Diptyque Ofresia ~ fragrance review

Diptyque Ofresiafreesia blossom

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.

Note: top right image is Freesia alba [cropped] by col&tasha at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. eaudemale says:

    Ughh, the new bottles….

    • Jessica says:

      lol. I haven’t seen them in person yet. I’m really glad they kept the black–and-white illustrations; for me, that’s the main thing.

  2. Alyssa says:

    Ah, but usually new bottles=discounted old bottles!

    • Jessica says:

      I wonder! It’s worth keeping an eye out. Diptyque does do sample sales from time to time, too, and they are *very* well attended!

  3. Alyssa says:

    That said, I too, much prefer the square ones.

    • Jessica says:

      You know, I usually get bothered by any kind of design change… but I actually don’t mind this one. I’ll have to check them out in person as soon as they hit NYC.

      • Joe says:

        Add me to the list for preferring the blocky old bottles. What’s strange is their website doesn’t show the new bottle anywhere and I hadn’t heard of them at all.

        So many Diptyques I haven’t tried, including Ofrésia. Sounds like a nice springy floral with a bit of bite.

  4. ladymurasaki says:

    Thanks for the review, Jessica. I saw the new bottles the other week. I prefer the old look. This freesia scent sounds lovely. I find Diptyque’s fragrances are usually short lived on me. It’s interesting how the most gloriously scented flowers such as gardenia and freesia don’t yeild scent molecules.

    • Jessica says:

      LadyM, I think that’s an interesting bit of olfactory science, too!

  5. RobWales says:

    Personally, I find the new bottles more comfortable to hold.

  6. annemarie says:

    I can’t remember if I have tried this one so I will stop by today for a spritz. You are right about that natural-smelling effect. I associate Diptyque with exactly that: a kind of vivid, outdoorsy feel to many of the fragrances. Sometimes it’s a bit too much – some are too photorealistic – but at least it gives coherency to the line.

    I wish I could like L’Ombre dans l’Eau more, but it is just a shade too bitter for me. Philosykos is still my fave.

    • Jessica says:

      “Photorealistic” is a great way to put it. Eau de Lierre is another one… very true, sharp-green ivy and leaves!

  7. Abyss says:

    I don’t usually like soliflores so Ofresia didn’t rock my world but I think that it would be a good choice for anyone looking for a simple, realistic freesia.

    And add me to the list of people who are not keen on the new packaging, I don’t mind the shape of the bottle which actually looks like it would feel rather nice in the hand, but the proportions of the cap are all off.

    • Jessica says:

      Very true, and there are not many freesia-centered fragrances on the market, are there? I can’t think of any. Crabtree & Evelyn may still have one…

      • Flora says:

        I am still looking for a really good freesia scent -I used to have some Freesia body cream, and it was great. I don’t think it was Crabtree & Evelyn, it was the other famous apothecary/bath & body company, which escapes me for some reason.

        • Jessica says:

          Hm… Caswell-Massey, maybe?… or that other one, which I can never remember, either…

          • hajusuuri says:

            C.O. Bigelow ?

          • Jessica says:

            …or Bronnley?

        • sayitisntso says:

          Try Antonia’s Flowers. It’s based upon freesia and it’s lovely. Should be easy enough to find online.

          • Jessica says:

            I forgot about that one! I haven’t smelled it in ages, but I remember liking it.

  8. RGM says:

    That is one ugly bottle. What were they thinking?!

    • Jessica says:

      Oh, dear. ;)

      • RGM says:

        Haha, didn’t mean to shock :p, it’s just that why “fix” something that isn’t broken? The old bottle is really chic, I have to say. I’m thinking of waiting for a sale on the old bottles (hopefully they’ll have one!) and buy three Philosykos so I would delay having to buy the new one…

        • Jessica says:

          Oh, I’m just kidding! I’m very fond of the old bottles, too. I don’t usually like change… for example, I still miss the old L’Artisan Parfumeur packaging with the prettier gold caps.

          • RGM says:

            I know what you mean! I miss those bottles too! I don’t like how the cap tarnishes so easily on the new bottles…:(

  9. bluegardenia says:

    i sampled ofresia a couple of years ago and loved the opening but remember there being a very woody base? is this not the case anymore?

    • Jessica says:

      Bluegardenia, I didn’t get a noticeable woody base in Ofresia… although Diptyque does have many fragrances with wood-and-spice in the base.

  10. bluegardenia says:

    ditto on the new bottles. the old ones were so much simpler and cooler. also loved the old l’artisan caps! ugh

  11. bluegardenia says:

    ps. if santa maria novella ever repackages a thing, i might just lose my marbles!

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