This must have been quite groundbreaking back in 2001. Now, when most perfume brands have an "oud" scent without any oud in it, usually based on a recipe similar to Opôné, Diptyque still manages to outclass most of its rivals.
So what does it smell like? Well, it's got saffron and rose, but it doesn't smell like every other saffron rose perfume. The saffron is woody rather than leathery, flanked by a deep oak smell. Meanwhile, the rose combines with rich, plummy damascone as well as the oak to create a deep wine barrel smell.
The result is a very specific type of red-wine-sipping goth vibe, the combination of blood red velvet and white lace, the perfect olfactory match to a big, buxom lady in a tight corset dancing through a renaissance fair. And that's definitely a compliment.
Saffron and spice - this are the thoughts in my head when I get the opening blast. And this is a well-made saffron, a bit richer and a hint darker than, for instance, the saffron in Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Sultan Safran, and it is long-lasting, remaining in the foreground until the base phase.
Not that is is a mere saffron scent; a rose impression arrives soon. It is more in the background on me, gentle and mild and more like the fragrance of a wild rose. And later a woodsy note in the base is evident.
Apart from the saffron, the other main note of longitudinal stability is a a spice impression. It is an elegant, fairly bright spice with a fresh touch, not peppery, with a nigh moss-like alacrity but neither sharp nor dominant, blending in very well and incorporated harmoniously into the whole olfactoric architecture of this composition. This spice is not incense-like and is not at all ceremonious or heavy. It is the saffron and the spice that form the backbone of this composition.
I get very good performance with moderate sillage, very good projection and nine hours of longevity in my skin. This is a lovely fragrance for warmer winter days, and overall well-made. 3.25/5.
When I first smelled this 10 years ago, it was simply too much for me. The saffron was too overpowering to my nose.
Over the years, I slowly used up my decant, eventually finding a full bottle along the way. I absolutely love this fragrance today.
This is a very simple and linear, but long lasting, fragrance. Dry roses, saffron, and a touch of woods. Very adventurous. I imagine this is the smell of the cargo of a renaissance sailor returning from the far east.
Wish Diptyque would bring this one back.
Opôné, now discontinued, was the starched collar of the Diptyque outfit. Its rose/saffron tandem is smart, resolute and reliable (that is, showing the typical Diptyque trait of starting as it means to go on, with considerable durability, and offering an ideal projection from the skin). It is impeccable but, unfortunately, also feels monotonous by the end of a day's wearing. It's really too bad, as the fragrance is very attractive, with a parched simplicity evocative of desiccated rose petals and a subtle aromatic twist courtesy of the saffron, which treads a fine line between the medicinal and the savoury. While far more hushed than that other, rowdier, rose in the Diptyque line, L'Ombre dans L'Eau, Opôné feels neither cheerless nor downtrodden, but instead respectably sober. I just wish it'd unwind with a large glass of something at the end of a long day; Andy Tauer's Incense Rosé, with its opening champagne salvo, is a step in the right direction.
Rose can sometimes be the prettiest note in the room to the exclusion of almost everything else. Most of my favorite rose scents are powerful and scream "Rose!" when I wear them. What to do when you want your scent to whisper "rose". For me I turn to the 2001 release from Diptyque Opone. Like many Diptyque scents it is almost a soliflore but for the addition in this scent of a lovely hit of saffron to go with the muted rose. The top of this is a sheer rose that doesn't barge into life and take over the room. Soon enough the saffron asserts itself and this mix of saffron and rose stays in place throughout the development. It is joined by some very light spice and wood throughout the development of this but Opone remains resolutely linear and composed around the two main notes of rose and saffron. This is such a good mix on me that this is a case where the linearity is not so boring on me, as I find with other scents. The ability to keep a lighter touch to the rose makes Opone an easier scent for me to wear when I don't want to be a sillage monster but still want to wear rose. Opone is like most of the Diptyque scents in that it has decent longevity on me but they don't project very much. Opone is the scent I use when I feel like whispering instead of screaming.