Like a garden full of flowers...
You know, it's not easy to review perfumes sometimes... I get lost in the description and everything, and I don't always find the right words, but this one is just such a natural, peaceful smell for me. It's like standing in a summer garden full of beautiful flowers. I can't really describe it any better than that (but of course I'll try)!
Diptyque - Olène is inspired by gardens in the city of Venice, where jasmine grows along walled gardens. Personally, this strikes me more as a garden surrounded by nature, not buildings. The notes work together in such harmony that it feels like you're really there! Jasmine is the main note, but green, and supported by more "green" notes, but also some very intense florals (which I'm not good at describing), like Narcissus, Wisteria, Honeysuckle etc. But like I said, this just reminds me of sitting or standing in a garden absolutely full of all the heady, intoxicating flowers you can think of. It's very floral, but also green and sheer, and I have no problem wearing it in summer or in winter.
I think if you are someone who likes very natural smelling floral notes, or enjoy the smell of being in a garden, and working with plants, then you may fall in love with this one. How they managed to put all this in one bottle I have no idea... but it smells wonderful! Really lovely.
Olène is a big, heady, indolic jasmine, and whether or not it contains the night-scented species, it creates a profoundly nocturnal ambience. It’s a touch clearer, cooler, and drier that Serge Lutens’s À la Nuit, but it is a similarly weighty fragrance. As it ages on the skin Olène's indoles grow even more potent and prominent, without the honey and spice that season the jasmine in À la Nuit’s floral oriental context. In this regard Olène comes close to being a true soliflore, one of relatively few in modern perfumery.
As so many other Diptyque compositions, Olène is a relatively linear scent, sustaining its bold jasmine accord for hours before drying down to a musky, woody base. Olène is a potent fragrance: it projects well and leaves an ample cloud of sillage behind it. If you’re looking for a straightforward jasmine scent, I recommend you give Olène a try.
Indoles- it took me some time to train in recognizing indoles. Not the generic "bad smell" some people invoke, nor the "faecal when concentrated and floral when diluted" as my Organic Chemistry textbook at University stated. As anybody who has smelt them in pureness can tell, indoles smell like naphtalene- not camphor, less subtle and minty and fresh, more gray green, more oppressive and sharp, with a certain bitter inkiness that justifies the comparison with some aromatic components of faeces. I had my initiation to indoles with a lemon flower, then under a wisteria branch, now I can recognize it pretty well even in flowers where other components add to complexity- jasmine, for example. The opening of Olène is a long lasting blast of indoles- Luca Turin says something about their masterly balanced dose in this fragrance. Tiny bubbles of pungent green bitterness covering a straightforward, radiant jasmine. The evolution of the fragrance is quite negligible, only becoming slightly soapy and musky in the drydown, while its projection and sillage are both good (Review based on a sample)
I fell instantly in love with this beauty over in the Jasmin Sniff-Fest thread and it's already on order. It smells like a solifore, the luxurious, narcotic Jasmine main note supported by something green, and some kind of musk. Specifically: top is narcissus and honeysuckle; mid is wisteria and jasmine; base is green notes and white flowers. They don't list it, but there's gotta be a musk in there. I'd bet my nose on it. The overall effect is at once sultry, clean and uplifting, as if while out walking on a summer's day you suddenly encounter the one you'll marry. The attachment is instant and effortless. That's Olène. Must compare her to another,mJasmine soliflore that I find myself returning to again and again, Demeter's Jasmine. Similarly hypnotic, Olène is a tad more floral and Demeter a tad more green. Both lure and hold the nose in rapture.
Jasmine and tuberose heavyweight. In terms of development this is straight as an arrow. Serge Lutens' murkier, less glaring jasmine soliflore, A La Nuit, is engrossing in a way that Olène struggles to be.
Olene is one of my favorite perfumes for summer, I notice in some reviews that people think it's strong and cloying, I don't agree at all it's the best jasmine perfume for me, I think it's very fresh.
I can't stand A la nuit by Serge Lutens and agree with Tania Sanches that it's "death by Jasmine". If you have a chance to compare them you will see what I mean.