Perfume Directory

L'Eau (1968)
by Diptyque

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L'Eau information

Year of Launch1968
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 99 votes)

People and companies

HouseDiptyque
PerfumerDesmond Knox-Leet
Parent CompanyManzanita

About L'Eau

This scent is based on a 16th century pot pourri and a clove pomander.

L'Eau fragrance notes

Reviews of L'Eau

L'Eau is magical. All at once it exudes cryptic medieval mystery, Victorian sentiment, and 60's rich hippie rock star ambiance. It's a blunt clove potpourri fragrance that was clearly the inspiration for the original Commes des Garcons, but look closer:as time goes on, a green, wet patchouli chypre becomes more apparent under the spices. Do not let the first impression of cheap citrus-spice toilet water fool you: L'Eau is a case in which the outstanding quality of ingredients transforms the whole enterprise. It lasts forever and smells wonderful with cigarettes. As with CdG, be prepared to withstand a lot of critcism for your fragrance choice, as everyone will say you smell like Christmas. Tell them that they are wrong, and that you actually smell like Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger on a trip to Tangier in 1968, which is the truth.
22nd January, 2015
The story goes that Desmond Knox-Leet was obsessed with 16th c. potpourri and kept his own recipes for the fledgling house of Diptyque on his desk. He absent-mindedly played with it throughout the day, so that it clung to his person, and it became his signature scent.

Many Diptyque scents smell like class to me, because they smell like you spend your time in good-smelling places but don't wear much scent yourself. L'Eau Diptyque is perfectly emblematic of this sentiment.

I wish there was more sandalwood, with the cinnamon giving an incense effect with a way dialed down clove, giving just an edge of soapiness. Instead, this is expensive potpourri, but potpourri nonetheless. Maybe fun around the holidays or as an alternative to Old Spice. I prefer the more citrusy flanker L'Eau de L'Eau.
19th December, 2014 (last edited: 04th February, 2015)
Genre: Oriental

Diptyque’s first scent has a stupefying opening: it’s a blaring accord of cinnamon Red Hots candies and citrus rind that while blatantly artificial, keeps me sniffing just because it’s so utterly weird. As things progress the citrus settles down, the cinnamon candy mutates into cloves, and a soft rose emerges in the background, all of which results in a much more conventional carnation accord. At a distance L’Eau’s main movement is a pleasant rose/carnation over creamy woods, but smelled up close there’s still something harsh and disturbingly “chemical” about it.

Like so many of the Diptyque scents that have come since, L’Eau remains relatively linear once its core arrangement settles into place. As it wears on I feel that this represents Diptyque’s trial run at personal fragrances – which of course, it was. As such, I can’t say it was a promising first effort. Its oddness soon begins to look like clumsiness, with the clove note in particular being far out of balance. In retrospect it’s both remarkable and gratifying that L’Eau’s successors include such beauties as Virgilio, Eau Lente, and Philosykos. More an item of historical interest, I think, than a viable personal fragrance.
19th June, 2014
Very strong, very unpleasant clove bomb. No originality here, just clove oil. The so-called other notes of cinnamon, sandalwood, geranium and rose and nowhere to be found to my nose. One note and in no way subtle. Even barber shop bay rhum splashes had more complexity than this.

Of course Tuin liked this "potpourri chypre" and gave it four stars. He would probably have considered Lady Godiva's dress maker a great hauteur. Perhaps the 16th century truly did smell as awful as we imagine and this sort of thing was the only way the medieval nose could survive.

Awful stuff!
27th February, 2014
Tony T Show all reviews
United States
great cold weather spicy/edgy concoction. the opening is of delightful cinnamon and cloves then the drydown of clove/rose/woods turns into a long lasting unique fragrance. a bit more masculine than feminine but nonetheless very well done. great projection but should not be worn year round..
13th February, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This is the original and first creation of this remarkable house, and in spite of it's name it is a sweetish cinnamon-and-clove composition. In spite of clove being able to be quite overwhelming at times, it remains under control here, and this is actually quite a balanced scent. On my skin it has good projection and silage, with a very good longevity of over five hours. 3.25/5
10th February, 2013 (last edited: 25th September, 2017)

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