The Charm of the Unfamiliar: Diptyque Strikes Twice

When I first smelled a Diptyque perfume, I would have never imagined what this had led to: I got completely hooked and now I cannot use other perfumes but Diptyque’s. I’m sure anyone who has smelled Diptyque perfumes knows what I’m talking about, because the difference between these and synthetic scents is unfathomable: it’s like smelling a fig before eating it and fig essence, two completely different experiences. The reference to figs is not coincidental, because Philosykos, created in 1996 by Olivia Giacobetti, is the latest Diptyque perfume I’ve bought.

The pure white box and the trademark oval label are the doors of the experience, introduced by the three figs on the label.


The same drawing is reproduced on the oval sticker on the bottle. I am in love with the packaging of this line, because bottles and boxes are always the same, while the labels are characterized by the symbol of the perfume. These details are a reason why I love Diptyque products so much, but I realize I have a thing for objects which have always the same packaging [1], regardless of time and trends.

I am not good at describing perfumes, but I’ll try to. Philosykos is usually compared to a souvenir of summer holidays in Greece, because the main notes of the perfume (fig, wood and white cedar) remind of the summery scents of Greek nature. The fig scent is outstanding and not comparable to any other fig perfumes on the market: this is due to the use of all the parts of a fig tree – not just fruits, but leaves, the milky sap, the bark and roots, too. The fig note is sweet and creamy, but not overwhelming, because it’s balanced by the other notes. I think it’s not a chance if two of my dearest virtual friends have bought (and loved) it after I gushed over it.

And now here is the pièce de résistance of my collection. I must admit I’ve always had a thing for solid perfumes, since one of my aunts gave me a lovely Coty solid perfume in a light purple metal round box when I was a teenager. Diptyque has recently launched solid perfumes of L’Ombre dans l’Eau and Philosykos, but when I saw them on the shelf of my favourite shop , I had no doubts: Philosykos is a lovely perfume, but the other one is MY perfume, so I picked up its solid version.

The packaging is a blue box with the label printed in white. This is a new and interesting colour choice, since the classic colours of the brand are black and white.

When you open the box, the first thing you see is a cute velvet pouch where you can keep your solid perfume.

And here is the perfume compact in all its glory. I think this is one of the most luxurious objects I’ve ever owned: the compact is oval, made of black metal and closed by a magnet. There is not the swan, symbol of the perfume, on the compact, but the symbol of the brand, an incense brazier.

I can think of a few other actions that are as old-fashioned as using a solid perfume – including wearing lace gloves and cooking home-made chocolate pudding – but using a solid perfume is one of the most fascinating. A friend of mine – a Diptyque fan who first told me of this brand – always says the two of us have decadent and Victorian tastes: of course I agree with him, so I wish I could turn back time, dressed in white and wearing pearls like Milly Theale, sipping my tea in front of a burning fireplace, surrounded by a scented cloud of L’Ombre dans l’Eau. It would be wonderful, wouldn’t it?

[1] Think of NARS products: the sleek rubber-like black cases with white lettering are pure perfection and simplicity.

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15 comments

  1. Teresa, I have to thank you if now I’m into Diptyque’s world!
    Philosykos is the best scent I ever smelled so far and my favourite perfume right now.
    I haven’t smelled “L’ombre dans l’eau” yet and I’m so curious :)
    And what about the compact? I LOVE it!! I need it! So simple yet so elegant…

    1. I really think you should try L’Ombre as soon as possible. I don’t know why, but it always gets something started in me, it’s simply amazing. It smells roses and green notes, and mysterious waters, and God knows what else!!!

      The compact is to die for. I still have to use it and I admit I am afraid of using it because it’s so beautiful!

  2. I have now two obsessions: l’Eau Trois (my favorite, it’s even better than Incense Avignon by Comme des Garçons) and Tam Dao (I’ve just got it and I’m already addicted).
    I actually don’t know if I should love Diptyque or not: before discovering it, I didn’t have any specific interest for perfumes and now I cannot leave my house without.

    1. I’ve recently smelled Tam Dao and is lovely!

      Hey, of course you should love Diptyque. I know these perfumes always start a new obsession, but isn’t the obsession for high-quality perfumes something to pursue? ;)

  3. I don’t know Dyptique perfumes very well, but I’ve had a chance to smell the limited edition Xmas candles some weeks ago- it was an intense experience!
    I think solid perfumes are a rare luxury- I am currently using one from L’Occitane, with a beautiful yellow round tin- it smells of bergamot, like my favourite tea. Unfortunately it does not last very long- do you know whether Dyptique has any fragrance that contains bergamot?

    1. The Christmas candles (limited edition) look gorgeous, but I haven’t smelled them yet.

      As for Diptyque fragrance containing bergamot, I can suggest a few of them:
      Do Son is a flowery fragrance (tuberose, berries and iris), but with a touch of orange tree leaves
      L’Eau de Neroli is a cologne containing Italian bergamot, verbena, neroli, Tunisian orange blossom, patchouli and white musk
      L’Eau de Tarocco is another cologne containing Italian tarocco orange, grapefruit, saffron, ginger, cinnamon, curcuma and Bulgarian rose, cedar wood and white musk (it sounds gorgeous!)
      L’Eau de l’Eau is yet another cologne containing Italian green mandarin, grapefruit, clove leaves, cinnamon bark, geranium, orange blossom, Tonka bean and patchouli
      L’Eau des Hesperides is a cologne containing bitter orange, mandarin, lemon and petitgrain with herbs, cedar and white musks

      If I were you, I’d give all the colognes a try, because they all have citrus notes!

  4. That is one big coicidence: just yesterday I dragged a friend into a Diptyque store on Bleecker St. I’m a seasoned fan of the Choisya candle; I find it very subtle and unique, and I’ve given it as a present to very few, special people.

    Come to think of it, it’s kind of silly, but I’ve always felt that a scent, whatever its form, is one of the most private and revealing gift you could give somebody. Smell is actually one of the most powerful senses–there’s is a huge body of research in the areas of emotions and memory that builds upon smell as a trigger of many other more sophisticated and conscious processes.

    Sorry, Diptyque off-topic effect :-)

  5. ciao superqueen, ti seguo da tanto tempo anche se non ho mai commentato… :)
    volevo chiederti come si chiama il font che hai usato in questo post per scrivere sopra le fotografie, è davvero carino e mi servirebbe proprio così per una presentazione!
    ti ringrazio in anticipo, e complimenti davvero per il blog, sia quello vecchio che quello nuovo ;)

  6. io presuntuosamente mi ritaglio uno spazio tra un rigo e l’altro di questo post. quell’amico pioniere lo conosco.
    confermo la mia terna:
    a) Philosykos
    b) L’eau
    c) Eau Trois
    e Geranium Rosa come candela.

    1. Ehhh, mi sa proprio che lo conosci ;)

      L’Eau e l’Eau Trois devo ancora provarli ma ho la sensazione che non facciano per me.

  7. Great post. But I hate to be the bearer of bad news but as someone who has a relative working in the perfume trade, I can assure you that the scents used in Diptyque’s range, while some are naturally derived, all are synthetic.

    1. Really? I had no idea they were synthetic! So what do you think is the reason why they smell so different from “commercial” perfumes? I’m no expert but I’d really love to know more about this.

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