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.
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).
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.
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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.
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.
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?"
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.
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
Pros: Too many
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.
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...
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.
This is a clear and straightforward sandalwood fragrance. Little is distracting from that core, and it develops beautifully. Compared to Creed's Bois de Santal, my favourite sandalwood fragrance, it is a bit lighter, less creamy and a bit more linear; I get little development in Tam Dao. Nonetheless it is of very good quality, and one of the best pure sandalwood scents available, not dissimilar to Caswell-Massey's and Floris' Sandalwood. On me silage and projection are limited; it stays close to my skin. Longevity of about three to four hours. Overall a very good rendition of the sandalwood theme.
This is a beautiful, dry sandalwood supported by rosewood and ambergris, which gives it a satisfying saltiness. There is cypress as well, which reminds me a lot of l'Occitane's much-missed Eau des Bergeres/Cade, that driest of all cypresses. Tam Dao is fairly linear, but is so great smelling that it is enough to have it as it is--no further development is necessary. Some think of this as a wet sandalwood, but to me it is as dry as a bone. It reminds me of the intricately carved sandalwood fans you can buy in Asiathat scent the air as you fan yourself. That said, this is a unisex that works very well on a man--it harkens to old masculine classics like Arden, Caswell Massey, etc., but with a chic, hip, French/Indo-Chinese vibe.
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Being one who likes to create custom incense blends, Tam Dao reminds me of something that I have come across before in the incense world. I have some Indian sandalwood chips that I burn on white bamboo charcoal and Tam Dao smells exactly like the split second when the sandalwood hits the hot charcoal. I say "split second" because anything longer than that means the incense would start to smell much smokier. Even though dry, there isn't a whole lot of smoke in Tam Dao. There is, however, an even mix of cedar wood as well as some sweet amber muskiness that come out more as the fragrance sits on your skin. There is also mention of rosewood, cypress and myrtle in the notes list, but they are not noticeable to me.
I really like Tam Dao and proudly have it in my collection, but one could criticize that it is a very linear fragrance and doesn't have the best longevity. Don't get me wrong here as it is very well executed in it's linearity and smells very warm and inviting, but too many excessive sprays bring about an almost offensive anise-like note. If you are looking for a nice, soft, incense-like sandalwood that stays close to your skin then Tam Dao is the way to go.
This is nice, but I don't think it's exceptional. It's a very light fragrance with some sandalwood, other generic sweet woodsy notes, and in the drydown something like maple syrup emerges. To my nose there's some similarity to Feminitè du Bois which probably signals the presence of Iso E Super.
It's a white and pale green sort of scent; if you prefer lighter scents and aren't a fan of incense/wood fragrances in general you may get along with this one. It's quite pretty but I can't picture myself wearing it - I prefer my incense/wood to be loud and aggressive (back to CdG then).
Still a great scent, fairly unique.
Obviously a quality scent, i dont pick up on much synthetic stuff here
It does have a strength to it thats really sharp on my nose and can be slightly headache inducing!
Its woody but not dark, strong sandalwood, sharp cedar and spicy notes!
Still a clean scent though not in the 80's sandalwood territory like a lot of frags.
Nice autumn/fall fragrance.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm sandalwood, cedar, incense, drying down to a lovely ambergris creamy woody finish. The nasal equivalent of an early rise dawn adventure leading into a day of travel ending curled up by a fire with the one you love.
I tried this years ago and did not like it. I just revisited Tam Dao, and I guess I have done a near 180. I still can't say I love the scent, but I at least like it now. I get some sweet sandalwood at the start that is quite nice, and then the scent turns briefly green. The green transition is brief, but a bit medicinal and unpleasant smelling. Finally the sandalwood returns, mixed with a strong incense accord. Neither the best sandalwood nor incense scent available, but worth a sniff if your tastes run to either of those notes. A mild recommendation from me at 3 out of 5 stars.
23rd October, 2011 (last edited: 02nd June, 2012)
This is a very beautiful fragrance, I own a bottle of Australian sandalwood essential oil and the opening of tam dao is very similar. The dry down is the star of this fragrance, the original sandalwood note sweetens; making the fragrance smell like a sandalwood and vanilla candle.
Top note is very incensy. Then dries down to a sweet incense which reminds me of Azzaro Visit. However this is more refined and doesn't have the medicine smell to it. If I didn't already own Visit, I would definitely buy this.
It opens with a green Cyrpress accord then quickly moves to its cedar/sandalwood heart. I find it to be very calming and a good take on sandalwood though linear.
Very natural smelling perfume. I get mostly cedar with a bit of spicyness. Its a dry scent, no sweetness at all. It gets a little musky and soapy as it dries down on me. Overall its well done. I wont be needing a full bottle, but I enjoyed the sample. Its kind of aromatherapeutic. And for this reason, I would rather spend my money on a bottle of cedarwood essential oil.
If you enjoy Sandalwood then you will really like Tam Dao. It is smooth, sweet, creamy, warm and very pleasant. I can not believe I do not own this yet. I am wearing it as a sample. This is a classic that should be in the collection of everyone who enjoys Sandalwood.
I'm a sucker for some of the woody fragrances, especially a well-executed cedar note. I smell far more cedar than sandalwood in Tam Dao, but it doesn't really matter: I truly enjoy this warm and soothing cologne. The sillage and longevity are both great. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I suggest you scroll to the review written by odysseusm. He very succinctly captures the essence of Tam Dao. This one's a keeper.
Linear, but don't dismiss this soft treasure you've found in the back of your cedar chest amongst yellowed linens--a perfumed fist of wooly yarn.
Fantastic slightly sweet and dry sandalwood. Dry, but not to be confused with animalic -- sometimes dryness can smell animlic like in Dirty English.. (which I hate) This is much different. I also get a bit of rosewood in the middle. Tam Dao is a nice fairly linear fragrance that emphasizes on the sandalwood note, longevity is 8+ hours.
I've been using a sandalwood shaving soap by Muhle for the past year, loving the scent and wishing to find a similar fragrance to accompany it. I sampled dozens of sandalwoods, some nice, but mostly disappointing, and none quite like my soap. I had literally given up, until reading the in depth sandalwood thread in the forum. On a whim, I ordered a sample of Tam Dao. The day after it arrived I ordered a bottle. That's the stuff.
Not sure what Diptyque lists the notes as, but the box form my soap says sandalwood, coriander and star anise. Betcha that's not far off.
Rather simple and linear affair of creamy sandalwood. I don't get much movement out this one, but it sits well. Smells natural and good. Can't say I reach for it very often, but it's a nice alternative to incense-based frags when you're in the mood for incense but don't want the church that goes with it.
18th May, 2009 (last edited: 15th May, 2011)
Diptyque Tam Dao
Diptyque started making fragrances in 1968 but in the last few years they have really begun to make an impact in the scented world. One of these impact makers is Tam Dao which was developed in 2003 by Daniel Moliere. Tam Dao has bcome a sandalwood reference standard because of the heavy presence sandalwood exerts on this fragrance. There are three other notes listed; rosewood, cypress, and ambergris. While many who love this scent mention it as almost a sandalwood "soliflore" it is more than that due to the presence of those other notes. From the top the sandalwood is clearly present but the note that pairs with it is cypress and the fresh cleanliness that cypress adds produces an edge to the richness of the sandalwood. As we move into the heart the rosewood begins to show up . The rosewood adds a subtlety to the sandalwood and as it becomes more apparent to my nose a suppleness to the development. The ambergris is the sweet version which intensifies the sweetness inherent in sandalwood and brings this to a beautiful close. Tam Dao is like a meditation on sandalwood in three acts and M. Moliere has used each of the partnering notes to explore a different facet of sandalwood. For those who like sandalwood Tam Dao is a must try scent as it should expose you to all of the potential it has as a note in perfume making.
I can do little else but add my voice to the chorus of praise. Tam Dao is absolutely lovely, and it's fast becoming my most worn fragrance. The irony is that I almost missed out on its beauty: I tested it in store twice and ended up scrubbing it off twice because I couldn't get past that noxious pine-and-cedar opening. I'm so glad I persevered and discovered the true creamy-soft beauty that lies beyond.
It's a one-note fragrance, but what a note! Depending on the day or humidity or temperature or I-don't-know-what, really - different aspects of it shine. Some days it's all creamy sandalwood and rosewood, others it's cedar and incense, and rarely the pine-green notes take centre stage.
Perfect for all seasons and occasions, this must always be part of my collection.