Diptyque and the new Monas

In the survey last week, y’all wanted to hear about the new Monas since they were easier to get ahold of, so we’re going to cover those today, along with the new Diptyque, Eau Duelle. All of these are from Luckyscent, and you can get samples and full bottles there, so they are accessible, yeah!!!  But for those of you that wanted to hear about the Dorins and the Made in Italy, we’ll get to those on Thursday.

This week is Yoga Journal conference in Estes Park.  Usually I’ve just gone for a day of this, but this week I signed up for the whole week, intermixed with work  – I’m not zen enough to do nothing but meditation and yoga for a week.  There’s really very little better than to spend a week doing yoga and meditation in the Rocky Mountain National Park, surrounded by beautiful scenery, lovely people and working out your life one breath and downward dog at a time. My only complaint is the food.  I’m not sure why they asked YMCA of the Rockies to do an all-vegetarian menu.  It’s just not their normal thing, and it shows.  Definitely should have a great vegetarian menu, but is it that offensive for me to be chomping down a fatburger in front of nonmeateaters?  Maybe, I don’t know about these things. I love great vegetarian, but doing great vegetarian is not a YMCA chef skillset.  I’m running away to the Stanley Hotel later in the week and snacking on some elk or buffalo or something equally red and full of blood.

When I brought up my sample of Diptyque’s new Eau Duelle, I hadn’t read much about it, but I vaguely remembered it was a vanilla.  Official notes are Cardamom, Asian cyprus, elemi, juniper, saffron, calamus, black tea, black African olibanum, amber, Firnat Vanilla, Bourbon Vanilla, white musk.  So the soft fall mountain rain was coming down outside my open window when I spritzed this on, and I had no idea what to expect.  You can make fun of me, if you like, but I really haven’t smelled many Diptyques. Not sure why. I love the fig one, great fig, and… well, I know I’ve smelled a few more, but the line has never captured my attention through no fault of theirs.  Eau Duelle is a great vanilla, which I just didn’t expect from them. Definitely vanilla, but not sweet at all, with an understated spice/tea punch that adds interest to what is a decidedly smokey vanilla.  Not as smoke-dominated as some of the other smokey vanillas,  like Guerlain’s Spiriteuese Double Vanille, but really well done.  And absolutely perfect for where I am and the weather.

Let’s go to the Monas.   I like Mona. I know Luca trashed all of her scents, but I’ve found most of them to be outside of the norms and interesting and never deserving of harsh criticism, whether you love them, hate them or just don’t care about them.  People may not like her style of perfumery, but she is no crowd-follower, and I admire someone who does what she wants.

The Les Nombres have three variations, Cuir, Ambre and Musc.  Needless to say, I am not expecting anything shy from her.

Ambre has notes of Cedarwood from Atlas, Ylang Ylang from Comores, Benzoin, Tolu, Absolu Vanilla Madagascar.  This is a softer amber than I expected, tempered with the Ylang and vanilla.  I keep sniffing it, not sure if I like it, don’t care or hate it.  It’s almost a little soapy at points. Is that better than Rasputin’s underdrawers?  I guess his freshly laundered underdrawers. That’s what I always think of when I sniff most amber-centric concoctions – not the freshly laundered part, the full-on, took them off before bed part.  Okay, soapiness went away, but this thing just isn’t sticking. How can that happen with amber?

Musc has notes of Neroli, Angelica, Rose, Heliotrope, Absolu Tonka Bean, Precious Musks. Okay, we’re clearly not going down a conventional path.  I don’t know about the musc in this, I don’t really care, I’m loving the angelica, tonka and heliotrope.  Wow, what a great combo this is, and completely unexpected. I thought I’d be hit over the head with a subway musk at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning, but this is so far from that.  The musk is the underpinning for the heliotrope and tonka, and it feels like  Mona and Guerlain had a tryst after throwing back too much tequila on a rain-soaked night, and this is what was left in the morning. Lovely, ethereal, haunting with a wee bit of smut leftover.

Cuir now has me worried. Are we going to smother the leather in honey?  Or cotton candy?  Well, let’s go to the notes, which are  Cardamom, Absinth, Leather, Cade, Resinoid Opoponax, Castoreum.  Whew, this seems to be a great list of notes for leather, somewhat traditional.  And, yes, it surely is. Rich, luxurious leather, slightly roughed up, like how your Kelly bag would smell after a night in a seedy bar.  This is a leather to love for you leather lovers, you won’t be turning up your nose and going, “what the hell was she thinking?” when you sniff it.  The spice and absinth get some minor play, which is enough of a differentiation from all the other great leathers out there to make this one worth seeking out.

Okay, big yes on the Cuir and the Musc, and I slipped into the hate pile on the Ambre. I tried it again, it went to soap and then slid down the drain into nothing. Huh?  Two out of three, as Meatloaf says, ain’t bad.

And I have enough of all of these to give a sample set out to a commenter.  So let’s think, if we wanted Guerlain to fall into bed with any other perfume line so they could create little love children of interest, who would you have them smoosh with?

  • Fabiana says:


    I admire and enjoy Mona di Orio’s creations. They are truly different, and sensual, daring and subdued all at once. Serge and Sheldrake I wouldn’t match to no one, neither can I think of putting Andy Tauer to work for Guerlain. But one versatile guy like Pierre Guillaume could come up with a very original love child if fathered by monumental G. I want to be in the draw

  • zeram1 says:

    Like Pimpinett, I’d love to see Maison Guerlain pair up with Comme des Garçons – I’d have to believe that it would result in quite a “twisted” love child :o

    Please enter me into the drawing as well.

  • Valentine says:

    I just loved Eau Duelle as well, but then I’m a non-sweet vanilla lover.

    I see nothing wrong with adding something completely different to the mix: Guerlain + Smell Bent. Then we all just sit back and watch.

  • Pimpinett says:

    Guerlain and Etat Libre d’Orange would be an interesting one, for sure! My first reaction was Guerlain and CdG, though. Guerlain and Byredo might cook up something interesting together as well.

  • LindaB says:

    The Duelle sounds nice–never tried the Diptyque’s either. I’m really all about vanilla once the weather turns. Yves Rocher finally has the little rollerball of Vanilla Noir in stock. I swear it’s the lowbrow version of SL Un Bois Vanille. Now, if it would stop being 88 degrees in NJ, I’ll be all set!

    Hmm, on that theme…maybe a fusion of Guerlain and something really cheap like Bath & Body Works. Test their genius to see what they can do with Pearberry, lol.

    Please enter me in the draw, thank you!

  • Mikael says:

    I’d also go with Guerlain + Hermes, that would be a nice balance. Please enter me in the draw, thanks!

  • Ann N. says:

    I’m down with the Guerlain/Le Labo pairing as well, but also up for the union of somewhat wild child Etat Libre and the often tightly laced Guerlain. Opposites attract, no? And please enter me in the draw — would love to try these. Many thanks!!

  • helenviolette says:

    I think a romp with Guerlain and Olivia Giacobetti could be a heavenly creature of a perfume…Yes I do.

  • OrbWeaver says:

    Hmmm….what about Guerlain and Le Labo?

  • Melauriga says:

    That’s a tough one, I would be up for any love children of Guerlain. How about something really wild like Etat Libre d’Orage? I’m really looking forward to trying Eau Duelle, and I like amber, musk, and leather so I think the Monas would be interesting to try.

  • I’d love to see a Guerlain/Céline Ellena tryst. First of all there have GOT to be some daddy issues at play with Ellena the Lesser, but mostly I’d love to see her twisted po-mo minimalism wrap around his baroque and sometimes very naughty compositions. VERY hot.

  • Mimi Gardenia says:

    I have to match Guerlain with Andy Tauer – his Une Rose Chypree just reminds me of a vintage type Guerlain. Never tried the Monas- a little scared to I guess !

  • Cheryl says:

    Thanks for reviewing the Monas and the Duelle…I’ve been coveting them since I made the observation that Lucky Scent had them in. Regarding your Guerlain romp: I’m stumped. Guerlain is classy rich storied and a bit of a strumpet. Who would be “her” match? I think I’ll match with Hermes as well..because that house seems to be overly anemic and purist at times…it needs some carnality….yet they can agree on the beautiful moments.???? Very tough question.

  • maidenbliss says:

    Too bad you’re not near an Innout Burger. The first time I had one I loaded up my suitcase w a cooler overflowing w those divine burgers — 3000 miles of people sniffing me. YMCA veggie chefs doesn’t sound very appetizing. Although I’m a yogi and try to stay away from the reds it’s got to be good veggie fare.
    If Guerlain and Andy Tauer were soaking the sheets under a desert moon somewhere in the land of attars I’d be delighted to partake in their offspring.

  • Daniele says:

    Hmmm, I think I’m going to vote for Guerlain and CB I Hate Perfume. I’m imagining some of CB’s scent-memories in full Guerlainade-based compositions and fairly drooling. It might be a disaster, but I’d still love to smell it. ;)

  • ElizabethC says:

    I agree with the Guerlain and Chanel combo. Shalimar combined with the iciness of Chanel – could be an interesting result! Please enter me in your drawing (musc sounds amazing)!

  • AnnieA says:

    Etat Libre and Hermes. Their motto would be: Making Prettiness Last…

  • odonata9 says:

    I’d say Guerlain and Hermes would be a great pairing.
    And I love vanillas – the Duelle seems like something I should try.

  • maggiecat says:

    I’m tempted to say Guerlain and Chanel, just because they’re two of my favorite classic houses, but I think this would be a mismatch…I agree with those who said Annick Goutal – a classic and a neo-classic. They would make beautiful little purse sprays together!

  • dleep says:

    I think Guerlain/Lutens would come up with some very interesting creations. Would love to be in the draw. I also am not familiar with Diptyque, however, Duelle, sounds lovely.

  • Disteza says:

    Honestly, the pairing that would blow my socks off would be the Guerlain of today having a dirrrty tryst with the Guerlain of 1934; how wonderful would it be to bring back some of the smut that’s missing from the current Guerlain offerings, while still retaining the classical structure?

  • Kristin Sargent says:

    I’d second the Guerlain Chanel and Guerlain Goutal. All of them are beautiful.

    I was a vegetarian for years, now I crave meat.

    Everything in moderation.

  • Tiara says:

    Interesting question…and someone already said Tauer and Guerlain but I have to second or possibly third that. Tauer’s sense of humor merging with Guerlain integrity could produce something lovely but perhaps unique.

    Perhaps someone didn’t get the new memo that lean red meat in moderation is actually good for you!

  • Rappleyea says:

    Great reviews, Patty. You’ve actually made Eau Duelle sound more interesting to me than it has in other reviews I’ve read. I’ve not tried any of Mona’s scents – the Cuir sounds scary to me (I’m stictly a Cuir de Russie girl), but the others sound promising.

    I agree with Musette on a Guerlain/Liz Zorn pairing. That or someone like Strange Invisible Perfumes. The small indie lines can often be strange, quirky, and sometimes on my skin, sharp, but usually have no staying power. I’d love to marry that strangeness to the beautiful Guerlainade base.

  • dremybluz says:


  • lolediburgh5 says:

    I’d second the pairing with Hermes and why not with P.d.Nicolai?After all they’re family and her compositions are all so classy and chic…please enter me in the draw,thanks and ahave a lovely week!.

  • Style Spy says:

    Etat Libre. Because it would be sooooooo weird.

  • Daniela says:

    I second the vote for Guerlain and Lutens. I spritzed some MKK last night after the shower, and here I am fully awake the next day and I can still smell it. It’s a great scent to add a bit of flesh and animalistic dirtiness to Guerlain’s creations. Thanks for adding me to the draw!

  • Bee says:

    I’m not sure who I would marry Guerlain to, but I would be really interested in the lovechild born from a kinky love affair with Etat libre d’orange…

    • london says:

      That was going to be my choice. An interesting mix of old and new. I would love to be entered into the draw for the Monas. I admire what she does even if nothing has moved me to purchase yet. Carnation is a fascinating scent.

  • Isa says:

    I’m a Diptyque girl (I love many of the fragrances in the line and I own full bottles of Tam Dao and Vetyverio). I’m a Guerlain girl too. I own Mandarine Basilic and love a lot in the Aqua Allegoria line. I also admire the classics and some new perfumes like L’Instant. So… I think they could have a lovely and very interesting baby child. It would have the class and elegance of mom Guerlain and the adventurous spirit and sensitivity for other cultures of dad Diptyque.

    Thank you for the drawing :)

  • Natalia says:

    Fun review! I was meaning to try Monas Cuir and Ambre since they appeared on LuckyScent. Now based on your review, Amber is out, Musk is in. I second Guerlain and Andy Tauer (for some reason, his Lone Star on my skin brings to mind Shalimar EdT).

  • Olfacta says:

    I say Zorn too, some new (uh-oh) blood added to perk up Guerlain.

    Haven’t yet met any Monas I didn’t like, btw.

  • pam says:

    A week of yoga in the Rockies! Sounds fab. I’d like to be there just to get away from the heat here. But, like you, I would need some meat.
    I’d like to see Guerlain with S.Grojsman (sp?). I know that’s not a House, but she could pair with Guerlain to do something amazing.
    And please add me to the drawing.

  • Lilybug says:

    How about Guerlain and Donna Karan (old, not new, at least). High quality/divine while quirky and wearable. Ohhh I can just imagine it now.

  • Kim says:

    I say Guerlain and Lutens. Spice up the sweetness Guerlain has been churning out as of late!
    Thanks for the great reviews and enjoy your meat :))

  • Louise says:

    Dang, my imaginary tryst has already been covered, so to speak. I vote for the Guerlain/Tauer tryst-I love Andy, but sometimes would like a Guerlainish base, so yeah, um. And a little Guerlain base to many Hermes would produce a wonderful offspring. Guerlain and Paris Hilton, not so much.

    I am very curious on the Duelle, and think that musk needs my nosing about ; )

  • Moochebo says:

    I think Guerlain in a throw down with Amouage would be very interesting. I wonder what the outcome of that one would be. I bet we would be smelling about it for days!

  • taffynfontana says:

    Hmm thats a very good question, Guerlain is a powerhouse with over a century of experience and many masterpieces in their repertoire so I suppose I would pair it with the refined and elegant Annick Goutal I imagine they would make lovely children, with excellent genes.

    Have a great week and Namaste

  • Francesca says:

    I love Eau Duelle. I went to the launch at their Bleecker St. store and they had an interesting display set up with all the ingredients, both natural and synthetic so you could sniff them. The Firnat vanilla was so subtle I could barely smell it in its bottle, so I dipped my finger in, and it actually smelled a bit like truffle oil.

  • Jared says:

    Oh thanks for reviewing the new Mona Di Orio’s! I was really interested in the Cuir since I’ve crossed over into leather land. I had my eye on it and am glad to hear it wasn’t a disaster. I don’t know enough about the line to give my opinion, but I have a decant of Nuit Noir that is just awful. I keep going back to it to remind myself and …..yep…..awful. I shall do so again tomorrow night, thanks to this review :) But the leather sounds promising! I’m going to assume it’s no Cuir de Russie and enjoy it on its own merits.

  • Ninara Poll says:

    “I’m running away to the Stanley Hotel later in the week and snacking on some elk or buffalo or something equally red and full of blood.”
    I love you. In fact, in our next lives, may I please marry you?:x:x:x
    And shoot, it seems two of my possible matings have already been suggested (Chanel and Andy Tauer), so let me toss out two instead of one (I cannot decide between the two: Comme de Garçons or CB I Hate Perfumes. In the former case, simply for the sheer and hopefully beautiful weirdness that could result, and in the latter case, I am genuinely intrigued by what Mr. Brosius (hope that’s spelled correctly) could do with a Guerlinade.

  • Julie says:

    For me, Guerlain and Andy Tauer, my two faves…the mind boggles at the possibilities of such a combo…

    Enjoyed the review, hope I get a chance at those samples!

  • violetnoir says:

    Great post, babe! You are in amazing form.

    How about a love child between Guerlain and Chanel? Two great, monster houses, both filled with a storied history. The baby could be absolutely, ravishingly beautiful…or a complete ugmo!

    Thank you so much for entering me in the draw.


  • Sue says:

    I’d love to see a Guerlain/Hermes tryst, as I love Jean Claude Elena’s take on Apres L’Ondee in L’Eau d’Hiver. An Hermessence version of the Guerlinade could be an amazing deconstruction.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    PS I second Musette on the burgers. After all, yoga helps you better listen to your body, so if your body wants a burger, bon appetit! ;)

  • Musette says:

    I know I can’t play in the draw but I have to play the Fantasy Guerlain Secret Lover Game. I would vote for Liz Zorn becauuuuuse: I think her basic Zornage approach, evidenced in fragrances like Cordovan Rose and Love Speaks Primeval, would be a perfect mate for the more structured, traditional Guerlain approach. I would love to see what she and Guerlain would do on a Mitsouko riff.

    btw – I’m very excited to try her Cuir. I held my breath through your entire review, hoping [-o< that she didn't ook it up - and apparently she didn't! Thank Floyd for small favors! xo >-)

    ps. GO FOR THE BLOOD, I SAY. You don’t have to be vegetarian to love yoga. Fatburger, elkburger…whatev. Keep your strength up! 😀