Archive for the ‘Diptyque’ Category

Perfume Review:Diptyque Do Son

Date released: 2005

Perfumer: Fabrice Pellegrin

Sample provenance: sample from The Posh Peasant, 2011

Sub-category: Atypical (green) tuberose soliflore

I admit it: I was influenced by the lackluster review in Perfumes: The Guide, and I did not originally intend to include Do Son in my ongoing Tuberose Series Reviews. However, a perfumista friend (Hi, Heidi!) or two were raving about it a few months ago on Facebook, calling it a “summery tuberose” and “full of sea air,” and I caved.

I have noticed, and probably you have too, that the reviews in P:TG are heavily weighted toward the preferences of the writers. (Which they, in all probability, would freely confess.) I don’t think it’s even possible to remove personal preferences from fragrance reviews. One of the things which seems to consistently annoy Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez is the use of synthetic tuberose. Witness this review of Michael Kors: “Shrieking hair-singeing horror, probably first rejected for use in industrial drain cleaner. One of the worst ever.” Or this one, for Amarige: “…truly loathsome, perceptible even at parts-per-billion level, and at all times incompatible with others’ enjoyment of food, music, sex and travel.” Here, TS weighs in on Do Son, which she calls “alleged tuberose”: “Coming out at roughly the same time as Carnal Flower, Do Son never stood much of a chance with tuberose lovers. It didn’t have the budget: the whole thing seems chemical and empty, and, after an okay fresh floral start, alternates between cloying and stale.”

I don’t think it’s as bad as that. But I can tell you that I have now smelled a lot of tuberose fragrances – I mean what my British childhood friend Sarah used to call a whacking great lot of them. This is review #19, and I haven’t yet formally reviewed several of the ones I’ve tried. I’ll also tell you that you can get samples of tuberose essential oil and even tuberose absolute online, and the Real Deal is both fairly inexpensive and truly wonderful-smelling. The synthetic tuberose begins to stick out, the more tuberose scents I smell; it seems to have a greater sweetness level than natural tuberose, and also a… how to say this?… perhaps it’s a blockiness, a sharpness to its edges, that the natural does not have. Mind you, I still do like synthetic tuberose, but compared to the natural essence it does suffer quite a bit. Powdered nondairy creamer is definitely not the same as heavy cream.

Do Son is, like the (few) other Diptyque fragrances I’ve tried, light. This is not necessarily bad, given that the synthetic tuberose does sort of rise up and tap me ungently on the nose after the first ten minutes of soft, sweet-green floralcy. The opening is really, really pretty, and I wish it lasted longer. From there, it just settles into the straight-up, clearly-chemical tuberose angle and stays there. The drydown is a whisper of musk and a hint of vanilla, with the satiny-cool aspect that often results from iris, all of it still under a very faint veil of tuberose that finally begins to smell really, really nice. The whole thing does smell rather clean – not cleaning products, or chemical “fresh” notes, but without the milky or buttery notes you often smell in conjunction with tuberose, and I doubt it would actually offend anyone unless you drenched yourself in it (please don’t, anyway).  I like the opening very much, and the far, far drydown is also extremely pleasant.  I do suspect that there is a bit of real tuberose oil in the composition, and both before and after the center section, when the synthetic note dominates, the real is discernible.  I have seen several references to an aquatic or watery note in Do Son, but I don’t pick up on such a thing – or perhaps the synthetic tuberose is drowning it out for me.

Notes for Do Son, from Fragrantica: African orange flower, rose, tuberose, musk, benzoin, and iris.  Luckyscent mentions orange tree leaves rather than orange flower, and I think it’s probably more accurate, given the green quality.

I also wish there were more interesting things to say about Do Son. It was inspired by childhood memories of Haiphong, Vietnam, named after a resort in Vietnam, and I suspect that the real-life place smells much more intriguing, with jungle and dirt and wood and incense as well as the flowers. To be perfectly honest, I really prefer the much-cheaper B&BW Velvet Tuberose. It smells cheap and is, rather than smelling cheap and costing much more the way the Diptyque does, and apparently I’m vulgar enough to like my cheap fragrances.

I feel I ought to apologize to my friends for disliking their “light, aquatic” tuberose pick. I also notice that several perfume bloggers like it quite a bit better than I did, calling it “misty” and “delicate” and praising it for being a light and wearable tuberose scent.  I’m sorry – I tried to enjoy it. But I’m still not sure whether I’d rather have Do Son or nothing.

Quality: D

Grab-scale score: 3. Headache city.

Short description: Bare tuberose.

Cost: $$      ($88 for 50 ml at Luckyscent)

Earns compliments? No.

Scent presence: Moderate, with moderate sillage. Lasts about three hours when dabbed very generously.  Probably would last better if sprayed.

Review report: Now Smell This, Bois de Jasmin, Perfume Smellin’ Things, The Non-Blonde, Pere de Pierre.  (As always, please point me to any other reviews I’ve missed.)

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