When I think of Diptyque I tend to think: candles; Essence of John Galliano; and Tam Dao, in roughly that order. However, contrarian perfume blogger that I am, I feel it´s my obligation to spread the word about my personal favorite among the fragrance portion of the line. I may, in fact, be the only person in the United States with this particular favorite – Diptyque L’Eau Trois.
Diptyque L’Eau Trois was created in 1975, and its notes are listed as Myrrh, Myrtle, Oregano, Cistus, Pine, Laurel, Thyme, Rosemary.
Here is a comment via Basenotes from someone who shares my appreciation of this scent: “It starts as a fresh and aromatic herb mixture, which rapidly evolves to a pungent scent of resin, and finally takes on a scent of incense – but not the one you burn in sticks, the arabic one you buy in form of resinous grains – I think this is the myrrh comings out. Warm, oriental but sober, spiritual, well suited for autumn and winter.”
Here is a comment from someone who is less enamored: “Zoo cat cage pee, haybarn, and 3 week old sweaty gym socks.”
And the commentary generally runs along those lines: either you love it and it smells like a fabulous incense, or you can´t even believe someone bottled this dreck. There doesn´t seem to be much middle ground.
So let me try to help you make an informed decision whether to sample this one. I am, first of all, a major fan of incense frags, and that is what Diptyque L’Eau Trois, with no apologies. Second, while the notes listed make it sound like the herb section at the grocery store, what I smell from start to finish (and this is a very linear scent) is pure, unburnt incense, with the cistus adding even a bit more lemon-balsam-resin goodness. This is not the smoke of the cathedral (or the meditative Japanese incense stick), or Olivia Giacobetti´s breathtaking, soaring Passage; it is, to my nose, the rarer-than-hens´-teeth smell of the gift of the Magi, a wooden box of frankincense and myrrh.
I find it powerfully beautiful, warm and resinous. If you are a fan of incense in your fragrances, consider giving this one a sniff for a wildly different approach than the cool elegance and smoky aloofness of, say, Armani Prive or CDG Avignon.
Diptyque L’Eau Trois is available from beautyhabit.com, 50 ml, for $60.