Diptyque recently expanded its selection of personal fragrance and home fragrance with a new line of luxurious bath and body products. The five products in the "L'Art du Soin" range are designed around carefully chosen natural ingredients like organic olive oil and argan oil, among other naturally beneficial essences, while remaining free of parabens, silicones, sulfates, petrochemicals, and other synthetic additives. Unlike Diptyque's previously existing body washes and lotions, which were scented to match specific Eaux de Toilettes in the collection, these new items have their own unique fragrance blends.
With L'Art du Soin, Diptyque is also adopting a theme of travel and discovery: all five products incorporate ingredients associated with historic Mediterranean destinations. Creamy Body Wash (Gelée Lactée), a softly foaming shower cream, evokes the ancient bathing traditions of Aleppo with a scent of lemon and olive leaves. Rich Butter (Crème Riche), in a tribute to Byzantium, is fragranced with a true Damask rose note enhanced by myrrh and balsam. Luxurious Hand Balm (Baume Généreux pour les Mains) is a mouth-watering souvenir of Cordoba, in Spain, succulently scented with ripe apricot and buttery tonka bean.
My own two favorites from the L'Art du Soin line are Fresh Lotion (Lait Frais) and Precious Oils (Huiles Précieuses). Fresh Lotion is inspired by the ancient Egyptian port city of Alexandria, and its soothing formula of sweet almond oil and macadamia oil is scented with orange blossom and petitgrain. To my nose, the petitgrain's more rounded, herbaceous note gently overrules the delicate orange flower, giving the scent a smoother, expansive feeling. If its intention was to suggest a sunny day in a Mediterranean bay surrounded by bitter orange trees, then the scent of Lait Frais succeeds. It is radiant and uplifting, but soothing at the same time, and it works well layered beneath Diptyque's L'Eau de Neroli.
The iris flower appears in L'Art du Soin as the featured ingredient of the Precious Oils blend. Irises have been associated with Florence since the thirteenth century, and they hold a special place in that city's history of perfumery: during the Renaissance, iris essence was used to perfume leather for fine gloves. (Florence is still home to a famous iris garden.) Precious Oils, a combination of sweet almond oil, macadamia oil, and argan oil, is packaged in a glass bottle with a dropper dispenser. Its scent has a top note of citrus, an enduring heart of woody, slightly powdery iris (rather than a sharp green iris or a cool "silvery" iris), and a warm base of cedar. When I smooth this oil onto my legs and arms after a morning shower, its aroma reemerges from time to time throughout the workday. If I applied it generously, it could stand alone as my fragrance for day. Used more moderately, it complements Le Labo Iris 39, and it draws out the soft iris-cedar notes of Sonoma Scent Studio's Lieu de Rêves.
All the L'Art du Soin scents were created to harmonize, so that the products can be layered for added sensory pleasure. When I visited a Diptyque boutique, a sales associate suggested mixing a drop of the Precious Oils into a dose of Hand Balm, for extra moisture and fragrance. I also tried adding the Oils to the Fresh Lotion, just to gild the lily — or rather, the orange blossom — and the resulting fragrance blend was intoxicating. It reminded me a bit of Acqua di Parma's Iris Nobile Eau de Parfum because it combined orange blossom and iris, capturing both sparkle and depth, which is pretty impressive for a pairing of two body products.
And, in keeping with Diptyque's customary style, the packaging for the L'Art du Soin range is beautifully designed, with cipher-like monograms and picturesque botanical illustrations. So if you're in the mood for a chicly packaged sensory indulgence, particularly one with wholesome ingredients and natural-yet-sophisticated scents, you might wish to take your own voyage to a Diptyque retailer.
Diptyque L'Art du Soin Precious Oils sells for $78 for 125 ml; Fresh Lotion is $58 for 200 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Diptyque under Perfume Houses.