Perfume Directory

Tempo (2018)
by Diptyque

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Tempo information

Year of Launch2018
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 38 votes)

People and companies

HouseDiptyque
PerfumerOlivier Pescheux
SupplierGivaudan
Parent CompanyManzanita

About Tempo

Tempo is a shared / unisex perfume by Diptyque. The scent was launched in 2018 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Olivier Pescheux

Reviews of Tempo

Tempo, to me, is a mature, dusty, aromatic, spicy scent that stars patchouli, but not in a screaming way. Once you get past the busy opening (tea, bergamot, violet), this has a warm, comforting feel in the drydown. Too mature for me because of the patch but not a bad scent, not at all.

These mature smells don't feel good in high heat so Tempo seems best for cooler weather. Also, more dressed up than casual.

Performance is good, decent projection and longevity in the 7-8 hours range.


13th April, 2020
I really like this. It's got a slug of mate, which is a tea-lover's dream note, smelling of sweet, dried leaves. Also good nature-lovers, it has a dose of clary sage which imparts a clean, minty aroma. Violet leaf accents the green aspects of the patchouli. Pink pepper opens it up with a spicy airiness.

One would expect something nose-searing and dry, but no. Somehow, it manages to sweeten on the skin. How is that so?

I suspect the trick is to use patchouli isolates, in which the heavy, smoky, dirt and wood fractions are removed. Then they blend, blend, blend with complementary, lighter, fresher notes to achieve a phantom sweetness. Bravo, Tempo!

After I came to terms with the fact that many, many people detest patchouli, I gave up wearing the woody patchouli bomb of Santa Maria Novella Patchouli. But what then? It's hard to add sweetness to this note without going wrong. Vanilla can be too edible, too nauseating. Fruitchouli can, and does, annoy me very soon and very completely. I loved Coromandel until the EDP reformulation.

In Tempo, I've found a natural, honest patchouli that is stretched out over a framework of outdoorsy notes. It's discreet enough to wear in public. My sample did not project very far on my skin, but it was detectable for a long time. I will have to find a new bottle to evaluate its strength.
03rd May, 2019
Diptyque pulls a clever trick with Tempo – they take a head-whirling patchouli creation, all hippie flares and caked make-up and dial it down so it becomes something a bit sophisticated rather than just a throwback. So, the first thing to note about Tempo is its well-judged sillage – you’re unlikely to have the person next to you run for cover, gasping for breath, a reaction some patchoulis can provoke.
And then there’s the bouquet – this is a unashamedly ‘perfumey’ patchouli. By perfumey, I mean it isn’t just ‘Ah, patch – tick!’, but seems to have an orchestra of floral elements, soap bubbles and fatty litpsticky notes surging within it. Patchouli lovers will feel shortchanged on the earthier, sultry and dark aspects, which are missing here. The herbal zing of sage brings a touch of ‘gents cologne’ freshness to the mix and the accent of dusty bitterness from the mate provides moderate intrigue.
Tempo’s essentially temperate nature is perhaps a drawback for thrill seekers, but here is a well put together patchouli suitable for everyday wear which is likely what Diptyque were after.
09th April, 2019
Love this! I grew up in Notting Hill and lived a 2 minute walk from Portobello market...my memories back then are walking through the market smelling a heady, dirty smell that was Patchouli...it was a lot danker and pungent than Tempo, and my quest for this goes on, but in the meantime Tempo is a great everyday fragrance for me. Great fresh opening and not as ‘skanky’ as I’ve heard from others. To paraphrase Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds track Holy Mountain, “...she smelled like 1969.”
17th January, 2019
Tempo comes across to me like a Creed Bois du Portugal (1987) for hippies, and I mean that as a compliment. Yes, I know Bois du Portugal doesn't contain patchouli, but that's the point. This is a classic gentleman's parfum built up by Olivier Prescheaux from patchouli in the same way Pierre Bourdon and Olivier Creed built up Bois du Portugal from sandalwood and ambergris. Bergamot heads them both, but where one goes strait into lavender and fougère tones, the other takes a playful meandering way through some classic barbershop notes and clever swap-outs to achieve the same smooth, heady, mature end point. Put another way, Bois du Portugal is the very top-end option for the guy who loves the rich, sweet, powdery barbershop fougères a la Guerlain Héritage (1992) or Tiffany for Men (1989), but Tempo is the version that same guy would pick after retirement when he lets his hair grow out, replacing those Armani shoes with a pair of Gucci sandals on the beach. Tempo is also a good option for fans of the original Givenchy Gentleman (1974), or even Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men (1984), but wishing the civet or benzoin growl (respectively) was swapped out for something more genteel in nature. Tempo is worn to art and music festivals by the same man who wears any of the others to the office, as it's not "raw patchouli" enough to capture images of The Grateful Dead or Bob Marley posters illuminated by black light, but has the wild side there, tucked under all the blending.

Tempo opens up with bergamot and violet leaf. There smells to be a bit of petitgrain here too but it's not listed, which regardless of a ghost note or not, is the biggest link back to the 70's/80's gentlemanly vibe. This very loud opening is also on par with the aforementioned Creed scent, so go easy on the trigger. The middle of clary sage and mate adds another familiar masculine depth, with the latter adding a hay-like dryness which controls the patchouli base from getting too pungent when it shows up after a few minutes on skin. Pink pepper is the only really modern element here, and it's probably just used to add a bit of piquant brightness to once again keep what is a three-patchouli blend from really taking the scent into head shop territory. Pogostemon Cablin, Pogostemon Heyneanus, and Pogostemon Hortensis are all in the base with a bit of oakmoss, finishing this up in a surprisingly mature and stately manner. The differences between each patchouli type are frankly lost on me, and they're blended here anyway so I'd never be able to tell them apart, but I can say this has none of the "incense" or "marijuana chaser spray" qualities typically associated with the smell, but it's also because there's essentially a fougère accord sitting on top of it. Longevity is nuclear, and so can sillage be if not careful. I'd say you can take this to the office, because it's not readily apparent as a patchouli fragrance, but just to be safe, maybe only wear it on casual fridays when you want to inject a bit of irreverence into an otherwise classy scent trail.

Tempo's logo is perhaps best of all, as the font type used on the bottle could easily be on a 60's acid rock or 70's progressive rock album cover. I also get images of old Hammer House movie posters too, or even font types used in various Scooby Doo iterations over the years. The whole package just reeks of nostalgia, within the context of Diptyque's oval bottle and label designs, and it's just great. This stuff may be a bit pricey to some, as $125-$180 is a pretty stiff order for a parfum-strength hybrid between a gentleman's fougère and a hippie de toilette, but you won't at all feel out of place wearing this to a high-end shopping district, nor a Coachella festival, so there's that. All of the stuff from this style just seems to stem back to Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur (1972) and Givenchy Gentleman anyway, so you could just buy those and layer them together if you really wanted to go cheap, as you'd still end up not even near half the price of Tempo, but that isn't the point of this review. Stuff like this reminds me that niche can still be a lot of fun, and not everything has to be a museum piece in a bottle with a long explanation about royal warrants, perfumer accolades, and rare sourced ingredients. People who hone in on those things are really just trying to abate some social anxiety or insecurity they have anyway, and they pay dearly for it, trust me. If you want to have fun with your fine fragrance, and have the cash to burn, pick this up. You won't regret it.
27th August, 2018 (last edited: 28th August, 2018)
Starts with (my favorite) juicy bergamot. The pink pepper is a nice touch. The violet leaf and mate are tender. The sage is light, not too herbal-ish or bitter. All these notes settle into a cool, musty cloud, until patchouli kicks in. The patch is sweet and amber-like. Tempo overall becomes a powdery scent on my skin. Not overly femme, just right. A refreshing fragrance for the summertime.
18th July, 2018

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