In Full Bloom with Smallflower feat. Diptyque

Returning are our friends from Apothecary (Dana and Grace Ann) to help us with this second in a three-month long miniseries focused on one house monthly. This time around our exploration into the Paris-based house Diptyque for the very first time. Founded in 1961 Diptyque has been described as “a pioneering parfumerie Maison, a precursor of the art of living through the senses, where fragrance and art are integral to everything…The very first shop, located at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris, opens onto the street like a two-part Italian Renaissance or Flemish master’s painting. They had found the ideal stage for their chic little bazaar of fascinating finds as well as the perfect name for it; diptyque. …” Well, here goes:

Fleur de Peau: I had to chuckle to myself as the first thing that came to mind was the static of polyester leisure suits circa the late 70s. And then the most exquisite pepper note, so full and fleeting the aroma spreads through the air like a mirage in real time. For the soft floral notes suspended here, it is the empowerment of its aldehydic personage that makes this perfume sing sweetest. Intimate and deep this is one that leaves an invisible cast, sort of hard to describe in mere words, really. Maybe it’s the sea calling my name? (EDP, 2018)

Rating: 86%
Nose: Olivier Pescheux
Notes: aldehydes, pink pepper, iris, angelica, bergamot, Turkish rose, musk, ambrette, carrot, ambergris, leather, sandalwood, amber

Oyedo: This is the house’s citrus star, however its so atypical and at first I almost get something akin to hazelnut of all things (none in this composition however). Once the sprite bite of tangerine hits its a cloister of juicy undulating orbs. So yummy, and within the accord I also am getting wisps of concord grape for some unbeknownst reason. Even if I’m imagining my own paradise, this definitely negotiates with your imagination in such a tempting way. The more you draw this in the deeper the rabbit hole. Oh, heck, I love the fuzzy critters and wouldn’t mind taking up camp among such precious fauna. This is like being in a full scale juicing factory, pulping, squeezing, zesting like mad hatters. This is in no way your average boring orange tint, this is bright green and yellow and orange. Fruity goodness dangling from above. (EDT, 2000)

Rating: 89%
Nose: Akiko Kamei
Notes: lime, yuzu, tangerine, lemon, thyme, woody notes

Philosykos: Let’s go on a journey shall we? This fragrance is transpotive. It’s amazing. The rich green leaves of the fig tree and sweet creamy coconut create an intoxicating blend on the skin that takes you to another headspace. The juicy sweet fig sticks to your limbs and swirls up into the nose sending you on a trip far from the monotony of daily life. Harking from the mid 90s this instant classic is sure to liven up any wardrobe, fragrance aficionado or enthusiast’s alike.  Fantastic for daily wear or savored for special occasions, Philosykos is sure to delight. – Grace Ann,

Notetaking say: This is dry at first. Incoming is the central combo of real green fig and creamed coconut. The fig almost gives me the impression of unripe banana, very dimensional and fresh from the market. Normally these notes can go gourmand or of that fake, happy-go-lucky tan cream vibe – but not so here, this fragrance takes the route of fruit for contemplation, in other words serious food for thought. I don’t want to like it, but I do. The edges are a bit bitter and a tad grassy, but it comes off incredibly organic and quietly earthy – thanks to the woody notes, which are sanded down to a finessed smoothness. This perfume will stop you in your tracks and put you in the contemplative mindset. (EDP, 1999)

Rating: 87%
Nose: Olivia Giacobetti
Notes: fig leaf, fig, coconut, green notes, woody notes, cedar

Tam Dao: Diptyque’s Tam Dao is one of those modern classics that feels fresh but wears and projects and lingers on through the clothing in your closet and the seats in your car the way that I remember my grandmothers’ perfumes-always persistent, always comforting.  Tam Dao is more sandalwood than cedarwood to me, though both are there, it does not feel like you’re wearing a cedar chest (a good thing in my book, though I do love the smell of wood shavings…)  The cypress in here gives the fragrance just enough piney greenness to stay fresh and sharp while the sandalwood feels creamy, not sweet, but enveloping and cocooning.  Tam Dao truly remains one of my favorite fragrances after all this time deep diving into the perfume world.  I find it pretty perfect and always pleasant. – Dana,

Notetaking say: The sandalwood express hath arrived! The ancient wood has a peppery accord built-in here, almost expressing itself like an exotic patchouli on one end, this is as refreshing as it is cozy. I would guess this would likely fall into their most signature of fragrances, its sillage is everything. This is all wood, all the time – so if you love the forest, get lost in these giants. But keep in mind, for all the assumed earthly greatness, this has its whisper of kisses to consider. Yes, for me, this is like a turtle that retracts when it wants to hide, and takes its sweet time otherwise. When its limbs are extended it’s a wonder, otherwise it’s most definitely in its own private Idaho (hey, the Pacific Northwest is very rooted). (EDT, 2003)

Rating: 85%
Nose: Daniel Molière
Notes: mysore sandalwood, cedar, cypress, myrtle

Vetyverio: It’s a hive, waxy and honeyed the glow of citrus slowly emits into the space. And then this truly unusual braid of vetiver, soft rose and sweet patchouli exhale gracefully. This is a peculiar and artful perfume — and I can attest that I’ve honestly never smelled anything quite like it. One the plume was initially dispersed it reminded me of Summer camp, of the sprays we use to ward off biting insects mixed with a little bit of fear and intimidation, and of course the surrounding natural environment. But when the dust settles the softest green vetiver mixed with the floral blush is so magnetic, and intimate, and personal. It feels like gaining access into a special private garden. When the dry down phase comes this becomes super-sheer. Truly dynamic! (EDP, 2017)

Rating: 88%
Nose: Olivier Pescheux
Notes: grapefruit, mandarin orange, Turkish rose, Haitian vetiver, vetiver, patchouli

  • All of these fragrances (and a whole lot more) are available at
  • Recommended Soundtrack: Pet Shop Boys’ PopArt: The Hits (2003, Parlophone)

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