I wrote about Diptyque's L'Art du Soin collection of body products when it was first launched — can that really have been almost five years ago? — and I recently realized that I hadn't covered some of the later additions to the line. I've been hoarding little sample packages of Softening Hand Wash (Savon Liquide Réconfortant) and Velvet Hand Lotion (Emulsion Velours pour les Mains) that I received last fall, and this week seemed like the moment to use them: my part of the world has been coping with an excess of harsh and frigid winter weather, and my hands need every little bit of pampering that they can get.
My bathroom-sink hand-washing routine usually involves an nearly used-up bar of LUSH soap or some diluted Dr. Bronner's castile soap in a pump bottle, but if I were truly living a life of luxury, my counter would always be graced with a bottle of Diptyque's Softening Hand Wash. It's a thick, amber-tinted liquid, and it's so concentrated that a small dollop is enough to produce plenty of fine lather. It truly doesn't leave my hands feeling stripped of their own oils, and it smells like no other hand wash. It actually reminds me slightly of Diptyque's Volutes fragrance: it has a lavender heart, but there's also a dusky honey note and something like smoky-sweet tobacco. The scent lingers on my hands for a considerable length of time after I wash them, so you really can call this liquid soap a perfumed product.
I can never have enough hand cream, and various tubes and tubs are stashed around the house, in my purse, at my office desk. Even though I have a few other nice products in my current rotation, I'll miss Diptyque's Velvet Hand Lotion when I've used up my sample. It's a lightweight, yet effective, formula that absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving a satiny finish and no greasy residue at all. For this reason, it's a very useful "daytime" hand moisturizer. I've also enjoyed it at bedtime, because it has a pleasant and soothing fragrance. Immortelle flower is listed as an ingredient, and the scent does have a strong suggestion of immortelle, but it's more like herbal tea than maple syrup (the way immortelle can sometimes be in perfumes), and it's overlaid with notes of chamomile and a very light almond, both of which I find very calming.
I wish that Diptyque's L'Art du Soin wasn't so high-priced; the products are very good quality, and the packaging is typical Diptyque bohemian-botanical chic, but those numbers do make me wince a bit. What do you think? Have you splurged on these items, or would you do so in the future, especially during a long, skin-chapping winter?
Diptyque L'Art du Soin Softening Hand Wash sells for $38 for 300 ml; Velvet Hand Lotion is $42 for 250 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Diptyque under Perfume Houses.