Have you ever met people who give in to middle age a little TOO easily? They relish gray hair, embrace flab, "simplify" their wardrobes by banishing all colors except navy, white, black, gray and beige. They repeat the phrase "age appropriate": when getting a haircut, choosing a perfume, or buying jeans ("Should I even be WEARING jeans at my age?" they ask). Tiresome. If I could accept aging in such a way, my life would be (might be?) easier. But I can't! I'll fight the creaks and leaks and cracks of time every step of the way.
Diptyque has reached middle age and settled into a slower and lazier rhythm with ease. The lively, fun-loving, unusual, quirky perfume company I used to love...is now resting in a La-Z-Boy recliner (those dull new Diptyque bottles!) and seems to have banished all "color" "pattern" and style from its new perfume offerings. A blandness has settled over Diptyque; two new examples of middle-aged Diptyque are Geranium Odorata and Eau de Lavande (part of the Les Florales line).
bergamot, geranium bourbon, rose geranium, pink pepper, tonka bean, vetiver and cedar
Geranium Odorata starts off with cool-warm notes of citrus and a realistic representation of rose geranium (that you can get from any number of inexpensive "over-the-counter" fragrance oils). It's an enjoyable, if un-inventive, beginning that fizzles quickly. As the rose geranium note vanishes it is replaced by a "fresh" note accented with, yawn!, wan tonka bean (creamy but faded vanilla) and sheer/smooth "wood." The middle and base notes of Geranium Odorata are so lacking in character, so like legions of other "fresh" floral fragrances, that they almost seem "invisible" to me and my nose.
Eau de Lavande
lavender, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg
Lavender water? Why? Eau de Lavande is a front-loaded fragrance; it starts off with punchy, spiced lavender leaf and flower aromas...a scent to wake you up in the morning. But the initial burst of notes (that had me rethinking my "Lavender water? Why?" assessment) fades fast — lavender and spice simply lose energy and doze off (mouths open, snoring softly).
Geranium Odorata and Eau de Lavande seem to be what Diptyque offers as middle age leads to middle-of-the-road. Who'd have thought the Diptyque counter (at Nordstrom!) would be buzzing with customers? All of them going after the new (vacuous) Diptyque perfumes. The least Diptyque can do is make a striking perfume, even limited edition, for every three of its dullards...but I'm not betting they will.
It's none of my damn business how people care to look or dress or feel or act while growing older (I have friends who fight age and friends who don't give a damn — I love 'em all). But my old friend Diptyque...I want to shake: "Remember the good old days? You used to be so much fun!"
Diptyque Geranium Odorata and Eau de Lavande are available in Eau de Toilette, in 20 ml roll-on ($48) or 100 ml spray ($98). For buying information, see the listing for Diptyque under Perfume Houses.