Tuesday, May 28, 2013


zebra volute shells by *omnia*
zebra volute shells, a photo by *omnia* on Flickr.
Diptyque's has already won my heart if not at least gained my deepest respect time and again with their classics - Philosykos, Oyedo, l'Ombre Dans l'Eau, Ofresia and Tam Dao. But I kinda stopped following their latest releases as I found them all to be pleasant enough; yet non has stirred anything in me. I probably would have dismissed Volutes completely if it wasn't for Trish's enthusiastic recommendation - she literally left a sample for me on the kitchen table to take home with me - which she didn't need anymore, because she already got her own bottle. Imagine that! If you're a perfumista, you know how rare a "full bottle" is...

Smelling it from the vial (or bottle) did not do it justice, and in my haste to catch the plane to San Francisco, they were left on the kitchen table... And caught up to me a little later, when Trish sent me a care package of a few perfume samples she thought I ought to try.

When I finally made the skinspace for Volutes, I understood what the enthusiasm was all about. It's very different from the other Diptyques in that it's a lot more substantial and full bodied; and dances on the edge of ethereal, smoky, oriental, and maybe even a little gourmand. If anything, it reminds me more of some of the more forthcoming scents they've created for their candle line (i.e.: Feu de Bois, Essence of John Galliano come to mind, in terms of their bold, outspoken complexity).

Volutes plays on the contrast between two themes - the smoothness, warmth and strength of polished woods against the airy, untouchable movement and swirling of incense. It spills out on the skin like warm melted beeswax and honey, creating a feeling that is not quite gourmand, but more so a sensory memory of gliding honeyed wax on smoothly-plucked skin. And maybe licking a polished wooden staircase (I might have done that at some point between the ages of 2-4...).

And then comes a waft of swirling incense mingled with pink pepper, roses, saffron and dates. Sounds familiar? Yes, it does bring to mind another favourite of mine - Ormonde Jayne's Ta'if. Only here the dates are more pronounced, and the musk is less powdery, and more sweet and addictive. The dry down reminds me of the (also addictive) Chai incense sticks (in Shoyeido Gourmet Incense Series).  Burnished pipe also comes to mind, which echoes the tobacco notes beautifully... And the tobacco with an accent of dried hay and immortelle are the last to remain while everything else is has jumped ship.

Top notes: Pink Pepper, Dates
Heart notes: Honey, Beeswax, Roses, Saffron, Incense
Base notes: Tobacco, Vanilla, Musk, Immortelle, Hay

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At May 29, 2013 12:11 PM, Blogger Shauna Rudd said...

Thanks for the review, Ayala -- I was curious about this one. I feel the same way as you about Diptyque, and my "full bottle" is Eau Duelle. At first, I dismissed it as just another vanilla scent but after I finally tried it, I realized it's so much more. The juniper and frankincense make it cool yet cozy, and I'm always tempted to wear it on snowy days. And it always prompts comments like, "You smell so good!" from complete strangers. Looks like I should be open-minded with this latest release, too. ;-)

At June 03, 2013 11:25 AM, Anonymous Bruno said...

Thanks to this post I checked out Volutes this weekend—really nice! I had given up on Diptyque. Though it looks like they may axe two (more) of my favorites: L'Autre and L'Eau Trois.

At June 19, 2013 9:23 PM, Blogger Scent Hive said...

So glad you enjoyed Volutes, and what a lovely review!
It is full bottle worthy isn't it?



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