Have you ever met people who give in to middle age a little TOO easily? They relish gray hair, embrace flab, "simplify" their wardrobes by banishing all colors except navy, white, black, gray and beige. They repeat the phrase "age appropriate": when getting a haircut, choosing a perfume, or buying jeans ("Should I even be WEARING jeans at my age?" they ask). Tiresome. If I could accept aging in such a way, my life would be (might be?) easier. But I can't! I'll fight the creaks and leaks and cracks of time every step of the way.
Diptyque has reached middle age and settled into a slower and lazier rhythm with ease. The lively, fun-loving, unusual, quirky perfume company I used to love...is now resting in a La-Z-Boy recliner (those dull new Diptyque bottles!) and seems to have banished all "color" "pattern" and style from its new perfume offerings. A blandness has settled over Diptyque; two new examples of middle-aged Diptyque are Geranium Odorata and Eau de Lavande (part of the Les Florales line).
bergamot, geranium bourbon, rose geranium, pink pepper, tonka bean, vetiver and cedar
Geranium Odorata starts off with cool-warm notes of citrus and a realistic representation of rose geranium (that you can get from any number of inexpensive "over-the-counter" fragrance oils). It's an enjoyable, if un-inventive, beginning that fizzles quickly. As the rose geranium note vanishes it is replaced by a "fresh" note accented with, yawn!, wan tonka bean (creamy but faded vanilla) and sheer/smooth "wood." The middle and base notes of Geranium Odorata are so lacking in character, so like legions of other "fresh" floral fragrances, that they almost seem "invisible" to me and my nose.
Eau de Lavande
lavender, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg
Lavender water? Why? Eau de Lavande is a front-loaded fragrance; it starts off with punchy, spiced lavender leaf and flower aromas...a scent to wake you up in the morning. But the initial burst of notes (that had me rethinking my "Lavender water? Why?" assessment) fades fast — lavender and spice simply lose energy and doze off (mouths open, snoring softly).
Geranium Odorata and Eau de Lavande seem to be what Diptyque offers as middle age leads to middle-of-the-road. Who'd have thought the Diptyque counter (at Nordstrom!) would be buzzing with customers? All of them going after the new (vacuous) Diptyque perfumes. The least Diptyque can do is make a striking perfume, even limited edition, for every three of its dullards...but I'm not betting they will.
It's none of my damn business how people care to look or dress or feel or act while growing older (I have friends who fight age and friends who don't give a damn — I love 'em all). But my old friend Diptyque...I want to shake: "Remember the good old days? You used to be so much fun!"
Diptyque Geranium Odorata and Eau de Lavande are available in Eau de Toilette, in 20 ml roll-on ($48) or 100 ml spray ($98). For buying information, see the listing for Diptyque under Perfume Houses.
I love your reviews Kevin, and now I wonder if I have given up?!? I liked the geranium enough to buy it, it fills a hole in my collection, what is your favorite geranium scent?
E: Nice to see you pretty much bought this ASAP as well.
Datura…I will have to peruse my perfume stash…I got a simple organic rose geranium cologne from a local pharmacy…I do love rose geranium…even make a rose geranium syrup for desserts….
I’m a big fan of Miller Harris Geranium Bourbon.
Also, Mrs. Meyers Geranium for cleaning the house.
egabbert: Ilke Mrs Meyers Geranium too…someone gave me the lotion….
Datura: ah, just found it: Vintage Naturals Geranium Eau de Parfum. I see on my bottle the vintage is 2009 (it still smells great). this is an “eau de Cologne”-type geranium.
I prefer people who ask if they should wear jeans or miniskirts at their age to the legions who now seem to think it’s de rigueur to get boob-jobs, hairpieces, botox, all kinds of plastic surgery, and are obsessed with keeping their bodyfat below 9% whatever their age. I guess there can be a happy medium. À chacun son goût.
I just bought Geranium Odorata and am wearing it today and I love it. It will be in heavy rotation for me in warm weather, along with my other year-round staple Diptyque eau, Tarocco.
I for one think the only other fragrance with this type of geranium accord so prominent and relatively unadorned is Malle Géranium pour Monsieur. I love the scent of rose geranium. I get none of the “fresh” accord you refer to, but geranium itself is sort of bracing and fresh to me. Something in the drydown actually reminds me very subtly of cinnamon spice.
Diptyque is still fun to me. I like Eau Mohéli too. Maybe I’m just a staid bore. HA! (But I’m very fond of Comme des Garçons too.)
Curious: I’m not a fan of Volutes, but did you think it captured some of the “old Diptyque”?
Joe, my scent of the day as well…I also don’t get “fresh”, I actually was impressed by the spices in the dry down, and I have gotten several compliments on it…
Joe, that was my initial reaction too! I don’t think accepting ones age necessarily means becoming dull – or at least, I hope it doesn’t:) I plan on going gracefully into that good night – whether that translates into gently I’m not sure…
I guess I will try these when I see them, though Eau Rose was a big disappointment to me. Pretty and insipid.
Eau Rose was a real let down for me too. Esp. after I’m used to the whip-crack of rose and greens in l’Ombre dans l’eau….
Agreed, L’Ombre rules:)
Joe, I agree with you regarding Volutes. In fact, I bought Volutes EdP recently and thought I detected a hint of L’Eau in that touch of medicinal spiciness – the part that relates to clove cigarettes in the backstory.
Joe…Volutes just reminded me of Spicebomb, but it was an improvement on other recent Diptyques (to me).
How sad… but if there’s a crowd at the Diptyque counter, maybe these sell better than their quirky and unusual perfumes?
I haven’t tried either of these, but of their other recent releases I have to say only Volutes struck me as really interesting. Maybe not tremendously original, but nice to wear.
Diptyque’s gone mainstream! I really dislike the bottle redesign. Have you ever seen/experienced their electric diffuser?
Galbanumgal…I did get to experience a demonstration of the diffuser…there seemed to be really good ‘throw’…even in the middle of a department store perfume section.
I prefer to think of middle age as a time to settle into a more classical look with clothing/style/perfume that is timeless.
Some do this well, and some just do not.
I tried both this past weekend at Nordstroms and they did nothing for me. I liked Eau de Lavande’s opening, but that was it.
I’m actually curious about their new face products!
Floragal..I do love Diptyque’s body care line…the products feel luxurious.
Sadly, one of the things that does tend to fizzle out in ‘middle age’ is one’s sense of smell. The stereotypical middle aged lady may tend to keep dabbing on, or spraying, more and more of the fragrances they were proud to wear in their youthful days, resulting in headaches and swoons for everyone surrounding them!
Perhaps these are the ideal fragrances for the wizened ones — a full and sharp initial fragrance that is noted by the wearer on application, but which fades out to proper levels by the time the wearer leaves the house.
Poppie…ha! And you could keep applying all day without fear!
I have Tam Dao and love it…I’ve had samples of Do Son, Tam Dao and L’Ombre Dans L’Eau and also, loved them…
The last [and sadly, misplaced] fb of Diptyque was Eau Duelle and I did love that as well.
Have not tried their latest offerings, but if they are anything like other fragrances coming out, then I’ll pass.
I do have to say, in regards to insipid new fragrances, everyone is knocking, even Kevin [even though Kevin doesn’t like anything released recently] Paco Rabanne Invictus; but it seems to be a memorable fragrance whether good or bad, and isn’t an impression the point of a fragrance? I am waiting for Invictus to arrive in the mail. Knowing how Kevin and I disagree a lot on likes of scents, I have a feeling I will like Invictus.
Just adding my two cents worth. And by no means am I knocking Kevin, because I do enjoy his reviews and he helps me a lot in choosing a new one each time.
Cologneluvr…hey, I liked the Bottega Veneta for men, Bel Ami Vetiver, Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine…all new! Also, smelled quite a few new perfumes I liked up in Canada today…none available in the US yet…so the year so far has not been a bust.
If there is a crowd at Diptyque, then I’m going to be sympathetic. Maybe they are trying to get into interesting frags and this is their gateway? I don’t know. Maybe I’m getting middle aged and soft – I remember when “trying” to get into something unusual was my first curious and totally misunderstanding sniffs at Annick Goutal counter at Nordies a hundred years ago. Folavril? Huh? Eau de Sud? Wha???
That doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed if Diptyque is taking the low road, but I’ll wait until I smell the Geranium. I agree with the lavender – why another? The greatest lavender I’ve ever smelled is one made by Laurie Erickson at SSS. My fav geranium is the Miller Harris Geranium Bourbon which I’ve struggled for years about buying a FB. And I recall liking Geranium pour Monsieur when I sampled it. I’m always searching for a rose geranium plant around here and have no luck. But its a rich and bracing fragrance that I already like. THanks for the reviews!
Anns…I’ll have to try the Miller Harris one. Where do you live? Now’s the time to buy your rose geranium plants…they seem to disappear from nurseries by summer.
I live in the Poconos….. I’m not sure our nurseries are fully stocked yet as it’s still cccoollddd up here!!
Which SSS scent?
Omega: it’s a lavender she was testing a number of years ago. I don’t know if it’s in production. Ences Lavande maybe. I have just a smidge – it’s gorgeous. It’s very much like the old Annick Goutal Lavender which I’m not sure it in production anymore.
Kevin has turned me on to a number of perfume loves through his reviews. I’m going to have to try this, though, as I ADORE rose geraniums. I have a number of the plants (btw, the best-smelling one is Rober’s Lemon Rose). I want to try Géranium pour Monsieur. I didn’t like Geranium Bourbon .
I used to belong to the Dutch Pelargonium and Geranium Society (I am totally nuts about scented Geraniums). I know that there are sister-organizations in other countries. They are a great source for finding suppliers and sometimes they sell cuttings from their members’ gardens. I can’t lay my hands on it this minute, but I have a book on cooking with scented geraniums. It has great recipes, including the traditional rose geranium pound cake.
Jonette: Yes, I love all scented geraniums too, even your “basic” geranium aroma (so earthy and rich). I’m predicting you will enjoy the opening of Geranium Odorata…then get bored. But what do I know? HA!
Well, none of us who were around in the 70s are quite as colorful and rebellious as we were then, are we? I wonder if it is the company itself, or the times and economy we live in. Diptyque was founded by friends who originally sold printed fabrics and a perfume based on a medieval potpourri recipe – very hippy 1970s. The 2010s are an era of “efrags,” as Denyse put it on Grain de Musc.
Personally, I’d like to aim for athletic Iris Apfel (aim being the operative word here). FYI, I read that she used to wear Mitsouko, but it doesn’t smell the same these days so she borrowed her husband’s Yatagan.
Noz, probably Diptyque just wants to make more money. I need to watch the Iris Apfel documentary…thanks for reminding me.
I’ve tried to like Diptyque, but I can never get over that sharp note that frames up all of their juices. And Geranium is exactly that note. I bought the 34 Boulevard St. Germaine because I loved the drydown. Alas, the middle note began to cling on me with that sharp note and the drydown lasted half an hour.
Lavender seems a bit to “laundry” for my taste. So I think I’ll skip these. “You there! You youngsters git off my lawn!”
Quinncreative, Ha! I wonder what that note is…what does it smell like?
These sound pretty hip and exciting! lol. Can I add coral to the navy blue, beige, etc? A very, occasional coral though..cause coral is like living on the edge..and getting too old for that really. Lol. Like wearing coral is living dangerously lol. ‘Look, I am wearing coral..I know, how bold of me! Don’t you worry now, it will be back to dusty mauve, potato cream, faded blue..and navy so dark that it’s like a black in no time’.
Lavande sounds like a Burberry Rhythm musk…too bad:(.
Omega, of COURSE you can wear some coral…but limit it to tiny accessories, won’t you?
Now, I am too old for all of that! Don’t wanna be flashy..if I wear earrings, they are only studs..you won’t notice:).
I may have ditched the neon mini skirts that used to be my uniform, but I’ll keep on looking for new rock bands, crazy people and strange perfumes. In my view, not giving up does not translate as injecting toxins in my head (not that there is anything wrong with that), but as staying active, lean enough to walk about town, willing to study new stuff, wide minded and open hearted, avoiding going sour with age like a bad wine.
So, I’ll be sour, just to contradict myself (another sign of youth): HATED Eau Rose, it smelled cheap, plain and shamefully artificial next to Goutal’s Rose Splendide. So, since there is no Diptyque here and I have to buy my samples, I did not bother with Eau Moheli, even if Ylang Ylang is one of my favorite notes – and will probably never try these ones. They sound beyond boring.
Solanace: I’ve not been a fan of the Les Florales either – ho hum
Smiling at the age appropriate debate here. It reminds me of a programme I watched last year called Fabulous Fashionistas whose average age was around 75. One of them came out with the quote “don’t wear beige, it might kill you”. Sounds as if you consider these two Diptyques to be the olfactory equivalent of beige!
donanicola: for me, yes, they are beige (or greige…the lavender)
Maybe it was my “wild” study of economics in my youth, but I expect that $48.00 price point for a niche brand is what is attracting those throngs.
And does lavender wake you up in the morning? To me lavender oil and flowers act as a mild sedative.
As for aging, I now find that I have the emotional maturity to wear wild colors and revealing clothes,much more so than I did in my youth. Alas, I no longer have the size 2 figure and perfect skin that would allow me to do so. Plus, when I started my career, there was a range of colors acceptable for even the most conservative work place, maybe not magenta, but women’s suits came in various browns, blues, maroons, and greens as well as black. Now even navy blue is a “rebellion” against black. For heaven’s sake, even us office types are not in morning every day.
At least in my small firm, I can cheer myself with scent.
Dilana…now that I think about it…I DO find lavender “invigorating”…not calming (at least lavender with LOTS of leaf aromas)
Are you saying the older square bottle werent dull? the new ones arent amazing looking, but i think they are a step up. Unfortunately, the newer fragrances i have tried are indeed a step down.
Rictor: I think the original Diptyque bottles were “sharp” and fit perfectly with the brand’s aesthetic (nothing too sleek or “designed”…more “pharmacy” than “perfumery”). The current oval bottles look fussy and feel insubstantial. The Les Florales bottles shown here aren’t awful …
I kinda think people who are stuffy, staid, and conservative in their latter years were the same folks who were stuffy, staid, and conservative in their youth as well.
Wild and crazy doesn’t seem to age, ever!
As for grey hair, I have learned to love mine and stop viewing it as a sign of old age (I’m 49 for pete’s sake!) and instead learned to look at it as a gift from my father who was mostly grey at 35! I have to say, I really like how it looks in the sunshine- all silver and sparkly!
Perfume wise, I bought a FB of Volutes EdT and enjoy it very much. I have sniffed others in the line but nothing really “spoke” to me. Our local Nordstrom just started carrying the line and the counter seems to be hopping every time I visit. I think its the “newness” factor- people who usually buy fragrance at their local department store are now seeing what is to them a whole new line and are investigating.
Whatever scent you wear, wear it wholeheartedly!