Perfume Directory

Olène (1988)
by Diptyque


Olène information

Year of Launch1988
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 96 votes)

People and companies

Parent CompanyManzanita

About Olène

Olène is a shared / unisex perfume by Diptyque. The scent was launched in 1988

Olène fragrance notes

Reviews of Olène

Shampoo and hairspray with a hint of melon in the beginning, followed by jasmine and a soapy-floral dry-down which is much better than the initial phases. Half-way between crudeness and refinement. Not terrible, but you come to expect better from Diptyque.

02nd September, 2019
Olène (1988) is a staple perfume of the classic lineup composed by Serge Kolouguine for the niche house Diptyque, and has an almost soliflore quality, like several others going back to the origins of the brand. Olène is extremely light, fresh, and strikingly modern for a feminine-leaning floral created at the height of 80's powerhouse fever, when terrible tuberose and massive animalic patchouli rose compositions ruled the day for women alongside the old faithful oakmoss chypres carrying over from decades past. Indeed, Diptyque Olène feels right at home among many linear 6-note wonder scents littering the crowded field of back-to-basics niche perfumery, so I can only imagine how something so clean and almost angelic must have been perceived at its time of release. Then again, jasmine-focused scents only can really go one of two ways, with a focus on the hedionic aspects as Olène does, or the sex-dripping indolic aspects as the later Serge Lutens À la Nuit (2000) or Lust by Gorilla Perfumes [Lush] (2010). In the case of Olène, this affords a very wearable and almost generalist perfume experience that is reminiscent of jasmine silver needle tea, which is a winner in my book.

The scent of Diptyque Olène opens with a light narcissus and soft honeysuckle, the latter being a flower which itself is something of a cousin to jasmine in tonality, and merges quite beautifully with the star of the show once the jasmine appears moments into the wear. Honeysuckle bows out to the jasmine, and the kind of jasmine achieved here through the use of mostly a hedionic variety is that of the "caught in the air" type Seals & Crofts became famous singing about, but before you get the lyrics of Summer Breeze stuck in your head, there is a bit of enrichment in the form of wisteria. The wisteria flower is a climber and a cousin to cistus labdanum, having a similar pasty aroma but a tad darker and more mellow. I feel the wisteria is another segue note just as the honeysuckle is, since the base of vetiver, musk, and a light cedar dusting emerges from this wisteria. Wear time is astonishingly long for such an otherwise-light perfume, and will last on clothes for days. Best in summer, Olène is the polite perfume for jasmine lovers that want the calming effects of a nice jasmine aroma without anything scandalous in tone. I'd say fans of the flower can safely blind buy this, but sampling is easily done since Diptyque is easily reached online or in higher-end department stores.

I like Olène a lot, but my boyfriend in particular is gaga for this scent, so I have far more experience "catching it in the air" off of him than wearing it on my own skin, so I can vouch for its intended purpose to simulate the smell of walking through a Venetian garden. Some people say older iterations of this were muskier and a tad more indolic, and if that is so, I kind of like the modern version better because there are enough flirtatious indolic jasmine perfumes on the market as it is, and very few clean hedionic ones without the jasmine being buried behind a half-dozen other notes. In conclusion, something like this might be too perfectly linear or focused for people deep in their perfume journeys, and therefore perfectly boring to people looking for perfumes that unfold like a fairy-tale on skin, but for a "simple pleasures" kind of scent based almost solely on interpreting the smell of jasmine blowing through the air, one will be hard-pressed to do better than Diptyque Olène. Fans of any sort of jasmine tea will also want to take note, because this is essentially that but for your skin. Lovers of jasmine will see this as unisex anyway, but for the mainstream crowd, there isn't much unisex appeal here. Thumbs Up!
23rd April, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This is floral galore. Opening with a jasmin as the core component throughout, I get an interesting set of additional floral undertones. At times a crisper and nigh steely-bitter intensive indolic aroma, intermixed with notes narcissus and at times even touches of tuberose with hyacinth. Otherwise this is a fairly linear composition.

The performance is excellent, with moderate sillage, very good projection and a magnificent thirteen hours of longevity on my skin.

A nice floral for the jasmine-lover, never cloying or too sweet, with great performance. 3.25/5.
25th September, 2017
Stardate 20170824:

Smells like a good quality soap. No indoles. No richness. Fabric softner type smell. I will pass. Maybe they need to come out with EDP for this one.
Neutral to thumbs down.
This may be a victim of reformulation. My review is for what is out there now. Seems that vintage juice was better.
24th August, 2017
A jasmine soliflore of great sillage and longetivity.

My favorite jasmine scent thus far has been Serge Lutens' A La Nuit (2000). Olene predates that scent by twelve years and was perhaps a challenge Lutens decided he would meet by making a better version.

Turin in his Perfume Guide gives a long paragraph description of indoles and skatoles, which makes these terms perfectly clear and understandable. He praises Olene for being a near perfect jasmine, while his spouse, Tania Sanchez, describes A La Nuit as "death by jasmine."

I am of the opposite opinion. I find the Lutens to be the truer scent, with its fresh greenness. Olene is excellent, but to its discredit there is the nose-tingling effect of mothballs (not the scent of them, mind you, but the olfactory response) that intrudes upon the pure jasmine effect.

Odd that every reviewer here notes it as a jasmine, while the note tree lists two scents (wisteria, narcissus) which I do not perceive and leaves jasmine out of the picture.

If you are looking for a jasmine soliflore, do try both Olene and A La Nuit and make up your own mind.
12th February, 2016
If you love Jasmine, and are looking for a JASMINE scent, you've found it! Yes, it is linear, but sometimes, that is what you are searching for!

I have many jasmine scents, and I love them all. Some have many complex notes along with them, and they are brilliantly done. Every now and then, though, I just want to smell the jasmine, so that is the void Olene fills.

Get the square bottle if you can find it.
09th February, 2016

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