L'Eau Trois, Diptyque's third fragrance release, is one of my favorite colognes. It launched in 1975 and has notes of myrrh, myrtle, oregano, cistus, pine, laurel, thyme, and rosemary. L'Eau Trois is described by Diptyque as “the resinous scent of aromatic shrubs from the mountainous coastline of Northern Greece.”
I love the smell of myrrh and it is the main attraction in L’Eau Trois. About 10 years ago I bought a necklace from Africa made of tiny lumps of dried myrrh resin. If the necklace is worn around a bare neck or held in a closed hand for a few moments, the myrrh scent is activated by body warmth. Discovering the authentic smell of myrrh was a revelation to this fragrance fiend. The scent is tenacious — the necklace still exudes a sweet, balmy aroma.
The topic of myrrh is fascinating. What most of us think of as ‘myrrh’ does not grow in the "mountainous coastline (region) of Northern Greece"; the myrrh of the Bible (a gift of the Magi) is extracted from trees that grow in Africa and Arabia (genus Commiphora). A northern European plant that is sometimes called ‘myrrh’ is sweet cicely (Myrrhis odorata); its leaves and dried seeds are used in salads, desserts and liqueurs. Cistus, a listed ingredient in L’Eau Trois, is a Mediterranean shrub whose leaves and stems are coated with labdanum: a fragrant gum, a perfume fixative, the famed “Balm of Gilead” and — you guessed it — also referred to as “myrrh.” To my nose, L'Eau Trois smells of the “classic” African/Middle Eastern myrrh. Any botanists or cooks out there? Please comment!
L'Eau Trois begins powerfully; it smells like 'fuel.' (Don't light a match!) The industrial opening quickly dissipates and a dry, resinous myrrh (that gets sweeter the longer you wear it), with a hint of pine, emerges. The other herbal/plant notes come and go quickly, but I do not care if they linger or disappear because myrrh is there from start to finish and is ample reason for adoration of this perfume. L’Eau Trois stays close to the skin (especially in cooler months), but the lasting power is very good (over 5 hours). After a liberal dose (about 6-8 sprays) I enjoy the scent all day, but no one else can smell it (if that matters to you). Only those who hug/kiss you or take your blood pressure will notice L’Eau Trois.
L'Eau Trois can be worn by a man or woman. It is available in 50 or 100 ml bottles of Eau de Toilette; see the listing for Diptyque under Perfume Houses for buying information.