diptyque: 16 posts

Diptyque Volutes : Perfume Review


Scarves are my favorite accessories. I love the way the sheer organza feels on my shoulders in the summer. The warm heft of a thick, cable-knit wool feels comforting on blistering cold days in the winter. My work uniform of jeans and black sweater can be easily spiced up with a piece of silk in cobalt blue or the Russian style tasseled square in red.  In an overlap with my sartorial wardrobe, I have a whole category of fragrances I categorize as my “scarf” perfumes. They usually stay close to the skin and have a warm, smoky drydown. To smell them on me, you would have to lean in close, and I love the intimate aura they create.

One such warm and smoky contender has been Diptyque Volutes, which I’ve been testing over the past couple of weeks. Volutes in French means swirls, as in swirls of smoke, and as Volutes unfolds gently on skin and wraps me in its warm embrace, it indeed makes me think of sweet cherry scented tobacco. The story behind Volutes is of the transatlantic journeys one of Diptyque’s original founders, Yves Coueslant, used to make as a child, crossing from Marseille to Saigon and back. The vision of the “elegant ladies leaning on the ship’s rail smoking their Khedive cigarettes” inspired this languid perfume. These ladies must also have worn Shalimar, because this Guerlain classic was my immediate association with Volutes.

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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


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.


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 Eau Rose : Fragrance Review



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

Whenever I am given a bouquet of roses, I instinctively lean in to smell them. What a disappointment! Most roses are bred to be completely scentless, and the only fragrance that clings to them is that of green foliage and wrapping paper. Being deprived of perfumed roses, I have a sentimental fondness for tea rose scents that remind me of freshly cut flowers. My most recent contender for a pretty English rose is Diptyque Eau Rose, a composition so uncluttered and straightforward that it manages to succeed where many rich blends fail.

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Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germain : Fragrance Review



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

For their 50th anniversary, Diptyque has launched a perfume capturing the scent of its first boutique located on 34 Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris. The idea behind the eponymous fragrance was to capture the main elements of the famous Diptyque: L’Ombre dans l’Eau, Philosykos, L’Eau, Do Son. Blending various disparate accords is often liable to produce a pastiche effect, and perhaps, this is exaclty what happened with 34 Boulevard Saint Germain, which while competent, does not have a strong character.  For a niche launch, it especially seems too safe and traditional: a soft-spoken fougère that would not be out of place on the masculine side of the fragrance bar at Macy’s.

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Latest Comments

  • Vincent V. in Reading Sa’di’s Gulistan: I love it, thanks for sharing this Victoria! Currently, I’m reading Du côté de chez Swann (Swann’s way) by M. Proust. It also makes me sit up and think every… October 4, 2022 at 3:14am

  • Michele Davis in Reading Sa’di’s Gulistan: I’m reading Clive James Poetry Collection which you can find online using those words. I particularly love reading aloud “Language Lessons”. It’s not as floral or exquisite as Victoria’s regular… October 3, 2022 at 10:39pm

  • Michele Davis in Reading Sa’di’s Gulistan: I agree!! October 3, 2022 at 10:32pm

  • Fazal in Reading Sa’di’s Gulistan: This is awesome. I have often said that if ever a young person asked me for an advice, I will say this, “If there is only one advice I could… October 3, 2022 at 7:03pm

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