Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Today’s Sample: Diptyque Eau de Lierre

I took a wine class several years ago, and the sommelier said something that stuck with me: There are wines to appreciate as a connoisseur, and there are wines to enjoy with friends. I’m not sure why, but I remembered this comment today as I was thinking about Eau de Lierre.

Diptyque’s site lists the notes in this fragrance as ivy leaves, cyclamen, geranium, green pepper, ambergris, palisander wood, and musks.

This is my third Diptyque fragrance to try (the others were Philosykos and L’Ombre dans L’Eau). I felt a little shy about it. These fragrances are quite a departure from your everyday department store spritz. They can be a bit jarring, although not in a bad way—in fact, next to the Ormonde Jayne fragrances, they are my favorite “niche” so far. But with Ormonde Jayne, I feel more comfortable going with my instincts, even if I am not always right (see “Frangipani as summer fragrance”). With Diptyque, I feel a little bit outside my comfort zone, and so I cheat.

I read the reviews to see what I think.

Or rather, I read the reviews to see what I should think, and the reviews mostly tell me this is a watery letdown, that it doesn’t pack the punch of their past fragrances, that they seem to be maybe selling out a little and making fragrances that appeal to the mass market types. *Shyly raises hand.*

As with Philosykos, I loved this as soon as I put it on, and it only got better for me throughout the day. It’s hot today, and I am wearing my first summer dress of the season, and this scent fits perfectly. Looking at the notes, to me, this is exactly as it should be. Nothing in the list is grand, nothing should stand up, call out, wave. It’s a cool quiet place in the woods, and not much else. The pepper to me is a quick flash, the floral aspects don’t make this fragrance sweet, and the green is somewhat watery, but it evokes to me that unexpected, final, cool, wet feel of late spring that I get when I go out onto the deck to water the flowers in the evening, just past the heat of the day. That same soft humidity is there for me in this fragrance. It has nothing of the grandeur of L’Ombre, which is a bracing scent that makes me think of roses in an early spring cold rain.

I’ve been sniffing my wrist all day, but then this has been the case with all three Diptyque fragrances I have tried. Unlike the Ormonde Jayne fragrances where I have definite favorites (Champaca, Frangipani) of those I've sampled, I have no favorite here. I hope to try all of their scents (I have Do Son and Tam Dao at home), and I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up with a bottle of something, maybe even Eau de Lierre.

Eau de Lierre is a fragrance to wear enjoying wine with friends. To me it is no disappointment because I don’t know enough to be disappointed. I sort of like it that way.