Diptyque is having a busy spring. The company recently previewed a new look for its niche-classic line of Eau de Toilettes; meanwhile, it has introduced a new "language of flowers" theme for its floral products. The Diptyque website currently includes the "secrets, myths, and legends" behind twelve flowers featured in its personal fragrances and home fragrances; freesia, for example, is "a symbol of femininity and grace...often used during wedding ceremonies. When offered in a bouquet, it embodies the pureness of a new friendship and invites a strengthening of the bonds."
Ofrésia, released in 1999, is Diptyque's tribute to freesia. It features an "atypical accord of immaculate freesia heightened by black pepper." (In its "Language of Flowers" discussion, Diptyque also informs us that "freesia does not yield fragrant molecules so the Nose must recreate its delicate, wholesome scent with accents of jasmine, bergamot and rosewood"; this may or not be a reference to Ofrésia's composition.) The pepper note in Ofrésia is nose-ticklingly distinct; it gives a little zing to the fragrance's central notes of green leaves and smooth while petals. In the early stages of the fragrance's development, I'm also catching a spicy note with an almost cinnamon-like fuzziness. Ofrésia ends up feeling clean and creamy, but the pepper and green accents and mysterious spice note bring just enough piquancy to the mix.
Like many of Diptyque's fragrances, Ofrésia gives off a "natural" effect, although it does not claim to be a "natural" or "botanical" fragrance (and is most likely composed largely of synthetic ingredients). I often think of this natural-smelling effect as one of Diptyque's signatures. Ofrésia has average staying power and sillage for an Eau de Toilette, and I've been wearing it over my new Beautannia Brideshead body lotion for a full-on "garden-in-bloom" effect. It's the right fragrance for a springtime walk in the park or tea with a friend on a balmy afternoon. It's not mysterious or complex or shocking in any way, but it's pleasing and fresh and just a bit earthy, the way a spring floral fragrance should be.
Diptyque Ofrésia was developed by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. It is available as 50 ml ($88) and 100 ml ($120) Eau de Toilette. For purchasing information, see the listing for Diptyque under Perfume Houses.