Serge Kalouguine: 3 posts

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.

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Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau : Perfume Review

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One of the great vagaries of a perfume habit is how you can end up besotted with a fragrance that you originally disliked. Somewhere in the mid-nineties I came across Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau, a fusion of tangy blackcurrant leaf, dark rose, and white grapefruit. It was completely out of step with the perfumes I knew in those days when niche fragrances were more or less not known or available stateside.

reflections

At the time, I was wearing one of those huge glitzy florals (Dior Poison!) and L’Ombre dans L’Eau was its exact opposite. The green intensity of blackcurrant leaf in particular struck me the wrong way, as if the edges were sharp, cold, and brutal.  The fragrance smelled not of a shadow in the water (as its name would be translated from French) but of digging in a garden in the dog days of summer, hands in the dirt around a rose bush, with a heat haze dragging the bitter, earthy and resinous smell of tomato leaf through the thick air.  It was too photorealistic, this experiential French scent, and the leafiness was such that one might experience it as both a smell and as a taste, as if somewhere in one’s memory was trapped a childhood remembrance of biting into a tomato.

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Diptyque L’Eau Trois : Fragrance Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

“The church, which stood in gloomy isolation at the outer edge of the village, was of age-blackened wood, overgrown with green moss, and surmounted by three conical cupolas. It was at once apparent that no service had been held in it for many a long year. Candles were now burning before almost every icon.” Nikolai Gogol, a Ukrainian-born Russian writer, paints such a vivid picture of the village church in his story Viy that as I continued to read, I could almost smell the decaying woods, the grey incense smoke and the peeling resinous varnish on the pillars. It was in Diptyque L’Eau Trois—notwithstanding the creators’ intent to capture the aroma of Northern Greece—that I have found the scent of that forsaken church, haunting and intoxicating.

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