Tuesday 17 June 2008

L'Ombre Dans L'Eau

Diptyque's L'Ombre Dans L'eau (the shadow in the water) has been my latest perfume obsession- and I've finally cracked and bought myself a beautiful bottle brimmed full with the scent of my latest dreams.

Much of the writing we see about fragrance in the printed press (although not I hasten to add on the internet and in the world of blogs) can be quite formulaic and incredibly uninspiring. This always surprises me, magazines and newspapers think nothing of letting a writer have free reign to write about food and enter into raptures about how evocative food can be when I think perfume can often transport you to a similar, or even greater, degree.

I much prefer perfume reviews or pieces that use abstract or more imaginative ways of describing a smell in words.

To that end I would say the picture on the scent's box of a swan swimming through flowers on a shaded stream in many ways describes in a picture how this scent smells. The scent is green and rosy- it smells of rose petals that have been dropped in water but fresh water mixed with earth as it would be in a stream rather than water from a florists tap.

I don't know if the picture of the swan is mean to allude to the fact that swans only love once- certainly that's what I thought of when I saw the box. The swan reminds a little of Ophelia as painted by Sir John Everett Millais (above).

For all that L'Ombre Dans L'eau is something of a melancholy scent it is also quite a comforting, peaceful one. I think it should ideally be worn by a woman with a very big heart capable of great and unswerving love, like Ophelia, who may be as beautiful and graceful as a swan. (I hasten to add I only aspire to be such a woman).

Picture courtesy of Tate Britain

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