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  1. #1

    Default Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    I wore Diptyqueís Eau de Lierre today. Mostapha saw that on the SotD thread and wrote me a PM:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mostapha
    Chris,
    How is everything? I hope you're doing great.
    I noticed you have Diptyque Eau de Lierre as you SotD, and I have just received a sample of it this morning! I'm interested to know what you think of this scent. The reviews in the directory rate this fragrance average.
    Cheers!
    With that in mind Iíve had a piece of paper with me today for Eau de Lierre notes.

    Consider the source as you think of anything that follows in this post: I love almost every edt Diptyque has made. I think I own almost all of them, and Eau de Lierre is my most recent purchase (and from a very kind and complete gentleman of a Basenoter). Iíve purchased a 100ml bottle too. Therefore two things: I can be read as a booster for the manufacturer, and second, Iíve got the stuff so I can be seen to be trying to justify my purchase to myself.

    I recall what Mostapha is talking about. This scent gets tepid and average reviews. When I read the reviews it seemed like no one knew exactly what to make of it and no one could make a firm declarative statement about it, much less a declarative emotional reaction to it. It seems to strike people as a ďhunh?Ē scent. It strikes me that way too.

    It is a definitive leaf scent though. I remember a review of Givenchyís Greenergy I read months ago that what you got from that juice was just green green green. Straight green from morning until it ended. Never had the pleasure of trying Greenergy myself, but the idea of such a scent stuck with me. Eau de Lierre is leaf leaf leaf. Green, moist, stiff, thick, end of summer leaf leaf leaf. Thereís a review that says it is straight ivy smelling, no chaser.

    But what does that really mean? Do I even know what ivy smells like? Would I say ďIvy!Ē if I smelled it without knowing of that review comment? I might not. But the comment still makes a lot of sense. Not even knowing ivy exactly it still makes sense when smelling Eau de Lierre. Itís certainly a leaf smell, sort of.

    Weíre all accustomed to different plants in our cities and surroundings. When the springtime comes the buds on the trees here are sort of red, then the leaves grow and until about July the tops and the bottoms of the leaves are the same green color, and the leaves are thin, like paper, and bend if you roll them through your fingers. They are sort of thick, though, early in the summer, but lose that thickness as the summer wears on. The bottom of the leaves turns a lighter sage color, and the leaves are more brittle. Then of course they fall off and their brown, gritty, cackling, sound rises from the streets as the wind blows them through the gutters and across the concrete streets and sidewalks.

    Those arenít Eau de Lierre like leaves. The problem of leaf smells is that Iím reminded of the story about fougŤre scents; theyíre meant to be ďfern-like,Ē but in truth, ferns have no smell of their own. So the initial concept of the fougŤre is something that gives the mind the idea or mental screensaver image of ferns. (Consider the source again. Iím a smell amateur and I donít really know for certain the truth of what Iíve heard and now repeated about fougŤre scents and fern plants.) Eau de Lierre and ivy leaves run the same risk. The smell thought that I get is of thick all-dark, waxy, green leaves. Thick leaves in the sense of a quarter the thickness of aloe plant leaves. Leaves that feel like they would knock against walls if the wind blew them against the sides of brick buildings. Leaves that would leave a dry waxy feeling on your finger tips after you rubbed them back and forth on the leaf to see how thick it is. Theyíre stiff leaves and they donít shrivel when the seasons change (although how they finish the season I have no idea since theyíre not evergreen leaves).

    Eau de Lierre is all leaf leaf leaf and more of that leaf. The smell is dark green. With shadow. Not bright and cheerful sounding in the summer eveningís wind.

    I understand why itís reviewed as average. Itís a totally weird one. Not weird in the way Iím used to boastful, out there, macho, dare-ya, kick your watery aquatic rear, weird. Not Yatagan or Dzing! or Bandit weird. Not Molinard Patchouli weird. But weird as in not an expected body fragrance at all. You could wear it to be interviewed by the tax collector and not make ďheís wearing cologne, oh what a fancy pants this guy is, his bank account is going to go to the state for certain nowĒ go through his/her mind. Youíd still be having a delightfully challenging fragrance experience yourself--seeing yourself in a different smell life for a day and imagining what meaning youíre sending to passing noses and to yours, but no one would pick this as a body fragrance--itís weird that way--and ask you about your fragrance. Itís calming too, and emotionally calming at that. If you were wearing too much of it someone might notice and wonder why you smell that way, but not really connect it to a square bottle with a grey spray mechanism on top. Thatís that weird. I donít have anything like it.

    Iíve worn it a dozen times since I picked it up in the spring or early summer. The first wearings I thought it didnít last long and stuck close to the skin. As usual, that turned out to be wrong. The more I wear it and get to know it the more I smell it late in the day, and the strange end dry down comes out. Man, is it weird. Still that leaf, kinda sorta, but itís also got a strong element thatís like the wet inside of old bark that has fallen off a tree dying. So strange! Iím not even sure thatís the right way to put it even. Iíve got Roger & Galletís Extra Vieille in all its flanker body products that I know are sold, and this bark note of Eau de Lierre is just like the dominant element that comes out of the R&G Extra Vieille shower gel body wash. This gel body wash smells slightly different from the other Extra Vieille products, but it helps them and reinforces them for sure.

    Late at night Iíve smelled the dry down bark-thing of Eau de Lierre and thought ďI didnít use that Extra Vieille gel today, did I? Iím not out of regular soap again and stuck with the good stuff, am I?Ē This bark-thing must be a perfume ingredient, and I sort of wonder if it isnít like toned-down and wooded-up immortelle flower. Call me nuts about saying that, because youíre probably right. I donít know for sure at all, but it has that ashy sourness immortelle has, but Eau de Lierre isnít really an immortelle fragrance like Goutalís Sables or that big bottle Dior product. At least I donít think so.

    As an olfactory statement to the world Eau de Lierre fails. The average quality of it drops down to fair to poor for this. It is a scent that is a personal ride, one you can have as a scent aficionado and have as an undercover experience as you go through a day. A day and a half even. About the longevity again, my pillows smell of it from the night I slept and wrapped my arms around them around my head when I wore it this weekend. That was of course a night after a full dayís wearing. As Iíve learned the scent Iíve realized it has lasted that long.

    I mentioned to another friend here that I was writing this up today at Mostaphaís question. He replied that Eau de Lierre is one of the most beautiful scents heís encountered. So maybe it does hit the declarative emotional or artistic standard sometimes.

    I wonít be parting with my bottle. Itís a weird one, from a house that makes weird ones, and itís even a weird one from all the other products by the house.

    Itís a private one though. Donít expect anything but your own thoughts as you wear it, and probably some disappointment.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Great descriptions in your review Chris - thanks! I have never given Eau de Lierre much attention - neither do I hear it being mentioned (good or bad) much on the boards. I love it when I 'discover' fragrances through the eyes of my fellow Basenoters.

    I, too, wonder if I know what ivy smells like. I remember smelling the Marc Jacobs splash named Ivy, but it's leafy, woody top notes get overwhelmed with mint (candy cane actually) and lose some of that leaf-y feeling you're describing.

    I think the 'bark' note you're referring to is the driftwood note. Giacobetti uses it also in her scent she did named Preparation Putman by Andre Putman.

    The only scent I own that even comes close to the 'feel' of leaf, leaf, leaf is my new Shiso (Series 1 Leaves) by Comme des Garcons I picked up in Sweden. It is so leafy, it's hard to wear. I sit sometimes in my closet, picking my SOTD, and I'll have the bottle of Shiso in my hand and I'll put it down...thinking, Oh I can't wear this today! When it settles on my skin, it smells like I've had someone pile a bunch of leaves that have fallen from a tree on my head and I am covered in them. Then a really weird synthetic note rises out of it (like when you tear a leaf) that reminds me of the smell of a just printed glossy magazine paper.

    Now I can't wait to try EdL.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 10th September 2008 at 02:51 AM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    The only scent I own that even comes close to the 'feel' of leaf, leaf, leaf is my new Shiso (Series 1 Leaves) by Comme des Garcons I picked up in Sweden. It is so leafy, it's hard to wear. I sit sometimes in my closet, picking my SOTD, and I'll have the bottle of Shiso in my hand and I'll put it down...thinking, Oh I can't wear this today! When it settles on my skin, it smells like I've had someone pile a bunch of leaves that have fallen from a tree on my head and I am covered in them. Then a really weird synthetic note rises out of it (like when you tear a leaf) that reminds me of the smell of a just printed glossy magazine paper.

    Now I can't wait to try EdL.
    Mike, thank you for your post--you hit something exactly right about EdL as a leaf scent. It's one I pass over many mornings with "Oh I can't wear this today." A sniff in the morning of it seems uneventful, and in making the morning choice I always want something that's going to feel eventful. Sniff EdL, and the naaaaaaa, factor is very strong. For no real good reason even. Curious.

    Thanks also for the driftwood mention it has to be dead accurate.

    I don't get a synthetic feeling with EdL, and I'm sorry your leaf-y Shiso comes down that way at the end of the day. I forgive CdG pretty much any synthetic feeling, but I hear you that it's not a feeling one wants, or that you and I want probably, after leaf smells.

    Thanks for the good and helpful words.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    What a great review! I appreciate that you really dug deep to convey the imagery of this scent. I'm just getting into leafy scents now, and the depth and clarity of your description firmly differentiates this scent from what I have or what I know about. This one is now "must test". Thanks for taking the time to paint such a vivid picture!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    I have had Eau de Lierre for a while, and I resonate with Dust B's review. Leaf is definitely where it's at, and when that's what I want, EdL is a good one to reach for. The name, by the way, is French for "Ivy Water," and that is really the feel get from it. Here is my capsule review of it:
    I find this vaguely reminiscent of Bond No. 9 Gramercy Park. On the whole, I think I prefer this one, and it's a lot less expensive, too. The ivy note is a kind of linear theme here, but the other ingredients, the cyclamen and the ambergris in particular, give this a lift on the one hand and an anchor on the other. As far as green scents go, this is a pretty good one. The other Diptyque green scent, Virgilio, is much more herbal; Eau de Lierre is smoother, a little less harsh. I think I prefer it to Virgilio as well. (Ivy leaves, cyclamen, geranium, green pepper, ambergris, palisander [rosewood], musks.)
    Not to hijack this thread, but today at Barneys I smelled the new L'Artisan Parfumeur scent Fleur de Liane, another prominently leafy scent by Bertrand Duchaufour (L'AP Mťchant Loup, Timbuktu, Patchouli Patch, Dzongkha, Piment BrŻlant, Poivre Piquant; CDG Calamus and Mint; AdP Colonia Assoluta; three Dior Fahrenheit flankers). This one is built on four accords: guava leaf, ozone, white florals, and woods (ozone, marine and green notes, marigold, tuberose, magnolia, guaiac and cedar wood, vetiver, patchouli and mossy notes). What is most prominent is the green note, and that is what remained longest on my skin. The woods and florals are a background element, at least as it wears on me. One thing I am grateful for is that the ozone and marine notes are very well blended in, and don't trouble my nose as they do in some others.

    I wonder if anyone else has tried it and cares to compare it to Diptyque Eau de Lierre? I would say it's more floral, more complex, and perhaps, more modern, but in a slightly retro way, a "deconstruction" of green scents in a modern vein.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 10th September 2008 at 05:30 AM.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    I got a sneak whiff of the new L'Artisan at Bendels in early August. I recall it having a tree/ivy/camp grounds type odor that was interesting but not for me.

    Cheers,
    Al

  7. #7

    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Very detailed review Chris! Pleasure to read


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  8. #8
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    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    I mentioned to another friend here that I was writing this up today at Mostapha’s question. He replied that Eau de Lierre is one of the most beautiful scents he’s encountered. So maybe it does hit the declarative emotional or artistic standard sometimes.
    I'm going to be slightly presumptuous and assume I am the one DustB is talking about here. I mentioned to him that I think Eau de Lierre is one of the best Diptyque fragrances I have ever sampled. I am a huge fan of earthy and leafy fragrances (currently bathing in a cloud of Profumum Thundra ), and Eau de Lierre really seems to do it right. The depth of its leafiness is just intoxicating, and the typical linearity of the Diptyque line is a real strength in this case. I didn't buy it on-the-spot while I was at Barneys, but instead took a sample away. Now that this thread is chugging away, I'm going to make a point of trying it again and then append to my comments here. Frankly, I'd be really surprised if I don't buy a bottle of this soon.

    JaimeB is making me think I need to score some Virgilio soon. I might actually consider blind-buying it from lusciouscargo.com, especially since it is not often available for sampling in stores ... and has basil in it.
    Last edited by Astaroth; 10th September 2008 at 09:51 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Now I cannot wait to give this a full test tomorrow morning!
    Looking for a sample of Gucci Envy Me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    DustB, I'm glad you love it so!
    I don't know what it is, but EdL has an ingredient which I find in several contemporary scents, usually niche, oddly, as it turns out, which has a strangely saccharine-like accord. A smell of Splenda, or maybe the odd combination of a smell while you are tasting an artificially sweetened item.... While the rest of the scent might be fine, this note rears up and really prevents me going any further. It is actually something I have come across in JC Ellena's work more than a couple of times. Who can tell. Could be my schnozz isn't doing me any favors.
    This is the only Diptyque I've encountered like it, also! Alas, as I too am a fan of most of their offerings.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    The old driveway of the house I grew up in was covered in English ivy. And Eau de Lierre does smell exactly like ivy. It's an interesting and very well composed perfume (it's Diptyque, after all). But I'm not much moved to wear my sample of it.

    In fact, the last time I put it on was a few months ago when Basenotes had a One-Star Trash Festival Synch Day. The Perfume: The Guide review of this one is monumentally unfair; Tanya Sanches describes it as "water gin." "For the fun of putting on perfume," she writes, "without the fun of smelling it."

    Maybe this was just the result of smelling too many fragrances too quickly on too many paper strips, but as has already been noted, this one doesn't smell like gin, has a clear scent, and has significant staying power. Not really bottle or decant worthy IMO (I don't particularly want to smell like ivy), but very unusual and pleasant enough. If I were inclined to give out stars, it would earn 3 in my book.

    (It was also an easy choice for my for One-Star Trash Festival Synch Day, as the only other one-star fragrance I had a sample of was the now apparently discontinued Miel de Bois, which I actually kinda like, but which really does make many people flee in disgust!)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    JaimeB is making me think I need to score some Virgilio soon. I might actually consider blind-buying it from lusciouscargo.com, especially since it is not often available for sampling in stores ... and has basil in it.
    Hurry up, Virgilio is soon-to-be-discontinued. Those bottles you see out there, once they're gone they're gone.

    I believe Ruggles is selling a bottle here on BN: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=211177
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 10th September 2008 at 01:17 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Hurry up, Virgilio is soon-to-be-discontinued. Those bottles you see out there, once they're gone they're gone.
    Yeah, I know. OpŰnť (another one that I really like) is suffering the same fate, apparently.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    I'm going to be slightly presumptuous and assume I am the one DustB is talking about here. I mentioned to him that I think Eau de Lierre is one of the best Diptyque fragrances I have ever sampled.
    Whoops! Yes, I goofed that one. Missed it. Sorry, I wanted an interest making line at the end and your reaction was perfect. Would have been just as perfect if I'd gotten it right and mentioned it's one of the best of the Diptyque fragrances you've sampled. Sorry Astaroth!

    Also, Virgilio is really good stuff too. It's one of those that is chaotic for a half hour but then becomes sublime. I can understand members when they think this idea in a scent is folly, like going through barbed wire to get to freedom on the other side, but the calm basil peace in Virgilio is great and worth it.

    OpŰnť is a masterpiece also.

    Sorry about the mistake,
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    But weird as in not an expected body fragrance at all. You could wear it to be interviewed by the tax collector and not make ďheís wearing cologne, oh what a fancy pants this guy is, his bank account is going to go to the state for certain nowĒ go through his/her mind.
    First of all thanks to Chris for the review. Your dedication in writing those great reviews of yours is admirable to say the least. You can imagine my surprise at the length and detail of your review, since I was only asking for a quick, one-line opinion.
    Was a pleasure to read this yesterday and experience the fragrance today.

    I applied Eau de Lierre about three hours ago, and I get nearly everything you've written. This being a linear dark green, "thick," leafy and very strange fragrance. I too don't know what Ivy smells like, so I can't detect anything going on here but leaves. Something tells me this would have been my perfect fragrance, if I didn't constantly feel there's something missing. A tiny missing detail that would have made this fragrance a huge find. Something that would make it just a little bit less harsh, or maybe tame down the weirdness Chris speaks of? I don't think I feel so because of the linearity of Eau de Lierre either, some of my favorites are more linear than this.

    Yes, I doubt this fragrance will get you any comments. If anyone is to smell this on you (which is not likely, it's not that powerful), there would be no way for them to think it's a person radiating this smell. So as you say, this is only a personal experience.

    However different this is from anything I have ever smelled, I doubt I would want a bottle or decant any time soon. I'll join most of the reviews in the directory and rate this scent average. I will be going back to my small sample for an occasional sniff, and it might just grow on me one day. After all, this is what L'Ombre dans L'Eau did, going from "yeah that's okay" to my top 5.

    That said, I can only say my interest in Diptyque has increased after trying this one. I don't know whether it's my nose playing tricks or am I really detecting a house signature smell. Chris mentioned he has nearly all their EdT's, I wonder if he finds this the case, at least with all their "green" fragrances.

    I still have two untested Diptyque samples in my closet thanks to a friend Basenoter, but these are supposed to be different. After much anticipation I will be trying Tam Dao soon. I also have L'Eau, which gets as much bashing as it gets praise in the directory, so I have quite an interesting week ahead.
    Looking for a sample of Gucci Envy Me.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mostapha View Post
    I applied Eau de Lierre about three hours ago ...
    The fact that I can read Mostapha's reviews only minutes after he posts them from Cairo is proof-positive that I am working too many hours. Sigh. Anyway, this is a really green scent. I don't doubt that it will not be most peoples' cup o' tea. The rest of us weird folks get all excited when something like it comes along. As soon as I find some time, I'm going to dig up my sample and give it another whirl.
    Last edited by Astaroth; 11th September 2008 at 10:49 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Diptyque's Eau de Lierre: a review

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    The first wearings I thought it didnít last long and stuck close to the skin. As usual, that turned out to be wrong. The more I wear it and get to know it the more I smell it late in the day, and the strange end dry down comes out.
    I can confirm that. At some point it faded away for a couple of hours, then came back smelling (relatively) strong again.
    Looking for a sample of Gucci Envy Me.

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