Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Tam Dao Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

Total Reviews: 116
I like sandalwood scents so this is a good one for me.

Slightly bitter, dry sandalwood. Something earthy or rooty about it. Reminds me of Molecule 04 which is mostly Javanol, a synthetic sandalwood. Unlike Molecule 04, this has a much more soft projection and because of the other notes involved, more interesting or complex.

Masculine and refined, this feels like a fall scent and a little on the dressed-up side to me.

It doesn't project much but it does last all work day.

13th February, 2018
Warning: novice reviewer

This one is a mixture of wood like in a dried sauna, dark furniture wax and Vicks Vaporub (is that the cypres?)

We have a type of oriental Bengay here, called Tiger Balm. It is very reminiscent of this waxy substance. Perhaps a bit too much for me to justify a purchase.

I like it. Would I wear it? Maybe on a cold winter's day.
06th January, 2017
Tam Dao gave me the wheezies, which I suppose is a testament to the quality of its ingredients because only certain natural materials trigger my asthma--cedar and other evergreens of its ilk being at the top of the list. This is just an observation. It is in no way a complaint about this perfume. I am an adult and a sensible person, so I used my inhaler and took an antihistamine and got on with my life.

What does it smell like? If you've ever stepped into an unheated wooden sauna, you might have an idea. All that wood has quite a bit going on--bitter but a little sweet, dry but a little damp, cool but a little warm. In perfume form, it's pleasant in a white noise sort of way. But even if I could wear Tam Dao, I don't think I would. There's not enough here for me. But I can imagine how it might trigger something primal in someone else.
25th August, 2016
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An absolutely gorgeous sandalwood scent.everything here is in delicate balance and barely discernible to the nose.creamy sandalwood not too sweet but skirting is also reminiscent of expensive pressed powder compact makeup.very unisex but a masculine side.if you are partial to woods,spices and soft dryness give this a is like a warm second skin.Refined,Woody,Creamy,Powdery,Elegant,Smooth, Light but Heavy at the Same Time.

The scent is a textured fusion of creamy sandalwood and exotic eastern spices enhanced with elegant florals of rose and sumptuous woods(cedar and rosewood)in fact it opents with a creamy,almost milky sandalwood and cypress then bold spices and powdery rose give Tam Dao a temporary heavy energy.dry down is very close to the skin becoming smoother and dry with a spirit of modern earthiness.the scent is like laying with your lover after sex somewhere warm and savoring the moment.perfect for a rainy weather.


Longevity?Good on my skin.

22nd August, 2016
Absolutely marvelous. It smells refined and elegant. There is indeed a sandalwood shaving smell and not much else. To my nose, the sandalwood is a very tiny bit on the green side and ultra creamy. Fortunately, the creaminess is exactly what I was looking for in my search for a sandalwood fragrance.

At first, I didn't think this lasted too long, but once after spraying before bed I was able to smell the fragrance while in the shower the next morning.

I have the .33oz spray vial of the eau de parfum version and plan on snagging a full bottle if this one runs out.

If you like sandalwood, this is a safe blind buy. There's no question that this deserves a thumbs up.

10/10 in all categories except projection which is on the low side.
04th August, 2016 (last edited: 24th March, 2017)
I can't give this a thumbs up. I do love the wood shavings smell, but this has a creamy sweetness that shows up during the dry down that is almost cloying to my sense of smell. This sweetness made me feel nauseous, after a while, but then the scent thankfully disappeared after about 3 1/2 hours. When I first put it on my wrists, it smelled fabulous. Just like the wood shavings smell that I love in Slumberhouse's Ore. But, unlike Ore, which also has a caramel and liquor smell that is almost rum like to my senses, Tam Dao's dry down brings on a sweetness that, as I said made me feel queasy. Definitely not bottle worthy in my line-up.

Updated Edit:
I tried to wear this again, just to see if I liked it any better on the second wearing, and I'm gonna have to transpose the first two letters of this product and throw in the Dam Tao. There's just something about the sweetness of the dry down that makes me feel nauseous. Ah, well...
10th February, 2016 (last edited: 12th February, 2016)
Diptyqie is the minimalists dream. Sleek, beautifully designed candles, luxurious skincare, and ingenious creations to enjoy scent through other mediums outside of their candle fortress.

Tam Dao is the gem of Diptyque fragrances. Smooth, sexy, intimate and mysterious. The sandalwood accord appears immediately, and Tam Dao draws you into its mysterious world. An enchanted forest perhaps. Many other notes exist to deepen the sandalwood which is creamy perfection. It's very stable and knows it's place while other notes orbit around in a sort of cosmic dance. Tam dao refuses to be categorized as gender specific as the scent itself is for everyone. Tam Dao can be worn intimately, or give oneself a few extra sprays and it will turn into an aura and envelop you.

This is sheer perfection in a beautiful Diptyque bottle. Completely gender neutral and safe for work. This scent may very well become my signature. I've fallen in love.
11th January, 2016
I LOVE it!!!
Excellent performances (for the EDP)
I feel like it has a little feminine edge.
I don’t get the cedar or the Cypress, the Sandalwood is overwhelming (in the best way possible).
I have some bottles of pure sandalwood from India
One of them smells IDENTICAL to Tam Dao.
This is why I consider Tam Dao to be THE MOST REPRESENTATIVE of SANDALWOOD!!!

Shame that it is so expensive. I got the exact same scent with better performance from a 15$ pure sandalwood oil from India. At my next visit in India, I'll buy the exact same brand of oil.

11th November, 2015 (last edited: 22nd November, 2015)
Nice fragrance. Last longs (Diptyques generally do). Would get thumbs up if the price was better. At this price I would just get some pure sandalwood oil (though mysore can get expensive assuming you can source it).
06th November, 2015 (last edited: 13th August, 2016)
When launched this was a beautiful sandalwood, warm and ethereal.At some point, perhaps when it became impossible to get good sandalwood,it was reconfigued into the boring, generic non-entity of the current iteration. If you ever find an old bottle, check out the difference. It was such an exceptional scent, now lost forever sadly.
07th September, 2015
This is one of the only fragrances I've ever bought without having first tried. I did this because I'm always on a search for the holy grail of sandalwood, and Tam Dao has received a lot of positive reviews.

I do like this fragrance a lot, and the sandalwood note is certainly there, so it works for me. I have a couple of issues with it, though. First, it has incredibly low sillage after about five minutes. I only wear one to two sprays of perfume usually, and I can use around five of Tam Dao and still not detect the scent sometimes. I have the EDT, so I would recommend the EDP if you are worried about this. Second, while the sandalwood-cedar-cypress combination is pleasant and works well, both the cypress and cedar give the overall texture of the smell a certain edge that a person who loves the creamy, buttery quality of good sandalwood might not love. There is also a feel here that reminds me of the smell of a lit cigar and lingering smoke, but I mainly notice this when I get some on my clothes (where it has incredible longevity compared to skin). I don't detect the ambergris here at all.

That said, I definitely like Tam Dao and wear it regularly. It's one of the few I could fall asleep with and it not bother my nose at night. However, I can't call it the holy grail of sandalwood because the cypress and cedar notes have equal presence and modify the overall effect of the sandalwood due to the rough contrast they provide. If you like subtle, natural-smelling woody fragrances with a good dose of sandalwood, cedar, and cypress, you'll probably like this one.
13th August, 2015
Tam Dao by Diptyque is one of those perfumes that always get cited in top ten lists of sandalwood perfumes, and so, when the opportunity presented itself, I bought it. Semi-blindly, I should add, because I was in a great rush. I did smell it briefly. But after having read about it for a full year before I got the chance to test it, I was at that stage so convinced that this was the calming woody perfume I was searching for, that it almost didn’t matter if I liked the brief sniff I had of it or not. I was determined to have it.

Of course, by the time I got it home and had time to think, I realized the truth. And the truth is that Tam Dao (the EDT version at least) is a perfectly nice cedar woods perfume, but it is not the grand Mysore sandalwood I’d read myself into believing. It’s more the plank section at the hardware store than anything else, and while this is indeed a very nice smell, it is also rather ordinary. I was looking for a spiritual revelation – a sandalwood dream – and I got builder’s crack. Oh well.
18th May, 2015
The centerpiece here is pretty much a direct pencil-shavings accord. If you want to believe that it is sandalwood, I've got a bridge for sale that you might be interest in purchasing....

(edp version)
16th May, 2015 (last edited: 27th May, 2015)
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Not what I was hoping for. Tam Dao IMO is a nice fragrance, but not entirely a great take on Sandalwood for me. This is just a little to stripped down for my taste. Other reviews state is much like sawdust and I think that's kind of accurate. Smells raw and I detect cedar as much as sandalwood, and cedar is just too overdone, flat and boring to me.
12th May, 2015
A beautiful cedar and sandalwood gem that seems to turn to a coconut and cedar paradise. I really like this one. A darker turn of Terre d'Hermes. The pencil shaving accord is not as prominent though (not a bad thing at all).
19th April, 2015
Thanks to me friends in the sample selling world, I've now taken a small dip into the world of niche and my main conclusion is that, by and large, the emperor has no clothes. This fragrance offers the space note profile: sandalwood. Nothing else. That could be fine. I can imagine a fragrance with just the note vetiver that explores the many faces of that note. But not here. The opening is sawdust, which is kind of cool and interested. Followed by...some slightly varied wood scents and more sawdust...followed up by more sawdust. You get my drift.

In my view, perfumery, at its best, is an art form telling a story in scent. There is no story here. There is little art. This is closer to a photograph, and not a very interesting one. The only thing to appreciate is the verisimilitude of the representation. The wood in this fragrance smells like, well, just like wood. In fact, remarkably like wood and sawdust. That verisimilitude is, apparently, the achievement. But I want art, not verisimilitude from fragrance. If I really wanted verisimilitude, I could stuff my clothes with hamster bedding. I'd smell EXACTLY like pine or cedar (depending on the bedding). But I'm looking for more. It's like a Demeter scent except with longevity.

This is my second one-note nice, and I'm starting to get the impression that, despite the hefty price tag and the laudatory remarks from folks that need to justify having forked over hundreds of dollars for the authentic smell of sandalwood, that the emperor has no clothes! I understand this is not the case with Frederic Malle and other such scents, but an awful lot of this stuff seems like form without substance. I'll take honest designer scents that attempt to tell a story, like Aramis Tuscany, over this any day.
06th February, 2015
Goa sandalwood, rosewood, cypress, ambergris

Surprisingly this is much lighter than I expected compared to Santal Noble. It's a nice fresh scent that doesn't overdo the smoky aspects of Sandalwood. Ambergris is definitely one of my favorite basenotes. It makes everything more like the outdoors and fresh. The tangy cypress adds another aspect I like. This is my favorite sandalwood I've tried so far. It's not perfect though. The sillage and longevity aren't as good as others for the price but scent, while it lasts, is truely wonderful.
10th December, 2014
I was astounded to smell the phony synthetic sandalwood note which pioneered in Samsara, I believe, and which gags me invariably anytime I'm within a mile of it. So many perfume fans I knew had given it rave reviews. Frankly, I was surprised to find such a synthetic note in a Diptyque fragrance. Big pass here. Because I dislike this note so much, I was unable to smell any of the rest of the fragrance.
09th August, 2014
Genre: Woods

This is supposed to be Diptyque's great essay on sandalwood. Forget the sandalwood. Tam Dao starts out dry and reserved, with a touch of spice and a whole dump truck load of cedar.

And that's it. Bone dry cedar and sharp spices on a bed of desiccated powder. Pure, simple...wait that's a soap commercial isn't it? Tam Dao is dry wood stripped down to its essence, with none of the potentially distracting notes that soften the edges of scents like Santal Noble or Santal Imperial. It smells like a carpenter’s shop, filled with sawdust. It's also utterly, unfailingly linear, just as many other Diptyque scents. Tam Dao is the Zen of cedar. The bare essentials. The unclouded vision. It's quite the achievement, yet it somehow fails to inspire me.
05th July, 2014
The opening of Tam Dao is nice and quite bold, you smell a lot of sandalwood and cedar, so basically a woody, sweet and slightly creamy accord (thanks to the sandal note) really aromatic and dense, refreshed by some floral notes - I guess white flowers - and with some short-lived citrus notes, on the floral-sweet-aromatic side, like neroli or orange leaves. All over this you also feel a greenish breeze, a bit plastic but crunchy and pleasant, which I don't know what may be due to exactly, it smells like Iso E plus green notes. Anyway: basically Cèdre by Lutens, less syrupy and more greenish. To be honest Tam Dao smells as much pleasant as plain to me: it's all a bit boringly glossy, polished, restrained as if all note were perfectly finished with a synthetic trim. It smells, say, a bit "grey" overall, despite the attempt at recreating a naturalistic type of perfume – assuming that is intended. Plus it has basically no evolution so after a while it becomes (more) boring, especially once you start to smell better the synthetic aftertaste some notes leave. Quite a "meh" for me.

06th May, 2014 (last edited: 14th October, 2014)
Diptyque - Tam Dao
This smells like when you are at a petrol-station on the highway, filling off your car with gasoline. That terpenic, sweet smell that makes you a bit high while you are leaning against your car, thinking of nothing… Tam Dao captures that same meditative feeling when you spray it. I don’t know if this is due to the cedarwood alone, cause that must be one hell of a cederwood!- its very spiced and raw-edged. As the counteract, and central theme, Tam Dao is all about sandelwood(oil) which it contains for about 17%- which is a real heavy dose. On my skin it is gone after ca. 1,5 hours which is much too short, also because I like this perfume. I guess this no sandelwood from Mysore but more one of Australia or Haiti, which are lighter and have less tenacity. But its a very nice, attractive sandelwood that isn’t too dominant. I think this functions better as a perfume to scent the blankets of my bedroom. On the fabric, the tone it sings last longer so it lingers through the room more, which is nice. Its a very natural smelling perfume with a high content of non-synthetic ingredients. In my bottle the cedar- and sandelwood pushes itself up and creeps out of the bottle from underneath the spray cap, making the top of the bottle all sticky- which is a natural behavior of essential oils. This is why I like Tam Dao even more, it really walks a walk of its own. Very nice- thumbs up.
28th April, 2014
When you take a look at the notes, you may think it's a heavy woody fragrance but actually it's a very smooth and sweet sandalwood with some spices and some floral notes in the background.
At the opening you can smell a soft woody scent with a semi sweet musky scent and some green notes.
It's very smooth and OK and there is nothing offensive here.
As time goes by and in the dry down, you can smell a soft woody sandalwood with some spices and now the semi sweet musky scent changes to warm and sweet amber.
It's very pleasant and soft.
There is no changes in base.
Projection is very soft and close to the skin and longevity is around 3-4 hours on my skin.
The quality is good and women could easily use and enjoy this mellow woody fragrance.
16th February, 2014
a new favourite

A very good and original fragrance. Powdery without the classical talcum effect that makes you smell like babies. I appreciated the magical combination of white and creamy notes with some spice addition. But why, oh why, adding green notes to such a beautiful scent? Perhaps too gourmand to become my signature scent, but already a new favourite of mine.

Pros: unexpected and original
Cons: why adding green notes to such a beautiful scent?"

06th October, 2013
Solid, but not much more

Woodsy, with a great deal of sandalwood. This is a good fragrance, but nothing exciting or interesting to me. It just lacks complexity and depth.

07th September, 2013
Tam Dao EdP review

This is a review of the newer EdP:

The EdP has copious copious amounts of sandalwood compared to the EdT.

Being an EdP is smelled more intense.

I get a tangy tart accord at the opening which is the lime/ginger accord.

The tart/tangy accord is employed to diffuse the deep woodsy facet of sandalwood and give it character.

Imagine sandalwood being dark and sticky, addition of lime/ginger makes the sandalwood tautly and more firm. The character I mentioned earlier. The coconut in it is the final touch that dilutes and diffuses the lime, ginger and sandalwood. These three notes are strong and the coconut milk note gently restrains them.

The same school of thought is heavily used in South East Asian cuisine where coconut milk is added to curries. Alone, coconut milk is very one dimensional, bland even but when coupled with chillis and curries it takes on another role. It levies a soothing aura over the spice. Yin yang philosophies.

Such skill and craftsmanship rendered to maintain balance with three very vivid notes.

The EdP is achieved by taking the EdT's structure, adding much much more sandalwood, the ginger/lime/coconut accord above.

I would not suggest the EdP for someone interested in cedarwood. The sandalwood envelopes the cedarwood.

The EdP strongly reminded me of Wonderwood sans the CdG signature touches.

02nd September, 2013
The quiet, meditative drydown does it

Im very delighted i found this (as it found me as it was given to me as a sample from a niche company)
Niche worthy, gives me a good feeling wearing it
Love the composure of all blended in one tranquillity potion.Its peacefull uberwearable and lovely.
Opening and midpart to drydown are both amazing!
Its almost if the cut off all ingredients by half blending it back to give each note a slight even balance.
I dont know how to describe this but in my opninion this is scent intelligence.

The quiet, meditative drydown is quite unique

Thumbs up!

Pros: Too many

24th August, 2013
This definitely suffers from longevity and sillage issues. Very linear furniture wood/ sandalwood scent. Yes, sometimes in the fall/winter I do like to smell like a sawed-off piece of wood, thank you very much. Seriously, I do.

Starts out with bit of a bite, gets a little creamy. I heard it used to be better before sandalwood supplies became sparse. But that can be said for almost every fragrance that once was made with sandalwood and is now more than 10 years old. Pretty much everything else has be written about Tam Dao in the other reviews.

Barely a thumbs-up, as something of this nature should definitley have more shout to it. Could have been a contender, but can't help but feel slightly disappointed as when something is good and you really have to search for it, it hurts.
23rd February, 2013
A very nice fragrance, I'm almost at the end of my bottle, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I guess it's this scent that attracted me to the niche side of the wall.. and the beginning of a new journey, so it will always have a place in my heart.

For the top notes I get a blast of cedar and resins, this is the more astringant phase, I find it very invigorating. The heart and base notes focus more on a sweet and silky sandalwood that I find to be quite linear, but very calming and reassuring (a real wrist sniffer for sure).

As someone who likes woody aromas in all their dimensions, I can't but love this scent...

Can be a little light if applied sparingly, so I normally give it a good few spritzes! (just watch the first 10 mins in public as you'll be a cedar bomb before it settles down) :-P

ps: Have the old square bottle, it's beautiful. Not as impressed with the new style...
12th February, 2013
Cedar and Sandalwood, rather boring, I like sandalwood as a supporting note. This doesn't rise above the masses...
27th January, 2013 (last edited: 29th January, 2013)
This is a terrific fragrance, and I feel they've captured the feeling of the Vietnamese tropical forest for which the scent is named.

Sandalwood, rosewood and cedar are the major players here, with musk and some floral notes thrown in to keep it smelling too linear. I find the smell really deepens towards the end of its 5-6 hour longevity - turns sweeter and heavier than its fresh and dry opening would suggest. A lot of fragrances with powerful woody notes end up having notes that smell like sawdust, but this skirts the accord artfully.

Longevity and projection are both very good.
16th November, 2012