish; but beautiful and melancholy. July 16, 2012 at 10:50am Reply

    • Victoria: Did you try the solid perfume? It’s very good, and I was tempted to buy it as well. However, at the last moment, I realized that I would never finish the bottle of the EDP anyway, so there is no point in getting the solid perfume as well. July 16, 2012 at 12:03pm Reply

  • Dila98: I love ur review on Ombré!! Love the scent. It’s my favorite since Hermes’ un jardin sur Le toit. January 15, 2013 at 6:54pm Reply

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