L’Ombre dans L’Eau was launched by Diptyque in 1983. The notes are listed as black currant leaf and Bulgarian rose; Diptyque describes the fragrance as “the scent of a green riverside garden.” It was created by Serge Kalouguine, who was also the perfumer for Diptyque Olène.
L’Ombre dans L’Eau, like yesterday’s Ecume de Rose, gets off to a somewhat rocky start, with an overwhelming burst of green (and I love green notes, mind you). It is harsh, maybe even astringent. The green remains — if you don’t like green, there is little point in even trying it — but it does calm. There are crushed green leaves. There is the bitter smell of broken stems. There is a light sprinkling of fresh herbs, and one or two pine needles. There is the smell of freshly overturned soil warming in the sun, and a bit of tartness from the black currant.
And yes, there are roses, but they are muffled by all the green. Roses from a distance, perhaps, wafting over from next door while you are working in your own garden, where nothing has bloomed just yet. L’Ombre dans L’Eau beautifully captures the smell of early summer outdoors, but if what you are looking for is the glory of a just-opened rose, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
It is crisp, a bit sharp, and just about linear once the top notes calm. It is one of my favorite rose fragrances, and L’Ombre dans L’Eau is also one of my favorite fragrance names. Unlike many, it sounds just as lovely in English: Shadow in the Water.
L’Ombre dans L’Eau is an Eau de Toilette, and is marketed as a unisex fragrance. For availability, see the listing for Diptyque under Perfume Houses.