In January, 2013, alone in a small niche perfumery in Rome and armed with birthday money, which is free money, I made my first niche perfume purchases, among them L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. I ended up selling all but one of those bottles (I kept Borneo 1834), and the first on the chopping block was L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. I always have a moment of hesitation before selling on a perfume, but not this time.
I had, of course, made the rookie mistake of falling in love with the fresh, green topnotes and not waiting for the dry down to arrive before getting my wallet out. The top notes are great though, if you’re into very vivid, naturalistic garden settings – this one is like walking through a lush, wet tomato patch, snapping the leaves as you go. The blackcurrant leaf note is particularly mouth-watering.
But what I discovered when I got home was a luridly pink, neon-lit rose that screeched and screeched in my ear until my last nerve snapped. I read somewhere that people think it would make a better room spray than a personal perfume, so before selling it, I gave it one last spritz around the bedroom. But that just made the room smell of L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, so no, that didn’t work.
Recently, someone sent me a sample in a swap, and I decided to see if my feelings about it have changed. Nope. It’s still pretty awful – that loud pink disco rose waiting in hiding behind the beautiful opening, poised to explode all over the pain receptors in my brain – Jesus, someone get this off of me, please.
I do not smell rose or blackcurrant anything.
I smell something burnt on an old stove that really needs cleaning.
How can this be worn with joy?
I tried. I hoped for better in the middle notes. Nope. It was still gross.
I even thought I would give it a chance for the basenotes - there is a faint fruit/berry. But it does not redeem the the entire experience.
I gave it two stars because of the base notes - it had some of the actual notes it claimed. Otherwise, it would have been a one.
Messy, acrid cheap synthetic cassis, synthetic rose and synthetic blackcurrant all the way. It may have been better some years ago, now it’s this – and nothing else. It smells halfway a drugstore green-rose cologne from the 1980’s and a contemporary fruity-musky scent right out of a suburban Chinese emporium. As hours pass it becomes more tolerable as it focuses on rose and faint leafy echo, but it’s still nothing more than a cheap insult to “selective” perfumery for me.
I've lately been searching for the perfect spring scent, and voila, here it is. Strong, almost harsh green notes top this fragrance, and yet they are all so undeniably natural and fresh that it is more arresting than affronting. The rose and blackcurrant combination, anchored by ambergris in the base, make for a fragrance that is at once full-bodied, organic, and beautiful. My favorite offering from diptyque with Tam Dao at a secure second. A must-try for fans of fresh green and earthy scents.
L'ombre dans L'eau EdP
The rose note by itself is nothing to write home about, a bit too fruit juicy, as most are, but the way that note is framed is terrific! Very green, stemmy, leafy, and yes, compost-y. Like a walk through a rose garden in April. By a river. Yep, there is an unmistakable water note in here too.
Giving this one a big thumbs up for spring.