September 24, 2012
Recently, I attended an event at our Diptyque boutique to announce the latest scent in the Diptyque line, Volutes. A table in the center of the room was covered in small dishes of the raw ingredients that comprise the scent: dried immortelle, chunks of opopanax, pink peppercorns, and tobacco leaves. There were also gleaming vases filled with purple iris. The debonair Regional Sales Manager was there to explain the perfume and proffer scented paper strips, and exotic gin cocktails and tiny, intricate chocolate tarts were being served. Fragrant Diptyque candles were burning, competing for our olfactory attention, and adding to the convivial mood.
Volutes was inspired by a memory of a cruise, with destinations that brimmed with exotic smells and tastes, and the companionship of languid women with Egyptian cigarettes lounging against the rails, watching the retreating skylines and churning wake. A “volute” is a spiral-shaped architectural ornament; here the word is used to connote a more ethereal shape, the twining, spiraling smoke of the tobacco. We can also imagine the finely crafted decorations of the paneled cocktail lounges and cabins, and the waxy aroma of fine polished woods. There is an air of the glamour of yesteryear.
Where There's Smoke There's Fire by Russel Patterson
Volutes is available in both Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum, and I will tell you about both of them. They are, of course, similar in nature, but have their individual nuances. While the scent focuses on tobacco, iris and immortelle are important companion notes in both compositions. The iris, most noticeable in the opening, is not green or bright, but focused on the earthier aspects of the orris root. The immortelle gives it an almost edible quality, and the tobacco smooths it out and deepens the aroma. As the scent progresses, the iris fades, and the smoky, sweet aspects come forward. Perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin has created the kind of tobacco scent that is like the fruity, moist, spicy tobacco my father used in his pipe that I loved to smell both raw in the pouch and as it burned.
The Eau de Toilette has more emphasis on the iris and immortelle, to my nose, where the Eau de Parfum is all about the tobacco. In the EDT the iris is a bit sharper and cleaner. The immortelle is also more like maple sugar in the EDT, making it seem sweeter. I personally prefer the EDP, but see the merits in both. Both of them will be wonderful in the winter, with their smoky, sweet, earthy notes. Both have mid-range throw, and good longevity, with the EDP edging out the EDT just slightly. I definitely recommend that you sample these if you enjoy scents with any of these notes – Volutes is a winner.
Notes, extrapolated from Diptyque press release: Tobacco leaf with Amsterdamer note (wax, honey, dried fruit), pink pepper, Madagascan pepper, saffron, iris, immortelle, myrrh, storax, opopanax, benzoin
Volutes will officially launch on October 1st. Thanks to the wonderful people at the SF boutique, who also gave me my samples, we have a great giveaway for a goodie bag that has a 12 ml travel spray of the EDT, a 2 ml spray sample of the EDP, and several Diptyque body care treats, along with a very cool flip book with an animation of the voyage that inspired the perfume. Let us know your favorite Diptyque scent, including the candles, or if you have had a sea cruise adventure yourself. Draw closes September 27, 2012.
OCTOBER 18, 2016 THE DRAW IS CLOSED
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–Tama Blough, Senior Editor