I could have taken a quicker route but I detoured up Bolsover Street, solely for the silly romantic reason that it made me think of a recently retired beast of a man whom I have always admired for his integrity. Deep in reminiscence about the passing of times, I approached my destination: now named “One Marylebone”, a neo-classical former church built in 1826 by John Soane to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon towered above the busy Marylebone Road. Today it was the site of a presentation by French niche company Diptyque of their new Eau de Toilette named Eau Duelle.
Inside was a long a table set out as an “olfactory journey”. A thirty foot array of peppercorns, vanilla pods, vetiver roots, resins and woods was laid out on dishes, stood in jars and strewn loose. Fabrice Pellegrin, the nose from Firmenich who composed the scent for Diptyque spoke through an interpreter about the scent. Diptyque fragrances, he said, are each about a journey; some are imaginary and some real. This perfume represents an imaginary journey. He began with the base notes and explained the concept –Eau Duelle is based on two contrasting vanilla notes, both extracted with different processes from Bourbon Vanilla. One is dark and animalic the other sweet and light. There is also a touch of labdanum, vetiver and Paradisone – a Firmenich captive molecule related to Hedione which gives a jasmine like effect and plenty of white musk. The contrast (the “duel”) is continued in the upper levels of the fragrance with fresh bright spice and darker smoky tea, cypriol and frankincense. There is grassy aspect too with an interesting twist of calamus and elemi and some other unusual woody notes. He said the idea was to make a delicate and interesting vanilla using plenty of natural extract, avoiding the vulgarity of many of the overwhelmingly strong and synthetic vanilla based fragrances.
It is a distinctive vanilla-dominant fragrance, suitable for men and women with green, grassy and woody elements, a spice angle and a little animalic twist (with no animal derived ingredients).
Eau Duelle will be available from September as 50ml EDT at RRP of £45 / €58, 100ml EDT RRP £65 / €78 and a solid perfume of 0.16oz at £28 / €30.