Thursday, January 3, 2013

Des Volutes de Fumée: Diptyque Volutes Eau de Toilette

I'm certain it's no secret that the brand Diptyque holds a certain fascination for me. I often become enamored with things that are simple, well executed and unlike anything else available. Though there are a bevy of luxury candle brands such as Cire Trudon or NEOM, I just cannot seem to avert my eyes from what Diptyque has to offer. From the simple labels that exude a sort of 19th century simplicity, to the impeccably executed scents and overall sense of luxury I simply cannot resist. Though I've sampled many candles, I've yet to enjoy Diptyque's fragrance offerings. Being that I'm particularly partial to gifts of perfume, lovely Mr. Cheeky who knows me quite well treated me to a bottle of Diptyque's latest EDT, Volutes, for Christmas. 

  Inspired by the journey from west to east, Diptyque’s latest fragrance is rich in spicy and mysterious notes. The brand describes the story behind the fragrance as follows: The voyage of your dreams, on board a liner from Marseille to Saigon. A long haul crossing, stopping off at a number of places with magical names, all redolent of adventure and spice. The charm of life on board ship, where time does not exist. The labyrinth of polished passageways and the panelled walls of the lounges, the enigmatic elegant women leaning on the rail on top deck, indulging in the pleasure of Khedive cigarettes. A smell forever imprinted on the memory: Volutes.” 

In French the word "volute" is a noun referring to ornamentation in the form of a spiral or plume. It can be applied to shapes, and more intangible objects such as plumes of smoke or the imperfect line a journey across the globe might make. In this sense volutes are present in all aspects of the fragrance from the story of the perfume, to the design of the bottle and the notes present in the scent itself.

Volutes are literally are present in images both on the front and back on the bottle. While the front seemingly represents the beginning of the voyage departing from the west with smoke pouring forth from the smoke stack of the ocean liner, the back depicts an orientalized far eastern place of mystery surrounded my curls of sea water.

The main notes the brand lists are honeyed Egyptian tobacco, styrax and leather. When I first spray the eau de toilette on my skin I’m immediately reminded of a lighter version of Chanel’s infamous No5 perfume, a similarity that surprised me and that I did not expect given the base and top notes attributed to Volutes. As the fragrance wears and develops on my skin however, delicate and sweet tobacco along with notes of leather do become more noticeable and the perfume mellows into the perfect warm and spicy yet feminine scent. For some reason I’d expected something a bit more along the lines of Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille which is redolent of unburned, sweet tobacco. Volutes offers a far more subtle rendition to the same fragrance palette, making it a more approachable and more affordable tobacco perfume.

Unsurprisingly I’m smitten with Volutes, a fragrance that improves upon acquaintance and delights the senses with varying plumes of base mid and top notes as the day passes. The Eau de Toilette is available in 50 ml (USD $88) and 100 ml (USD $120) while a stronger version of Volutes in the form of an Eau de Parfum is available only in a 75 ml offering (USD $140).

Have you had the opportunity to try Diptyque's latest release?

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